So I would say a week old is doubtful but still possible if the personalities and situation are right.
Edited by fisherlady - 5/10/16 at 5:29pm
No. A hen that snaps out of being broody starts the cycle over again-laying eggs; a clutch of eggs, and for most hens that is between 10-15 eggs at the least. Consider letting your hen pick a nest site, replace the eggs as they are laid with dummy eggs, and when the clutch is complete the hen will go broody (hopefully). This works best if the hen does not have to compete with other hens for the nest. Consider canceling or postponing the egg order (unless you have an incubator) until you have a serious broody; I ordered eggs today-they were shipped today, and, with luck, I should get them Saturday.
Try putting the nest back now. Maybe she would go back to the nest and brood, but next week-doubtful.
I'm starting to understand why you would separate broody hens. Here's my update:
I threw away the 3 bad eggs and replaced them with golf balls, leaving each hen in her own nest with 3 eggs/balls. But when I got home from work, both hens were in one nest and the one egg was missing out of the other. After some digging, I found the crushed eggshell deep in the nest. Which theory seems most plausible?
1) The hen(s) crushed or cracked it by accident shuffling around in the nest
2) The "mama" hen pecked it out of frustration or curiosity after I took away her other dead eggs
3) The other broody hen pecked it (I doubt this--her first instinct when she sees any egg uncovered is to panic and sit on it)
4) The non-broody hen pecked it (she has been depressed because her sisters won't leave the coop, and they are blocking her favorite nest box)
Whatever happened, Katy has demonstrated that she is not a responsible mother, so she is now relegated to sitting on golf balls and Taylor has the two remaining eggs. However, when Katy gets up, Taylor goes and sits on the golf balls, leaving her own eggs uncovered. If I take away the golf balls, Katy keeps trying to get at Taylor's eggs and I'm worried they will break them. And then last night I found the two broodies in one nest with the golf balls and Britney, the non-broody hen, was sitting on the eggs. Everyone is confused. It will be a miracle if I get a chick out of this mess!