Advice on a "secret nest"

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by alaskachicken, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. alaskachicken

    alaskachicken Hatching

    Aug 22, 2013
    Our hens have been laying for about a year now. Their egg production recently dropped off, and I assumed they were molting. Yesterday I discovered a nest full of eggs in the corner, on the ground underneath our chicken coop. I did not know our chickens could fit under there! There are about a dozen eggs, from at least 3 different hens (based on egg color). I used a rake to retrieve the eggs, then put up boards to block off where I think they are entering. Is it possible a hen started a nest down there because she was broody? What % of the day does a broody hen sit on her eggs? I wonder if I should've left them there to see if a hen takes care of them until they hatch... Or throw them out (not sure how long they've been under there). We have 1 rooster and 9 hens. We collect eggs from our nesting boxes every day, so I don't know if I have a broody hen... thoughts?[​IMG]
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you had a broody hen, she'd most likely have been on the nest. She wouldn't be leaving the nest to go to the coop at night, so you'd most likely have noticed if you were missing one when you put them up for the night. You can float them to see if they're any good. I personally would just dump them, but that's me. A broody sits on her nest pretty much all day, just getting up once a day for a short food, drink and potty break. She may also take a dust bath at the same time. Then it's right back on the nest.
  3. Flutterbee

    Flutterbee Chirping

    Aug 11, 2014
    I think you're fine. If you had a hen who had been sitting, you would have found her near or on the nest. Broodies also have this puffy, grumpy look to them so if none of your hens have seemed angry at the world, I don't think they've been sitting. My guinea hen has secret nests all over our property. What stinks is, is that when I remove the eggs from one nest, she gets angry and won't lay in that spot for the longest time. Who even knows where the new secret nest is xD
  4. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Songster

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    ^ X3 Not a broody, just sneaky hens. I also wouldn't risk eating them, as you have no idea how old they are. I always crush and feed back eggs I find like this, to my hens (no I don't have problems with egg-eaters as long as they can't recognize it as an egg). You might also put some dummy eggs in your nesting boxes to get your hens used to them again.
  5. alaskachicken

    alaskachicken Hatching

    Aug 22, 2013
    Thanks for the help! I will dispose of the eggs and bring out the easter eggs for decoys!
    1 person likes this.

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