Find your broody hen.,
Sneak the eggs under the hen.,
Separate the brooding hen and her eggs from the other chickens.,
Keep the mother well fed.,
Let the hen hatch the eggs.,
Let the mother raise the chicks.,
Try to keep them separate.,
Provide plenty of clean water and fresh food.,
Introduce the chicks to the flock.
You can use fake eggs to test for hens that may be more broody than others. If your hen will sit on the fake eggs for 24 hours, then she will most likely successfully incubate eggs for 21 days.
, This will be easiest at night, while the hen is sleeping. Depending on the breed, she may be able to incubate up to 12 eggs. Smaller breeds may only be able to fit 6 or so. All the eggs need to be able to be covered when she roosts.
, If you can, separate the new mother and her eggs from the rest of the flock to prevent them from getting dirty or damaged. If your hen is resistant to moving, then leave them where they are or move the hen and her nest overnight.
Warning: Moving any hen while she is setting may cause her to abandon nest, so if these are expensive eggs, have a back up plan in place.
If you can’t separate them, try to keep the other chickens from bothering the new mother as much as possible.
, Make sure that the mother hen has plenty of fresh water and food. You can switch the hen to chick starter food so that the chicks have the correct food right away. The hen won’t eat as much as normal. Watch her and make sure that she is eating and drinking. You may have to remove her from the nest or set her a food and water dish right beside her nest. Hens will sometimes refuse to leave the nest to eat or drink and starve to death.
, When the eggs start hatching, don’t disturb the hen. She will help the chicks hatch. Eggs begin hatching around the 21st day, and the process can take up to 24 hours or more. Most of the eggs should hatch around the same time. After hatching has started, remove any unhatched eggs after about two days.
, If you opted to have the eggs hatch naturally, the mother will provide all of the necessary warmth and care for the chicks, and you will not need to put them in a brooder.
, For the first six weeks, try to keep the chicks and the mother separate from the rest of your flock. This will allow them to get their bearings without being picked on by the other chickens.
Provide a brooding area that the hen can enter and leave but the chicks can’t leave. This will help keep them out of trouble.
, Chicks need specific blends of food to grow up healthy, so make sure that there is plenty available. Different feeds will recommend changing types after a certain amount of time (6 weeks, 3 months, etc.).
, After about 6 weeks, the chickens will be ready to be introduced to your flock. Introduce them slowly, and ensure that everyone is getting along before moving them in permanently. The mother hen will help keep other chickens in line during the transition process.