Eggs hatching under a broody question


11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
I have 2 broodies sitting together on the same nest
and the chicks are due to hatch today (from what I'm estimating, possibly tomorrow

I am so so so anxious about these chicks! Should be frizzled japanese bantams and frizzled polish
Totally not planned, but I think they will be cool chicks

I've never let a hen hatch out eggs, so when will we see the babies? Will they stay under her for a couple of days or come out for a few minutes while the hens are still sitting? I really really really want to peek under the hens but know it's best to leave them alone. When should I see a little chickie peeking out? I was just out there and both hens are softly clucking frequently, hopefully to their chicks!!!!!!

Also I've got a big dish of starter out (one of those plastic things that catch water that you put under a potted plant) right infront of the nestbox and a 1 gallon waterer with acv near them. Anything else I should do? How far will she take the babies? Will she go back to the nestbox at night?
First of all, are they in with other chickens? If so you need to separate the broodies away from the other chickens so the babies don't get pecked. You might even want to separate the broodies and let each have a few eggs b/c sometimes they will fight over the babies and end up killing them.

You'll see the babies when momma decides it's time to get up and take them out of the nest, usually within 48 hours of the first one hatching. Make sure food and water are close by. She will probably keep them in the nest most of the time for the first few days, then slowly go farther away, but most likely return to sleep in the nest at night.
if i were you and as all people here did in my country, i'll let her take care of all those matter and the time i'll check is when i heard a chick sounding, i'll check if the mom hen abandoned another eggs or not or she's eating the chick or not. that's what i will did.

and sometimes they back to nest sometimes not. hope your nestbox is on the ground or the chick will be severely injured (sorry,even die) when following their mom.

she will care/take the babies for (here i see people's hen) 3-4 weeks and *abandon* them to *stand on their feet*.
i agree with KellyHM. i had two broodies sharing a nest of eggs and they both tried to kill the first chick that hatched out. i had to scramble to pull out the chick and unhatched eggs to finish in an incubator. Now i only let one hen finish off the eggs. i will let them sit together until it's three days out then decide who gets the eggs and put that hen and eggs in a safe spot, like a separate hutch or coop.

Once the hatching starts, just leave the hen alone. You may see a chick peek out in 8-12 hours. But mom will stay on the nest until all eggs hatch. i generally give her a day or so after hatch date then reach under to pull out and check any unhatched eggs. Once she is done she will get up and take the babies to food and water.

You want to put rocks or marbles in your waterer so the babies don't accidentally drown. After several days, and i can see the chicks are sure on their feet, i will take the rocks out. The food container needs to be shallow enough for the chicks to get to. i spread food on the floor for the first few days until i see they can reach inside the feeder. Also, if you are hatching bantams, you may want to grind the chick starter up for them. Sometimes the pieces are too big for those teeny beaks.

i also put out a shallow plate of mashed up hard boiled egg for mom and chicks every day from birth to four weeks. They all love it.
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Okay, I am going to take away one of the broodies, I've had too many people tell me here that it can be bad news. She just started sitting with the original one about 4-5 days ago, so she can go away and stay in the coop.

The nestbox is on the ground, under my back deck (where my free range hens lay
There is only one entrance under the deck, which is behind the steps and I have a baby gate there blocking anyone from coming or going. It's in a fenced yard, and we have no predators, she is completley safe.

The chick starter is ground up, I always crush it up when I get bantam chicks. I will put clean rocks in the waterer. I just hope I don't make my other broody upset after I take the other
They've always been big buddies.

ETA: They're sharing 13 bantam eggs, which the original broody was covering just fine on her own. When I take the other broody do I put the other eggs underneath my other hen or let her do it?? What if some are hatching, do I move them? AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
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i'm pretty sure your one broody will not be upset if you take the other away. They are so focused on those eggs that you could probably put an alligator in there with her and she wouldn't blink an eye.

i suspect that once you remove the other broody, the first one will scoop the eggs under herself. If she doesn't right away, just push them towards her chest and she should do the rest.

i have pulled an egg out from under my broody that was pipped and starting to hatch, then put it back under, and it hatched just fine. So i wouldn't stress too much. Hatching in an incubator is much more difficult.

Good luck! Can't wait to hear how things go!
I just took away one broody. Luckily she's a polish so she never saw me coming

My little japanese hen never even moved. There are several eggs uncovered at the moment, but I'm going to give her about 15 minutes before I go putting them under her. I didn't see any chicks, but it's dark under there and I couldn't really see if there were pips or anything.


And thank you all for your help!
I have 2 Old English Bantam hens that have set and raised their babies together for the past 2 years. I think one of them is a little lazy and doesn't carry her weight but they get along fine and never fight over the chicks. Just thought you would want to hear a good outcome on your question. Also the hens usually stay on the nest for about 24 hours from the time the chicks start hatching. After that point the chicks are ready to start exploring and the hen will leave to follow them leaving any unhatched eggs behind. At least that's my experience. Best of luck.



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