QIhad two broody hens and there was about 10 days between the two hatches. When the first clutch hatched, the second broody hen left her eggs. I know I should have separated them, but I didn’t. She’s actually gone back on, having been off for about 12 hours. The eggs are about 10 days into the incubation. Will they be all right?
VR SAYS: There is a learning curve with broodies! Obtaining matching-time hatching eggs may be difficult if not impossible. If she had not gone back on, you could have tried borrowing an incubator - 12 hours’ cooling in warmer weather should not be a problem. The eggs may take an extra day to hatch, that’s all. Keep her quiet and isolated in the meantime. If the eggs turn out to be dud, you could still keep hatching since your flock is rather more intended for meat than for showing. Build up some egg numbers and then borrow an incubator. Eggs less than 14 days old will give you the best hatching rate. The heavy pure breeds are best hatched early in the year so that they have time to grow economically to their best potential. Bantams or cross-breeds can be hatched all year round, but you would need to give late hatches some light and possibly heat in the darker days to keep them growing. They will no doubt catch up in the spring but will have cost you a lot more to rear.
Checking the eggs under a broody hen