Decided to raise some chicks! Lots of questions!

60's Chick

9 Years
Nov 26, 2010
We have ten Americauna and Maran hens. Also, a great Maran rooster. Three of the hens have gone broody and have been for at least three weeks. We just take the eggs from them. The others don't seem to be laying, unless they are laying somewhere else on the property. They free range during the day. We have a chicken coop and six boxes. Inside the chicken coop we have a separate area. We are planning on putting one of the broody hens in that area. Usually there are about 5 eggs under these hens/day. But I have no idea if they are THEIR eggs or one of the other hens. So my questions are as follows:

1. If she has been broody that long, how do we know her eggs, or the other ones laid by the other two broody hens are fertile?
2. IF and when she hatches the eggs, WHAT DO WE DO WITH HER AND THE CHICKS?
3. Will she protect her chicks if we let them out with the others? And how soon do we let them out?

I am sorry if these are stupid questions, but we just got out hens last year and this is all new to us.


60's Chick
Did you mark the eggs you set under her? Marking the eggs lets you collect the fresh ones added to the nest every day, so you have chicks hatching at the same time. You can candle the eggs under her to see if they are developing.

When they hatch, put food/water at chick level and the hen will do the rest. I'd leave them for a few days in their enclosed area, so they can get steady on their feet before interacting with the rest of the flock, but that's me.

She should be able to protect them, but it depends on how high up the pecking order she is.

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