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Help! Found a clutch of eggs outside the coop!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I couldn't find Emily our boys favorite (and youngest) hen this morning. We let the hens out of the coop during the day to free range, but tuck them back in at night. We have a lot of coyotes out here and try to keep a careful watch on the girls. We also have one rooster, Pepper. Anyway, I finally found Emily tucked away under some morning glory sitting on a nest with 5 eggs in it! She still comes back to the coop at night, so not sure if she wants to stay on the nest or not. Can I move the eggs into a separate nesting box? Do I need to keep her in a separate cage/coop from the others? I'm not sure what to do. I;m happy to let her have her babies if we can move them, but it's not safe to leave her outside the coop at night. Will she abandon them if we touch/move them? They are all clearly hers; she's the only one in our brood that lays blue eggs. Is there a way to test the eggs to see if they are developing? Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 3
If she returns to the coop at night, she is not broody and ready to set. You have simply found her quiet laying spot.
You can crack an egg and look for the bullseye spot that indicates fertility. They will not start to develop until she stays on them.
Edited by Percheron chick - 4/16/16 at 1:35pm
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your quick response! We brought the eggs in and did the 'water test'. They all seem to be fresh. We cracked one open and it did appear to be fertilized. Thanks again!

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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Incubating & Hatching Eggs › Help! Found a clutch of eggs outside the coop!