Hi have my 1st broody was wondering how many large eggs a small bantam can sit safely or comfortable, and she has been broody for a week already trying to hatch a golfball going to put eggs under her on Friday will she stay on nest till they hatch?
I wouldn't put large eggs under a bantam, but if you do, I wouldn't go for more than two or three. If they were all to hatch, within a week the chicks would be to big to crawl under a tiny bantam. I would go with bantam eggs under a bantam.
I put 4 large eggs under my bantam girl (cochin) and she hatched 3. She had no problem warming the chicks as they grew - and they will feather out faster being outside with mom.
Oops - yes I would think she will stay until hatch. I have a MF cochin who has sat thru 2 bad clutches of MF eggs and just Friday hatched her first chick - this after 3 months setting. I DO keep food and water within reach of my broodies on the nest. That way they only have to leave to "relieve" themselves or for a quick dust bath.
I usually say a broody can sit on about a dozen eggs of the same size she lays, so 12 bantam eggs or about 5 or 6 standard eggs. I often give a few more in the summer when it's warm and less (like 4) in the winter when I think she may have a hard time keeping all the eggs covered.
They can't count, so she should sit until they hatch. It's always a gamble with a first-time broody because you never know if they'll go the distance, but it's been my experience that most broodies will sit until something hatches. With first-time broodies, I always try to get eggs under them as soon as I'm sure they're broody just so they don't lose interest.
It is pretty entertaining to see standard chicks trying to tuck under their mama when they're bigger than she is, but that usually takes until they're 7-8 weeks old and fully feathered. Somehow they always work it out and bantams do a great job raising standard chicks.
Thanks for the replies, I'm in Florida so its not so cold, I notice her coming off her golfball to eat in the morning and then in the heat of the day she seems to come off for a longer period. She looks twice the size sitting on the nest I'll go for an odd number and give her 5.
I have a bantam Cochin Hen that hatched out and raised 10 standard size chicks. She was sitting on 13, but I pulled 3 out. No, she did have one of her eggs in the batch so 9 standard and one bantam egg. She would get everyone of then under her when needed. They did fine the 4 hens I got out of the batch are laying eggs now.
Here is a pic of Tweety and her chicks. Not all of the chicks are in the picture.