After a few years of raising chickens I finally have my first broody hen. She has spent the last 5 days in the same nesting box on 9 eggs. I've seen her get off for food and water but she has gone right back. Tonight I found her in another nesting box with only one egg. In her former spot there were over 20 eggs!. I'm wondering if she left her nest and other chickens came in and took over to lay more eggs, thus keeping her out. Tonight when I saw she only had one egg, I gave her a few others that were laid today and put them in front of her. She quickly scooted them under herself and seemed happy. Should I separate her? I was afraid to move her before as I didn't didn't want to disturb her but now I'm thinking that might be best. Is there any chance she will stay with this new batch of eggs till they hatch? Thanks, jen
Help, have question about broody hen
I would move her or mark the eggs you put underneath her.
Check out the broody hen thread - http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=130610
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You should probably put her in her own space. If the other hens are laying in her nest, that's going to mess up her "due date" and may crowd out the eggs you want hatched. She can only keep so many warm.
And if she's switching nests she needs to be isolated, so that she only has one nest to go back to. I put my broodies in a dog crate with food and water. I leave the dog crate in the coop so she can see her coopmates, but they can't lay in her nest or eat her food.
Others will crowd thier way in, I always mark mine, so when egg count goes up you know which ones are new. I also block broodies in so they dont get bumped out. Seems that if they get bumped out they will go to the next available nest, and start over. Problem is that the other hen doesnt continue sitting after she lays her egg.
Thats how important it is to separate a broody hen from a flock. You will not disturb her if you separate her at night. She won't even notice. In fact, she'll be even more comfortable than being in a nest were all the hens are disturbing her.
Happy Hen Hatching!