How many eggs can I put under a broody hen?

rungirl

Songster
9 Years
Apr 7, 2010
437
11
113
Columbus, Ohio
I can get a dozen fertile eggs but is that too many under my Buff Orpington, especially if it's a fall hatch? I'm afraid she won't be able to take care of that many. What happens when the weather gets cold?

What do you think.
 

Posh Chickens

Songster
8 Years
Feb 24, 2011
329
0
111
West Midlands, UK
My cochin(s) went broody at the same time, so, i put about eight under each, not they have ended up with ONE EACH! First time though, so I recomend around 8 if its her first time, so she doesnt crush them,

Rob.
 

rungirl

Songster
9 Years
Apr 7, 2010
437
11
113
Columbus, Ohio
She's hatched one chick before, so I know that she knows what to do and she's a very good mother. I just don't know if 12 is too many for her to care for or even keep warm.
 

chickensbythesea

Chirping
9 Years
Jan 1, 2011
187
1
99
I had to take some chicks away from my evil (terrible mother, mean) BR and passed them off onto a RIR who was broody for the first time- between those and hers, she raised 14 just fine, but she was the alpha hen, so no-one messed with her ever. That probably helped. She had been sitting on 19 eggs before I found her secret nest and reduced, so I don't think a dozen is too many for her heat-wise either.

It depends a little on the hen, but I'd put them all under, especially if they're shipped fertile eggs. Just be sure to check for duds and pull them out after a little while.
 

Alexis

Songster
11 Years
Jan 28, 2008
450
24
143
Philomath, Oregon
A dozen isn't too many, in my opinion! If it gets really cold before the chicks feather out, you can always add a heat lamp to the area that they will be staying in if it makes you feel better
 

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