So this is the story- I'm a first time chicken owner, I've had an Australorp and Wyandotte since February this year and still don't know too much about chickens!
A few months after they finally started laying, my Australorp went broody. About a week or two after her, the Wyandotte went broody. They've both been broody for over a month now. I thought that it would last 3 weeks, they'd work out theres no chicks (since they haven't laid eggs and they haven't been sitting on eggs for almost a month) that they'd snap out of it. They didn't, so i did some reading. I've realised that i must get them to stop for their own health (and i want eggs lol)!
I was going to buy fertilised eggs, but since my 2 other hens i bought died of Mareks, and since i'm not allowed to have roosters (council rules) i thought it best not to risk the lack of sexing and the lack of vaccinations.
So i thought i would get day old chicks to put under them! This is a win win since i would love to have more chickens anyway!
Now this is where my question comes - I've read a million articles about introducing day old chicks, and they all involve swapping the eggs for the chicks. But my hens aren't lying on eggs. Does this mean popping the chicks under them won't work and they'll reject them? Should i put some eggs under them first? If i do this how long do i leave them sitting on eggs before i try to introduce/swap them for chicks? Is this really important or does it not make too much of a difference? (I guess i ask, because they're broody without eggs anyway? *confused*)
Just in case it matters, my hens are very docile when i approach them. They're always in the nest box, i can pat them, lift them, take them out without any problems. They puff up a little, but don't sqwuak or attack me.
Any advice would be really appreciated. I was keen to get the chicks this weekend, but want to do this properly. Thank you!