From one broody hen to another

Jodi kay

Chirping
Apr 24, 2017
15
21
59
North western ohio
I've been dealing with very young broody hens all summer. Most have gotten through it on their own.
At the end of August my daughter found a small stash of eggs and since we don't have an incubater decided to let one of our hens do the work. Only one chick survived no thanks to momma- a birchen cochin bantem. (she got up and left it after only 1 hour).
Now, in the middle of September I found an assortment of eggs hidden in our cat house! Had a new broody (buff cochin) so I thought what the heck. Since there were 19 eggs I figured it would be best to separate the bantem eggs out and put them under a different hen. Daughter informs me a week later that she thinks it's the same one that abandoned the first chick.
I went out this morning and low and behold we have chicks hatching ahead of schedule under the large hen! Do you think it would be too late to try and tuck the other eggs under her? I believe she will make a much better mother. Will it have an adverse impact on the little birchen taking her eggs away this close to hatching?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,708
21,424
907
Southeast Louisiana
It will not have a long term adverse impact on that hen to take her eggs away. She may break from being broody, she may not. But she will not suffer any real harm.

You can try to put those eggs under the Cochin if you wish. It may work out, it may not. There is only one way to find out. It works that way with living animals. Personally I would not since the hatch has started but you can.

You don't know when incubation started on any of those eggs. Several could have been added to the Cochin's nest after she started incubating. That means a staggered hatch. I hate those.

I would want that second broody on her nest so when the Cochin takes her chicks off you can give the unhatched eggs to her. If you can, candle them to eliminate any duds but as long as she can cover them all that is not necessary. She may fail again as a good mother, she may do fine. I had a broody hen that did great when she hatched in the spring but failed when she went broody again later in the summer. Other than putting them in an incubator and taking care of them yourself I think this gives you the best chance.
 

Jodi kay

Chirping
Apr 24, 2017
15
21
59
North western ohio
Well the decision was made for me. I went out to check on the chicks under my big hen only to find that a different hen had pushed the bantem off her eggs and was sitting on them. There had been 4 eggs this morning but I could only find two, one of which was all bloody!
After checking the new babies I quickly tucked those two eggs with the three left to go in that box.
I dug around in the straw looking for broken shells or damp yolky straw and am sad to say that I found two fully developed chicks that still had their little umbilical cords.
I've no idea which hen did it but since they were obviously forced out of their shells before they were ready I'm taking no chances with the two remaining eggs.
 

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