Adoptive broody hatching our clutch-when to pull her?


Nov 21, 2015
Hello all!
This is an exciting year for us, altho it's happening much later in the year than expected.
I have a nice little flock of 14 various breeds, counting our roo Handsome Jack. We got him last fall at about 7-8 mos old. He's been a busy boy this yr!
Our little black sexlink, Evana, went broody at least twice and we managed to keep her clutch to a dozen. It required daily adjustments bc the other hens kept adding to the nest. Sadly, w/in a few days of hatch, a skunk destroyed her nest. I'm currently working on eliminating any access for predators but in the meantime, my uncle's one hen went broody but he has no roo.
We decided to give it one more go. His little mama has hatched 4of the 8 eggs we put under her.
I don't want her to abandon the remaining eggs if they're going to hatch but I don't want the chicks to suffer either. 8/18 was the 1st baby w/2-4 hatching that eve thru yesterday. So far nothing else hatched today. All were w/in a cpl days of laying/fertilization. How long can she safely continue to sit or should I just pull the eggs now and try to finish them in the incubator?
You said you put the eggs under her. So I'm assuming you gave her all 8 eggs the same day. So all 8 have been incubated by mama hen the same amount of time and all should hatch within 24-48 hours of each other. It doesn't matter if they were laid different days, just if they were incubated the same length of time. Mama will likely stay on the nest a day or two with her little ones before venturing out, so as long as she is still sitting there is still some hope. I would try and candle the eggs today or tomorrow to see if they are still viable. If they are viable, you will see movement, and should hatch soon. If they are quitters, remove them and dispose of them.

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