Timing is everything. What date? What date?

Pharm Girl

9 Years
Jan 6, 2011
I have a broody SLW. This is the second time she has gone broody, so I've decided to give her a few eggs. We get back from spring break March 19th. I want to time the hatch for when we get back. 21 days right? I know some hatch late, but do some hatch early? If I stick fertilized eggs under her March 8th, that would mean they should hatch the 29th. Is that enough overlap? (eggs go under her March 8th, we leave the 19th and come back the 26th, the eggs hatch the 29th.) Or should I wait longer??????? What would you do?

**In case you're worried about a broody mama all alone, I have a live-in house sitter that will take great care of her. I just don't want to miss the hatch!

My other question is, should I move her? I have two coops. One is new and in the garage. My chickens are quite unfamiliar with it. She's in the coop right now with all the other three, on the favorite nest of course! I can move the others to the new coop, or move her to the new coop. The problem is both have rather steep ramps. I could close them I suppose. I don't have the type of coop to put a dog crate in to separate them. Should I move the broody and upset her, or move the other three and upset them?
IF they are all together she will try to rake in other eggs to hatch and might create problems. I separated mine by moving others out. The time I tried moving the setting hen she left the eggs but I am fairly inexperienced with them with only 2 tries, one successful and one not.
That's kind of what I was thinking. Keep her there and move the other into the new coop. I'll have to work hard to make the old coop safe for chicks though. The ramp has big gaps and such. Maybe I can lay a big piece of cardboard over it. What should i put on the floor? Pine shavings? Her nest is straw and shavings.
I am a newbie myself. But just did the broody hatch with a wyandotte. She did fantastic and is still being a great mom after 5 weeks.

I would recommend moving her out or moving the others out. I moved mine out and put her in a small greenhouse that I could shut the door. So they are locked in there together (mom and babies). They are on shaving and were on straw at first. Now with the mulch that was the greenhouse floor, they have mixed the shavings and mulch together and everyone is fine with that. Mom and babies seem to be pretty adaptable. I moved her at night like what was suggested by others. She did fine. Fussed for a few minutes but then was so thankful for her own little space.

If you keep her in your coop, I would find a way to close up the coop so that the babies can't get out. Or put them in a box. I made our girls nest out of a box from Costco (a fosters farms one at that :) When the babies were first hatched, I put another box in front of the nest. It had not top to it just the sides. So it was kind of like a baby gate that went out a bit from the nesting box. The food and water was inside it all and no babies could make it over the sides but mom could. The nesting box is still in there and now I find them hanging out on top of it!!

Good luck!

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