Adding eggs to broody hen's clutch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hililyhilo, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. hililyhilo

    hililyhilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
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    I put my broody hen on some eggs Sunday evening. I know you're not supposed to add more eggs, but today (late Tuesday morning) I found two eggs that I really wanted her to hatch so I added them to her clutch. Is the difference between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning too great for these two late comers? What's the biggest time difference in eggs that you have successfully hatched? Thanks!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If she is a good broody she will probably stay on the nest long enough for the 36 hour later eggs to hatch. But I would be prepared to put them in the incubator in case she decides to leave with the chicks from the earlier eggs, especially if they happen to hatch a day or two early you may run into problems. I've done the same thing you did, put eggs with broodies that were a day or two apart, but usually just with broodies I know tend to sit a long time with the chicks, I also am sure to have food and water right outside the broody box so they tend to just get up for a few minutes the first few days instead of going to look for food and the first hatched chicks can find food/water fast.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    About 3 days. That's usually the disparity between early and late. It may work. Do you have a means to hatch if she gives up early?
     
  4. hililyhilo

    hililyhilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your responses! I don't have a means to finish the job if she gives up, but this hen has hatched eggs not too long ago and she was a really good broody so I will keep my fingers crossed.
     
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she does give up, try simply setting up a light with a normal incadescent bulb (not the new compact fluorescent bulbs), and put a thermometer under it. You may have to get the bulb kinda close (inches away), but it might just work. Once the chicks have hatched, you can sneak them back under momma while she's in the nest box and she should take over from there.
     
  6. hililyhilo

    hililyhilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, what a great idea! Thank you for the back up plan!
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can force her into sitting the clutch longer by removing the Sunday chicks & hatching debris as they hatch and replacing them with dummy eggs.
    Hope this helps.
     
  8. hililyhilo

    hililyhilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    SF Bay Area, California
    I see how that would make her sit on them longer. Thank you for the tip!

    I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. I feel much more prepared now for this hatch - and future ones. Thanks to all!
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Do be prepared to brood either the early, or the late chicks, or all of the chicks if everything blows up. Fooling around with a brood hens basic instinct increases the odds that she will reject any or all of her new family. A sitting box that can be picked up and relocated, one that has a lockable door that a chick can't squeeze past, plus a quite, cool, and totally dark place to keep the sitting box and hen in after day 20 will hopefully hold her on the nest long enough for her to finish the job. Don't forget ventilation. It is very important that your hen stays quite and calm for the extra 3 or 4 days required for all of her brood to hatch and dry. It is also crucial that she be unable to see any of her chicks before they all hatch.

    Good luck, I am fearful that you are going to need it.
     
  10. hililyhilo

    hililyhilo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    SF Bay Area, California
    Thank you for the additional information. All these tips are very helpful!
     

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