Eggs to Broody Hen

LavenderMouse

In the Brooder
Dec 18, 2017
6
1
32
I have 13 eggs in my incubator that are hatching in a week.

I also have a broody hen thats been sitting on "empty" eggs for the last 15 days. Do I switch out the about to hatch eggs for her to hatch or should i wait until the chicks are a day old to put them under her.

Also, she isn't the alpha hen and i worry that the alpha hen is going to fight with her for the baby chicks as she is a broody hen too but isn't sitting at the moment.

what to do, what to do :-/

(also the reason the eggs are in the incubator is that my previous attempt to have the hens hatch the eggs didnt go well, the eggs kept being kicked out the nesting boxes. but the current broody hen seems to have a handle on that problem)
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,438
33,598
1,122
Colorado Rockies
You can never know what a broody hen will decide to do. They are unpredictable. I had a seven-year old broody that had been a very dependable mother up until this summer when a hatched chick died of exposure when she abandoned it.

The decision is yours since you are more familiar with the temperaments of your hens. It does, however, make more sense to give the eggs on the day before they're due to hatch to the broody hen that has been broody for a few weeks and not to the broody who has not yet begun to sit on a nest.
 

diamondsilkies

Songster
Oct 23, 2017
713
1,192
181
Southern Arizona
I always separate my broodies once they have their chicks to keep the other flock members from injuring chicks, messing with the nest, etc. There are lots of ways you can do that, I personally keep them in a dog kennel in the coop, so they can all still see each other. After 1-2 weeks, I slowly let the broody and her chicks mix with the rest of the flock again, keeping an eye on everyone to make sure there's minimal fighting. Don't be alarmed if some of the chickens give your broody some pecks when she first goes back into the flock, but make sure that it doesn't escalate.
 

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