First off... I would like to thank you for opening this thread!
Thank you! And second... Do you have a broody hen?
Well, first you should make the decision; "Am I ready for babies?"
To do this, yous should think; "Do I have the right food, water and layout?
For the food you can use the started feed, it will not hurt anybody to use regular crumbles.
Though, I will not suggest pellets for the little beaks.
Then for the water, I normally take a regular water feeder, (with the red bottom) and put rocks...
(Pebbles could work, as long as they are not ultra small!)
To set up the layout, you will need a backup plan. "What if the mother hen isn't nice to the chicks? What if someone pecks the chicks?" All those questions!
What I do is have an extra coop made of hardware cloth. If the coops are connected, I would suggest hardware cloth. I have seen a chick stick their head through regular chicken wire.
So either hardware cloth a foot and chicken wire the rest, or a dog crate. Even in the house if your Mom, Dad, or spouse lets ya!
Set it all up and you are prepared. Try not to put the food where the other chickens will try to bother the mother-to-be!
Once you have it set up, all you need is fertile eggs! I would suggest as many as you want but I prefer at least 3. You place the eggs under the hen (note: Mark the eggs with numbers.)
(I mark them with a few little pairs of sun glass!)
You can use anything you want, but no sharpies! That will hurt the embryo, eggs have pours!
I use a china marker.
Then you place the eggs under the hens and wait three weeks!
If you candle them, do it every week once or twice a week.
So, I hope this helps! Have fun with your fertile eggs!
-The Angry Hen
Raising Chicks Under a Broody Hen
Are you thinking about hatching eggs under a broody hen? Come, read this please!