Broody hen has chicks and eggs left. what to do?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 30, 2011
Coastal Washington (Raymond)
This is our first time hatching using a broody hen.

Our broody hen has hatched three chicks four days ago. She still has about 12 eggs under her. Now the chicks are starting to explore and momma is off the nest trying to keep them together. She does go back to the eggs when we put the babies back in the nest.

My questions....

Are the eggs still viable? Should we take the eggs and let her focus on the chicks she has? Or should we build a confined area for her and her brood?

Next time we will build the confined area before hatch date, but what is the best steps for this time?
If she's just off for a short bit, I'd think they still would. If you can, put some cardboard box around her, or box her babies in as well as possible. Put some feed and water directly in front of her, and then the babies can get food w/o wandering.
The eggs were gathered by the hen within a week of eachother. I think we'll take the eggs and let her focus on the chicks. We are rebuilding our coop this summer, will definately plan in a broody area that we can confine for next time!
If you were planning on hatching the eggs, I wouldn't recommend it, but you could candle them to see if there is anything ready to hatch. I've had a hen who sat on a nest for an extra week and a half to hatch out extra eggs she had stole.

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