Hello chicken lovers! I have had my flock for almost 7 months and I recently noticed I have a broody hen. She has been sitting on her eggs for almost 2 weeks. Where I live it's been pretty cold, ranging from the 20s to 40s. I don't know if I should let her hatch them or if I should bring her inside the garage with them??? I'm not sure, I need some advice please!
If her current nest is in a location that is under cover and predator proof and where the chicks can't fall out of the nest after they hatch, then I would leave her where she is. Make sure that other hens aren't laying eggs in her nest or if they are, mark her eggs and remove any new ones each day. If you move her now, there is a chance that she will give up, so I wouldn't move her unless she is in an unsafe place. Chickens can withstand quite cold conditions as long as they are dry and have access to good food and water, so the cold alone would not be enough cause to move her in my opinion. She will keep the chicks warm just like she is keeping the eggs warm now.
I assume you have a rooster and they are likely to be fertile eggs. It wouldn't be fair to leave her sitting on eggs that have no chance of hatching.
It's not unusual for that to happen, which is why it's usually suggested to mark the eggs you set and remove any unmarked eggs on a daily basis.You could candle them and remove any with little or no development. How many eggs does she have? If it is her first time broody, I would reduce the number of eggs down to the most developed looking five or six and mark them now, so that you can identify and remove any new eggs from here on in.
The other option, if you have an incubator, would be to leave all the eggs under her and 2days after the first chicks have hatched, remove any unhatched and place them in the incubator to finish them off and sneak those chicks back under the broody at night once they are dry although if there are too many of them she will be unable to cover them all, so probably best to weed out the least developed ones now.
To candle them you just need a good torch and a dark room or thick towel over your head to block the daylight out. If you do some research on what to look for you should see a significant difference between the new ones that have just been recently laid and the 2 week old ones.