I've been searching BYC for an answer to my question and havent found what I'm in need of....at least not yet. Theres sooooooo many threads, I may have simply not found it. So please forgive this thread if the answer is some where else...maybe ya'd be kind enough to direct me to it. First timer with chickens and broody hens..... I know I havent done things quite right.....I'm exposing my lack of expertise here We had 3 hens go broody last month and decided to go ahead and try to hatch a few eggs, but they all wanted to set on the same batch. After secluding one hen and failing to get a live hatch from a couple eggs, we placed another hen in the "delivery room". She has been setting on 5 eggs very nicely since June 5th. However, I made the mistake of not collecting a clutch to place under her at the same time and added eggs as I found them over a course of a week I used pencil to date the eggs but apparently that got rubbed off by the hen .... that created a problem when candling and I've been checking BYC to compare what I'm seeing to try and date the development stage. I think that 4 of the eggs are a the 14-17 days, while the 5th egg made chirping sounds and today it has pipped. That means the other eggs have approximately 4-7 days till hatch time. I hadnt planned on having the hen raise the chicks, I was going to use the brooder tank to raise a closed flock to replace the older ones that we bought from a lady in town ( and had NO clue what we were getting health wise ) Is my thinking right or wrong about removing egg #5 to the brooder tank ( IF we get a live healthy hatch) and with each hatching egg there after, HOPEFULLY encouraging the hen to continue to set on the remaining 4 eggs? Yer input is appreciated.