Advice on brooding hen and eggs in an incubator


8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
Hermosa, South Dakota
Hi. This is the first time I am hoping to hatch chicks from fertilized eggs in an incubator (with auto egg turner). They are due to hatch Feb. 28. One of my hens became broody when I ordered the eggs and I put 4 eggs under her and the other 8 in the incubator. I plan to separate the brooding mom a few days before hatching in a large dog kennel with her 4 eggs. However, I was wondering if I could put the other eggs under her 3 days before they hatch (I have some other fertilized eggs in the incubator set to hatch in two weeks).
My questions are: Would she be able to handle a doz chicks as a mom or is there a greater risk of some of them dying? Should I move her into the brooder instead with the soon to be hatched eggs? Or would it be best to let her hatch the eggs she is already sitting on and just put the other chicks in the brooder?

I sure appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.


8 Years
Oct 6, 2011
Pacific Northwest
I would wait til they hatch in the bator then slip them under her at night when she is sleeping. Rub them up on her and under her wing then gently put them under her, trying not to disturb her too much. You need to move that mama away form the other chickens now, it could be a disaster if you don't. She will be much happier, being isolated, like in a stock tank or cage in a garage or barn, where she won't be disturbed too much.
I had a broody that only hatched one egg and i put babies under her that were the same age and she took right to them, raised them as her own, and their mama that actually hatched them, would chase them. Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide to do.
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