TOO MANY EGGS? UPDATE and questions......


10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
Humboldt County
This was regarding my small bantam hen sitting on 17 eggs.
I moved her to an unused rabbit hutch/brooding house and added another broody hen and nest box. I put 7 of the eggs under the new mommy. Yesterday morning we had peeping babies - 4 under the new hen, and several under the original setter. In the afternoon, 2 of the babies were on the floor, dead, and the new mommy was in with the orig. mom, and they seem to be cooperating. I removed the 2nd nest box. This AM there were at least 8 babies, and the remaining eggs hadn't hatched yet.
#1. Do you (anyone) think the mommies will hatch out the remaining eggs?
#2. Do you think the 2 mommies will continue to cooperate, or will they fight over the babies? I was planning to put everyone in an outdoor enclosure (predator-proof, with wire on top as well) when the babies are more mobile. The brooding coop is too small for more than 3 or 4 babies.
Thanks in advance for any responses.
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I have read that a mama bird has to be sitting at least ten days before the babies hatch for her to be mothering them, otherwise she may kill them. If a hen has been sitting for ten days or more and some of the eggs hatch and the chicks stay with her more than a day, she will go off of being broody and leave the nest with whatever chicks have already hatched and abandon the other eggs even if they are pipped and/or peeping. You have to remove any freshly hatched chicks, put them in a brooder, (dust them for mites just in case, including the mama) and let her hatch the rest, removing them as soon as they are dry preferably, and when all have hatched that look like they are going to, you slip the extra chicks back under the mama hen at night and cross your fingers and hope for the best, or just keep them in the brooder and raise them yourself.

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