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I am thinking about letting one of my broody hens try to hatch a clutch of eggs. How should I go about this? I guess that I am worried that the most recently laid potential chick will get abandoned because mama will be busy caring for the already hatched. How do you go about getting them to hatch on the same day or close to? I got confused because I was reading an article on the subject and somebody would take the eggs and give them to the broody hen after the person has selected the eggs that they wanted her to hatch (a few days later). :confused: Maybe I am over-analyzing it! Thanks for any tips!
 

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Assuming your broody starts out with eggs all given to her or that she starts sitting on at the same time (i.e., none are added later), they will all hatch within roughly 24 hrs. of each other. Nothing to worry about because mama hen is not going to be in any hurry to leave the nest. She will normally continue to sit with her new brood for a day or two. Most chicks instinctively know to stay put close to or under mama during that time. All you need to do is check occasionally to make sure no adventurous little chicks have gotten too far from the nest.
Chicks don't need to eat for the first three days of life as they are living on the remainder of the yolk that they reabsorb just before hatch, but it's best to offer a small dish of food and a drown-proof waterer close to the nest for both mama and babies.
 

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Let nature do its thing. She will collect the eggs, she will sit the number of days she needs to, she will keep the eggs warm ( and she will leave her nest to eat everyday until the last 3 days). Do not tamper or mess with her or her eggs. Just let nature be. :)
 

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The only thing I did was count how many eggs she had when she starts the Long Sit! I had a Cochin that went broody and just about every other day I would have a Extra egg in the nest . Must have been when she would get off the nest to eat or poop, another hen would lay an egg in her nest! So I kept track of how many and what colors they where from the beginning . When it was close to her time to hatch, I brought her in the basement so the others wouldn't bother her. That's just me being over protective! Good luck!
 

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The only thing I did was count how many eggs she had when she starts the Long Sit! I had a Cochin that went broody and just about every other day I would have a Extra egg in the nest . Must have been when she would get off the nest to eat or poop, another hen would lay an egg in her nest! So I kept track of how many and what colors they where from the beginning . When it was close to her time to hatch, I brought her in the basement so the others wouldn't bother her. That's just me being over protective! Good luck!
I have a setting hen now. I had to build a barricade around the nest she is in because the other girls would get on top of her and lay their eggs on her, then she would push the egg under her and keep sitting. It was the same. she had more and more every day until I built the barrier.
Hens will cram themselves in with a broody hen (despite her protest and pecking), burry their head in the corner of the nest and then lay their egg right next to or on top of her.
She will sit for up to a week after the first one hatches (varies from hen to hen) and then abandon anything that hasn't hatched.
 
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