HELP - Chicks about to hatch - NEED ADVISE !!


5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
United Arab Emirates (a.t.m.)
Hi all,
I have two chickens who are sitting on eggs.
- One has 10 eggs.
- The second has 1 egg.. (well technically she is sitting on 2 eggs, but only one is hers and the other one is from a chicken that just came and laid her egg there but is not interesting in sitting on it. Though I'm not sure if something will come out of it, I decided to leave it there..just in case..)

I have alot of questions.. -\

1) Since one chicken has (only 1) egg, would you take a few eggs from the other chicken (who has 10* eggs), and put some under this "poor" chicken who might have to run around with only one baby chick...?

2) Do you think something will come out of that egg which another chicken layed in their nest, but did not sit on it? I know they have to be fertilized.. we have a rooster.. but I wonder, if she doesn't want to sit on it, does it mean then that she did not get kind of (pregnant)?

3) Their cage is quiet small for extra birdies.. -/
I wonder if they will be 'ok' when they hatch...
At the moment I have 3 chickens and 1 rooster, and the cage is big enough for them since they only sleep there. And during the day they have the whoooole garden as their "chicken paradise" lol.. (and my pretty flowers as their "delicacy"...).

But now I'm worried for those little chicks..
My grandmother had chicks when I was very small so I don't remember much.
We don't have much space for them, I am lost and need some clever ideas how to manage, guys!
We are planning to move (to another country) in summer so I cannot buy them a bigger cage here.. -(

The first chicks might already start hatching from TOMORROW!

4) Some people take the newborns and keep them separate so that the mother-chicken who is still sitting on other eggs would not squeeze them etc..
Shall I do that?
(although it feels quiet sad to remove them from their mother..)

5) So if I remove the new babies from the mother for a while, would she accept them afterwards?

6) And since I have 'two' mother-chickens, will the chicks always go to the 'right' mom, or will they just follow one of the two?
And will one mother-chicken push away the chicks which are not hers, or will she be happily fostering them aswell?
I hope I am writing understandable language !!
Oh God...
I didn't expect things would go so FAST lol !

7) May I give "boiled egg yolk" for the newborns as extra food? (sounds like 'cannibalism' to me, but that's what people always give in my country..)

8) What do I do with the chicks during the day? Should I keep them locked up in their cage together with the mother? But then if the mother wants to go out then she'll be stuck.. and if I keep her out then she cannot go to her babies..
But if I keep the cage open and they will go out with the mother, then I am afraid for them to be eaten by the predators...
It's a big dilemma for me!!

Here are some pics, to give you an idea about the size of the cage and their nests..

Help..Help..Help..!! Heeeeeeeeelp!

Thanks alot in advance!!



5 Years
Mar 12, 2014
Worcester UK
I have no idea if this would help but I'm a first time chick hatcher!
My 2 broody hens had 3 eggs each but 1 of them decided she couldn't be bothered, left her eggs and then started to peck hard at the others.
The idea I had to start with (I read here?) was to let the hens sit the first week then incubator them. The other idea was let the eggs hatch under hen then put them in the brooder. Unfortunately none of my plans have quite gone according to plan because of the 'evil' hen!

Good luck x


5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
Central Oregon
No expert at all here, but if it were me I'd let the hens continue to "do their thing" and let nature take its course. Trust me, when they do hatch that mother hen won't let ANYlthing get near them at all...nothing's more protective than a mother hen!


5 Years
Apr 27, 2014
United Arab Emirates (a.t.m.)
Update!! -))
I've done some "ultrasound on the babies" heeheehee..
When the mommies went to stretch their leggs I took carefully their eggs.
Went to a dark room. Switched on my torch and checked every egg, one by one. I had to see how much time I've got left to prepare things!

I saw the embryos moving!!!!! (Except for one egg.. I market it. Will check again tomorrow..)
It's soooo Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!
And guess what!
The egg that was layed by another hen (her name is Helga) who isn't interested in sitting on them - I saw blood vessels and something dark!!!
It looks like her egg might have a chickie soon too!

I marked them and marked the egg which will probably hatch first.
So exciting!
But still nervous for their "delivery".

Thanks iwiw60 and Tyaloria!

The "evil" hen.. that reminds me of my Helga.. (pic: the hen sitting with the rooster on the stick).
I hope she'll be friendly with the little ones..
She is a couple of months older than the two broody-hens, maybe that's why she likes to bully them.
Next time I'm buying birds with same age!
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5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
Central Oregon
Don't worry about the "evil" hen bothering the new chickies...that broody hen who is hatching them? She'll guard them with her life...visciously if she has to...not to worry.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
There is no right way or wrong way to do any of this. We all use different methods for different reasons. Your set-up and conditions are going to be different than a lot of other people. And you are dealing with living animals. Those don’t come with guarantees as to how they will behave.

Chicken eggs take about 21 days to hatch once they start incubation. That can vary a couple of days either way, even under a broody. If your eggs all started at the same time, you can switch if you wish. But if the eggs did not start at the same time, do not switch any. Once hatch starts, leave them alone.

A hen does not care who laid the egg. A broody will sit on her eggs, other hens’ eggs, turkey, partridge, duck, or geese eggs, golf balls, or just her imagination. An egg doesn’t care which hen laid it. As long as it is fertilized and incubated at the right temperature and the right conditions it will develop and hatch.

With your set-up, I suggest you use the method used on small farms for thousands of years world-wide. Leave the hen alone and let her do her job. Don’t lock her or the chicks in. She will hatch the eggs and decide when to take the chicks off the nest. You have water at a level the chicks can get to it. The hen will teach them to drink. The hen might take them back to the coop at night to sleep or she may settle down somewhere else in the garden for the night. It doesn’t look like you lock them up at night anyway so it probably doesn’t matter which she does.

If your forage is good enough the hen will probably feed her chicks from that, but since you are feeding the adults, the chicks may need some feed too. My broodies normally feed their chicks a couple of times a day at the feeder but spend most of the day foraging in the grass. If you are feeding Layer, you need to switch to a different feed for the entire flock. Layer has about 4% calcium for the hen’s egg shells. Other feeds like Starter will only have somewhere around 1% calcium. The higher level of calcium in Layer can damage growing chicks’ internal organs. I don’t know what feeds are available in the Emirates. The normal way to feed a mixed flock with hens that are laying and growing chicks is to feed a feed with a lower percent calcium and offer a calcium supplement like crushed oyster shell on the side for those that need the extra calcium for the egg shells.

I don’t know how big a predator problem you have. Chicks are more vulnerable than adults to some, such as snakes or maybe cats, but in general if your adults are not getting attacked, the chicks should be pretty safe too. I sure can’t give you any guarantees on that one.

You having two broodies at the same time may complicate it a bit. May or may not, these things don’t come with guarantees. It’s possible the hens will each take care of their own chicks and ignore the others. That happens a lot. The two hens may work together to raise all the chicks. The two hens may fight over the chicks with one hen wanting to raise them herself without the other hen being around. It’s even possible one hen will try to kill the other hen’s chicks. If one hen hears the other hen’s chicks hatching, she may abandon her own eggs and go to the other chicks, either to help or to take over. In your situation I’d just let the hen’s go and see what happens. Most of the time it works out OK.

Good luck with it.

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