Adding more fertilized eggs to broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by littlels, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. littlels

    littlels Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2011
    I searched for answers on this and after hours of reading still couldn't find it so I apologize if it's been asked before.

    I have a hen that just went broody yesterday afternoon/evening. I was with them about 2:30 or so and she wasn't on eggs but then last night at 10 she was sitting. She is already sitting on fertilized eggs since there is a rooster in the bunch. Can I add a few more fertile eggs to her clutch today and will they hatch with everybody else or will they most likely not make it because of the timing?
  2. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    When chicks hatch and the chicks start moving around the hens will get off her nest and start teaching her chicks where the food and water is etc. I've had hens continue to lay in wait for chicks that didn't hatch on time because she can hear movement and peeps in the eggs. I also have had hens once her chicks hatch and start moving around will leave the nest and occasionally go back and look at the eggs to see if any one else hatch, but of course the chicks in the eggs will not survive with out heat. I guess the best answer it depends on your hen. I think the eggs should be close enough it's worth the try.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    With this timing, they might or might not. If you are going to try it, get going as soon as possible.

    They will all be incubated at the same temperature and the same conditions. They will develop at the same rate. Chicks can stay in the nest for three days without food and water, but the hen will decide at some point to take the living chicks off the nest and abandon the rest of the eggs, whether they are viable or not. I cannot tell you what that hen will decide to do or when.

    What do you have to lose of you try it? Are your eggs that valuable? I know mine become much more valuable when I put them under a hen or in an incubator, but if you can stand to take the risk, mark the eggs and put them under her now.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I add eggs but usually only for about 24 hours. They won't hatch at the same time and any stragglers she'll end up abandoning as the chicks get active.
    If I do add more later I pull them after chicks hatch and put them in the incubator.

    Make sure you mark all the eggs that have been under her for a day or two so if other hens volunteer eggs you can pull them out when she comes out once a day to do her business.
  5. littlels

    littlels Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2011
    Great. Thanks. Marking them is a great idea so I will know the outcome later.

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