Broody hen; egg hatching experiment

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LNGSMITH, Sep 9, 2016.


    LNGSMITH Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2016
    I've got a 6 month old chicken who has been laying on other chickens eggs for almost 3 weeks now. My hubby and I have actually placed one of our ducks eggs up into the nesting box to see if she would sit on it and she did for a whole day before we took it out. My husband wanted to try and see if she will lay on some fertilized duck eggs so he purchased some (we have all female birds) and we should receive them today, however my concern is when we put the fertilized eggs into her nest, the, our other chickens will still need to lay eggs... my question is do we need to secluded her so she can lay on the eggs for them to hatch, or will other chickens coming in and laying eggs in the same nest as her affect the hatching process while she sits on them??? We have other nests for them to sit in, but all the chickens favor the one box for the most part.....
  2. JHortonx5

    JHortonx5 Just Hatched

    Jul 6, 2016
    Apex, North Carolina
    I can't answer the question of separating the brooding hen, but since you're experimenting, put 2 or 3 golf balls in another nest and see if the other hens will start laying in that nest. We're doing this and it's pretty funny that we can move the golf balls and our hens follow them.
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I would leave the broody where she is and make some sort of cover for her nest, so that the other hens can't get in. Open it up once a day for her to get out have something to eat and drink and poop and then close her back in again when she returns. If you move the broody and don't fasten her in, she will return to the nest she has been sitting in for the past few weeks and leave your fertile eggs at the new site to get cold as she will be programmed to the place she is currently setting. Also look at making the other nest boxes more attractive for the other hens..... curtains usually help as hens prefer a dark secluded place to lay.

    You can of course leave things as they are and just remove the hens eggs every day, but there is a risk of eggs getting broken... probably more likely hens eggs than duck eggs since they have tougher shells.... and that could contaminate the hatching eggs, so my advice would be to fasten her into the nest site she has chosen (make it dark, so that she doesn't panic to get out when you are not there. They happily sit in the dark until you open it up and then the light brings them out of their trance like state and they get off and have a broody break and 15 or so mins later they climb back on and you fasten them in. In my opinion this is far better than other hens climbing all over them and laying in their nest when they are trying to brood and obviously prevents the risk of hatching chicks being squashed.



    LNGSMITH Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2016
    We have tried placing ceramic eggs in other boxes but my broody chicken keeps placing them in her nest ha...... one othere chickend has also laid an egg in the box next to hers as well but she also grabbed her egg and moved it into her box...
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016

    LNGSMITH Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 24, 2016
    That's what we figured would be the case.... I will see what we can do about fastening the nesting box :) thank you tons for all the information! !
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It can be advantageous to separate a broody from the flock, ideally separate just by wire giving her enough room to get up and stretch, eat, drink, poop.
    Separate her first and give her some fake eggs to make sure she will set in the new place, might take a day for her to settle back down.
    Then give her the fertilized eggs you want her to hatch.

    Lots of info and good place to ask questions in this thread

    ETA: do you know duck eggs take longer than chicken eggs to incubate and hatch?
    If she's been setting day and night for 3 weeks, check to make sure she's in good condition before letting her sit another 28 days.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016

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