Took eggs from Broody mamma...need help!


In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 25, 2012
We have a broody mamma who has been for quite some time. We decided to let her hatch some eggs right after our rooster "bit the dust" (he attacked our 4 yr old that was the end of him). We checked on her this morning and another hen had gotten into her nest and probably suffocated the 2 brand new hatchlings (they were still a bit wet)...b/c they were dead :( This was our first time trying and it was sad for us. We tried to wiggle and revive one that we thought might still be alive but it was gone. So we have 4 eggs still (out of about 12) that we know for sure are pipping/peeping. We weren't on the ball enough to realize that other hens would lay in that same hatch where we placed the fertilized many are probably duds. Soooo...we took the remaining eggs to make sure nothing happened to them, but now we aren't sure what to do after they hatch. We have regular nesting boxes in their coop, and the entire outside area of the coop is screened in and rodent/preditor proof...then the area outside where they forage during the day is also chain link and bird netted over top, which is about 45x25. Can we just use a dog crate with hay/feeder/waterer for the mamma and her chicks once they've hatched and put in inside the coop? We don't want to build an entirely new seperate area since we've already put thousands into what we have already! I've read that some people just use a crate for the broody...
We've raised all our chickens from babies, and they are all friendly...many of them hop up on our laps and I don't really worry about them being mean to the babies. But we don't want to have to do the "raising" all over again if we don't have to...since it was a lot of work! Oh, and I have the eggs under a heat lamp right now that we used when our chickens were babies.
Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!!
If your hen is still broody then you could put her in a cage in the coop and give her back the eggs and hope for the best. They may still be able to hatch but you are facing several problems here.
1. You removed eggs from under a broody during hatching. The humidity drop and then putting them under a very dry heat lamp probably just shrink wrapped them/ dried the membrane out to much and the wont be able to hatch at all and will die.
2. If other hens have been getting in the nest and adding eggs throughout the whole time then you will end up with eggs that are 21 days into incubation and eggs that are a day old and everything in between! You won't know how far into the incubation process the each egg is at.......

At this point like I said if there are pips the cover them with a damp rag while under the heat lamp and get a cage up in your coop for mom if she is still broody only. Then put the eggs in and her and see if she lays on them. I think that is about your only hope at this point....

Anyone else with a better idea?
Well 3 ended up hatching (there were plenty of eggs that were just regular yolks...I candled them, and they were still perfectly good!) we put a cookie sheet of water underneath the eggs and then put the eggs on top of raised slotted plastic (it's actually the bottom of a garden starter kit for those small peat moss seed sprouters) Underneath that we have heat tape to warm the water so it will evaporate. We had heard 3 of them peeping/chirping so we knew there were 3 for sure, and they all ended up hatching. We helped them out a little bit since we were concerned about the humidity. We re-introduced them to the mamma last night in a dog crate with food and water and she accepted them! She wouldn't take them in the day time, so we tried again at night and voila! We had put the other eggs back under her first so she would have them to sit on...Today I went to check if any more had hatched but none had. So I took the eggs since she had seemingly abandoned them and wasn't sitting in the nest area anymore. Well I couldd hear one of them scratching around! None of the others seemed to be doing anything but I'm going to candle them and see. So we have our make-shift incubator back in operation and we'll see what happens!

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