Do you think a broody hen should get off the nest to eat, drink and poop? Yes, and they will on their own. My point is that you don't need to check. The only reason I responded to your post was that you said that I meant "make sure they get off the nest for food, water (dust bathing which didn't get mentioned but it's difficult to cover everything) and to poop so the nest stays clean." That was not my meaning. Do you think it is good practice to unnecessarily handle the eggs of a broody hen? Unnecessarily handle, no, whether in an incubator or under a broody. You can always drop one and crack it or if your conditions are unsanitary you can introduce bacteria. If your conditions are sanitary that is highly unlikely, still anything is possible. But your comment was "handle the eggs, which can cause physical deformities if done at the wrong time". I have not seen this, I have not read anyone I consider an authority say anything about this. You should not handle the hen or eggs after the hatch has started, you might excite the hen and get her to stomping around defending her nest. The more I interfere the more harm I cause so I try to leave them alone as much as possible. I will try to find at least a link or an author to the studies that show the importance of the first three days of incubation and post later. I'll rephrase this. I'd welcome this to see how is this germane to the subject of handling or candling eggs under a broody hen.