I have a hen that's gone broody for a week or so. My hatchery order arrives in about 10 days. Can I let her be broody without eggs under her, and still introduce the chicks at night? Will she reject them if it hasn't been 21 days of sitting?
What breed is she? To make sure they'll accept each other, here's what I'd do. Give her a couple of eggs, golf balls, or anything round for her to sit on for that amount of time. Now save a few egg shells from when you cook. (Let them dry out good) When the new chicks arrive, wait till dark and gently reach in from the rear and replace whatever she was setting on with the empty egg shells. Then bring out the chicks, putting a few under her, again from the rear. She should start clucking when she hears the peeps. That shows she'll accept them. Add the rest later after she accepts that she has babies. Come morning, watch her to be sure everything's ok with her and the chicks. Around noon or so, I'd move her and the chicks to where they can get food & water. Remember, they've been in that box a long time and will need a drink.