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Broody hen and introduced eggs, how long?

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I have 3 dutch bantam eggs in the incubator due to start hatching tomorrow and a dutch bantam hen has gone broody today! Common sense suggests that it's far too late to put them under her, but I don't know what cues she uses to switch from sitting to chick care - does it have to be a certain amount of time, or would hatching sounds be enough? She has been a very good mother in the past.

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Gosh, it's rare for a Dutchie to sit!

It's your choice, but I wouldn't jeopardise the hatch by putting them under her at this stage, especially if you have been candling the eggs and are reasonably sure that they will produce. Stick a couple of pot eggs under her now, to give her an idea of what's going on, When the littlies have hatched, wait until it's night and very carefully swap the eggs for chicks. being shut in there at night ought to give her the time (while she is in broody trance) to take to them. It is surprising how quickly they do this.

Good luck!


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Thanks Dogmother! I've had the same advice on another forum, so I'll go with that. Tiny is the broodiest chicken we've ever had and it's usually very hard to break her trance. I allowed her to hatch some eggs last year and she was the perfect mother, so hopefully she'll behave!

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