Putting several breeds of eggs under broody hen of another breed & egg identity

MeTxLady

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
65
18
91
I have a broody bantam hen who has been sitting on 6 eggs for 7 days now. Our neighbor has chickens of other breeds including barred rock (I think), silver lace Wyandotte, naked neck and not sure the kind of rooster. I'm caring for their dogs and collecting the eggs and was thinking I'd love to have some of the silver laced and possibly naked neck but I think I read the barred rocks can be mean to other docile hens. I have several questions:
1. How can I tell which eggs are which breed?
2. If I take the eggs the hen is currently on out from under her and replace with eggs I collect today or tomorrow from other hens, will she stay on them and hatch them?
3. Is it cruel to take 7 day old eggs out from under her? I mean, will those undeveloped chicks suffer?

I figured if I let the bantam hen raise the chicks of a large breed they might get along with the other chickens (2 roosters and 2 other hens - all bantams) better than introducing a brand new larger bird.

Going to feed and collect eggs now - will look for replies when I return. I can take pics of the eggs in hopes that someone can help identify them. :)
 

1muttsfan

Up Northerner
10 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,739
9,399
787
Upper Peninsula Michigan
1. How can I tell which eggs are which breed?
You would need to see the hen lay the egg. Some people who are very familiar with their birds can ID the eggs, but most people have a hard time telling, as birds from the same breed can lay a variety of shades of brown, and egg color can change the longer a hen lays.

2. If I take the eggs the hen is currently on out from under her and replace with eggs I collect today or tomorrow from other hens, will she stay on them and hatch them?
Depends on the hen, some hens are fine with a little handling, others may leave the nest if disturbed too much. If you swap them do so after dark, when the hen is less likely to leave the nest.

3. Is it cruel to take 7 day old eggs out from under her? I mean, will those undeveloped chicks suffer?
Eggs may stop developing for many reasons. The earlier in the process, the less likely the chicks are to have conscious responses. I think, though, that you will have to decide for yourself how you feel about this.
 

MeTxLady

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
65
18
91
So my husband decided he didn't want to do that. He said since she was almost half way to the chicks hatching we'd leave them alone. He wants to buy some larger chickens that are already laying. We built our chickens house large enough to separate it in the middle to add in new birds. Good to know this for future reference though. Thank you!!
 

MeTxLady

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 23, 2015
65
18
91
Just an update in case you are interested. Our hen that had three chicks hatch out about 2 months ago went broody again so we got some of the neighbors eggs and put under her as we were going to do with the other hen and decided not to. Well our chicks are due to hatch on the 4th of July!!! I'm excited to see what we have and praying for all hens as the last 10 bantams that were hatched are mostly roos. :( Anyway, it's kinda like waiting to see if you're having a boy or girl - but instead, which breed of chicks.
 

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