couple questions-putting purchased fertile eggs under your broody hen

Bocktobery 10

9 Years
Oct 8, 2010

I have only been chicken keeping for one year now. I have a Buff Orpington who has just gone broody. (my first) Its been about 4 days now, and while I can get her off the nest for a while, she has always been going back to it after about an hour or two of being off. She is really acting nutty, that's for sure!!! I don't have a rooster, but I was thinking about getting a few more chicks this year that are of another breed. (I have 7 chickens of 4 different breeds) I heard about putting fertile eggs under a broody hen, so I thought why not try and have her hatch my new chickens. I've never done this before, so I'm not even sure it is going to work. I'm worried it would most likely be a waste of money. I don't have a incubator either, though I have a friend who told me if I wanted, I could borrow one of his sister's incubators.

I noticed that there are people here that sell fertile eggs, however, I am looking to have only about 5 or 6 new chicks. Because of the size of my coop, I don't think that having any more than that would be a good idea. Most of the eggs for sale are sold in bunches of 8 or more. Is it feasible to ask a seller if they can only give me a few? Or are there reasons why it always is more than 8 eggs? Also, I am looking for dark chocolate egg layers and also robin's blue egg layers- is it possible to get 3 eggs of each from a seller? Should I just email the folks who are selling to ask if they can do this for me, or would that be rude?

The other question I have is that i wonder if there is a possibility of transference of illness to my broody hen or my other chickens from purchased fertile eggs? And if so, is there any way to 'clean' them before putting them under my chicken without hurting the embryo inside? I don't want to harm my Buff Orpington, so if there is a chance of getting some sort of illness by introducing eggs from a foreign coop I think I want to forego the idea and just let her be broody. I'm just a beginner, yet even though I have read quite a lot, I don't feel confident in handling/treating or recognizing many chicken diseases.

Has anyone done this sort of thing before, or is it just more reliable to do the incubator thing? Also, will my chicken need help from me to make sure they hatch, or should I just sit back and watch nature take its course? I know NOTHING about hatching eggs, but I would like to make my chicken happy. She looks so miserable. She looks like she wants so bad to be a mama! (Or it might just be me who would like some peeps again!!!)

If a chicken has already started to go broody, will she continue to sit on the eggs until they hatch or is broodyness a timed thing? (Like do they only sit for so many days and that's it, or do they wait?)

Thanks so much for any replies.


Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Try reading through this thread. It might help you a bit with a broody.

Isolate a Broody? Thread

You might try posting on your state thread to try to find someone close to you that has the kind of fertile eggs you want. If you do a Search in the blue band above. put your state name in the "keyword" section and search in the forum "Where am I? where are you?" in the social section, you should be able to find your state thread.

Or you can e-mail people that are selling the eggs you want.

There is very little chance of your Buff Orp contacting a disease from the hatching eggs. There are one or two diseases that can be passed on to the chick through the eggs, and the chicks could then infect the flock, but the odds of that happening are pretty thin. It is always possible you could get a disease from dirty eggs, but again the odds of that are really slim. I consider getting hatching eggs to put under a broody hen to be the safest way to add new chickens to my flock.

If you do choose top go with a broody, you need to mark the eggs and check under her daily to remove any new eggs that other hens may have laid in her nest. When the eggs hatch, you need to provide food and water where the chicks can get to it. Other than that, you need to leavet hem alone and let the broody do the work. She will be glad to.

A broody hen is not on a timer. You are dealing with living animals so anything can happen, but the odds are real good that she will sit on the eggs until they hatch.

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