2 brooding hens, one nest, two hatch dates a week apart?

quahogchic

Hatching
11 Years
Nov 6, 2008
5
0
7
Okay... long story but, first the short version. The Boss started sitting and Dos Equis joined her a week later to share the 8 eggs on one nest. Power outage forced me to place 9 Marans eggs beneath the girls. Chicks are hatching today but, Marans have a week to go. I'm planning to let The Boss keep them and free range. I'm hoping Dos Equis will finish the job without The Boss's help. Has anyone done this before and what would you recommend?
 

AZKat

Songster
10 Years
Apr 7, 2009
668
19
153
I had a similar situation with my first two broodys. Of the two eggs that made it to the end (long story short, I should have moved them to a better location) one hatched and the other didn't-never even pipped. Both of them are mothering the little chick, and have abandoned the nest, except as a place to go with the chick. This is my first experience with broody hens, but I'd say there is a good chance that they'll abandon the nest after the first set of eggs hatch, if you leave them both on the same nest.
 

mschickychick

Songster
11 Years
Jan 2, 2009
244
2
119
Mississippi
I have hens share a nest all the time. In my experience both hens will leave the nest at the same time and leave the unhatched eggs. I keep an incubator warmed up for when this happens.
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
67
229
SouthEast Texas
If i were you, when the first batch hatches, i would immediately separate one of the hens with the chicks and lock the other hen up with the remaining eggs. You could even do this as soon as the first chick is dry and just keep stealing the newly hatched chicks away from the sitting hen and moving them to the hen to raise this batch as they hatch. Hopefully, then the sitting hen will forget about the chicks you stole (keep them out of sight) and finish sitting out the week with the rest of the eggs.
 

quahogchic

Hatching
11 Years
Nov 6, 2008
5
0
7
Thanks for all the great advice. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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