Broody hen advice


Aug 19, 2021
Hi all,

I usually hatch my eggs in an incubator with great success but one of my hens (blue orpington) has went Broody and i would love to let her hatch "the natural way".
She is currently in with the rest of the flock and i have ordered some fertilised eggs online. I have been told it would be best to separate her and put her into a box herself.

Looking for advice on how to introduce the eggs and if there is anything specific I should be doing to make sure she takes to the eggs?

Thanks in advance!

Carter Martin

Jan 28, 2021
Co. Waterford, Ireland
Yes, it probably is best to separate her. If she is actually broody then you can just tuck the eggs under her. And or put them right next to her. You might get peck in the prosses. If you do this she will probably take them and tuck them under her herself.
If she is actually good and broody she shouldn't reject the eggs. You could, to be sure that she is broody, take some store eggs that you don't care about and put them under her and see how she takes it. If all goes well you can take them out and replace them with proper eggs. Though you don't want to disturb her too much. Or she might be discouraged from being broody. But having said this a truly broody hen isn't easily discouraged. You can work for a very long to discourage a broody hen that you don't want to be broody.
Hope this helps and have fun:)


Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
If you are going to separate the hen, do it before you give her the eggs you ordered.

Some hens will quit being broody when you move them, and some hens will pace around for a day or so before they settle down in the new spot. Neither of those is good for the eggs! So I suggest you move her as soon as possible, and let her sit on fake eggs until the real ones get there. (Fake eggs might actually be golf balls or something similar, depending on what you have available-- hens aren't too picky.)

Once you have the hen moved, and she has settled nicely on the fake eggs, you can give her the real eggs at any time. You don't need to do anything special. Of course you should take away all fake eggs when you give her real ones.

You can slip the eggs under her at night, or stick them under in the daytime.
You can sit the eggs near her, one by one, and let her roll them under herself with her beak.
You can put the eggs in the nest when she hops off to eat.
You can lift the hen off, sit her by the food to have a meal, and put the eggs in her nest at that time.

Just make sure you give her all the real eggs at the same time, not on different days. A few minutes difference, or even an hour or so, will not matter. But eggs that start incubating on different days will hatch on different days, and that can be a problem.

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