Hen hatches two chicks and abandons rest of eggs


11 Years
Sep 18, 2008
Hi all,

One of my reds was sitting on 9 eggs. After two eggs hatched she abandoned the rest of the eggs. I placed the remaining eggs in an incubator. Three days have passed and the remaining eggs are starting to hatch. Can I place the new chicks (once dry) with the hen and her two existing chicks? The new chicks match the two existing chicks in color, but are a bit smaller.

I made the mistake of placing two hens with new chicks in the same pen before, and discovered that a hen will kill chicks that do not match her own brood in size and color, so I'm a bit leary of adding a new chick to her existing ones.

You can try, but I would stick around to observe mama hen's behavior, so you know the new chicks are okay. If not, you may have to raise them yourself.
I will try to place the two new chicks under the sitting hen this evening. My hope is that if she has already bedded for the night she will be less likely to put up a fuss. Also, since I'll be sneaking the chicks under her with the other two she might get the idea that they just hatched. (Hopefully she's not that smart.)

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