Broody hen kills chicks, must incubate/hatch eggs myself - Help!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 7, 2010
New Hampshire
My broody hen hatched one chick, accepted him, but has killed the last 2 chicks immediately. One was out of the shell completely, and she flattened him, the other she smashed while it was still in the shell, peeping. Obviously, I cannot trust her. So I have taken the remaining 9 eggs from her just now, and have brought them in the house.
From emergency reading I know I need to keep the eggs warm and moist. Am I doing this right?
I put them in a small cardboard box (12"x12") on a soft layer of washcloths. I've hung the heat lamp over them with kitchen thermometers in the box. Am I aiming for 100 degrees? A small dish of water in there for moisture. Should I put a small fan on them as well?
What else should I do? Should I cover the box?
One is peeping, and there is a small peck hole in the shell (very exciting!).
I candled them, and most seem to show signs of a large dark mass.
I expect them all to hatch, if they're going to, in the next couple of days. (We gave fertilized eggs to the broody over about a week, because she was only sitting on one egg.)
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
First off, you're going to have a staggered hatch since you didn't give her the eggs all at one time. Hatching needs to be about 65% humidity and 99.5 degrees. Hope someone can help you since my only recommendation is to go buy an incubator quickly.
Thanks, SueBee.
The first one has hatched. He's okay. He had already begun when I took him away from the mother.
Eight more eggs to go! I hate to spend 100 on an incubator, when they should hatch in the next day or two.
Anyone else have answers?
I'm no help. I just wanted to offer moral support
Sounds like you're doing a good job!
It is possible to hatch them the way your doing it but an incubator is better. I know it seems like a lot of money but you can use it for a long time if you want or simply resale it here on byc or trade it for some items here you would like , though its always good to have a inc incase you need it. you can get a brinsea mini eco at the offical brinsea site shipped for aobut 89 total then you would have a small bator in case something like this happens again or you just decide to hatch again ect.
The most important thing to do is make shure the temp dosnt spike over 101 and that it dosnt drop under 98 with the sweet spot being 99.5 it will be hard probly to keep the humidity up in the box but you may have some luck with the rest .
Good luck.
So far, one egg has hatched, and he is doing great.
The others aren't doing anything yet. Candling last night did not show movement.
I've been able to rig up a temporary incubator and keep it around 99.5.
I'll give it a couple more days.
I do think I'll invest in a real one for the future.
Thanks for your concern!
Gosh I hope you have luck with the rest of them. Sounds like you acted quickly enough! I got a broody hen right now on 11 eggs, and I ended up after 2 weeks of her being broody getting new eggs for her (long story) anyway I have been freaking out that she will stop laying on the eggs, so I told my daughter if that happens, they she will have to get on the couch and hold the eggs on her belly until they hatch! We dont have an incubator either so that was my plan! Good luck and please keep posting, I have a ton of interest in this one and wish you the best!

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