Broody Hen Question~


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
I have 3 bantam cochins who love to go broody on me
I have 1 blue and 2 blacks. So the blue went broody last week so I put a fertile silkie egg under her. The egg is developing things are going well etc. Well this morning I went out, I have an 8 hole nesting box. One of my black cochins went broody and the blue is still broody but is now on the top row and the black is on the bottom. The blue was on the egg on the bottom right. She is now on the top middle. So I search for the egg and its not in the bottom right or the top, nope its in the bottom middle with the black hen. My question is, why would they swap spots and now the black is on the egg instead of the blue? Is that normal? This is my first time trying to naturally incubate so I really never paid attention if they moved spots or anything before since there was nothing under them to worry about. I just thought it was odd or maybe I just have odd chickens??
Last edited:
They are not called birdbrains for nothing. I never had a broody change nests but it seems a common occurrence for some. Silkies seem the worst, but cochins can certainly do it too. Probably because they will brood on anything, even air.

Especially since you have two that are broody, you might try isolating one in an enclosed area with food and water where she cannot get confused about which nest to set on. Test her with a fake egg to confirm she has accepted the switch, then put the real egg under her and break the other broody. If the first one does not stay broody, you still have the other broody to try to hatch the egg.

Good luck!
I have a Buff Orpington pullet who just went broody. I gave her a few days to be sure (since she is a young pullet 24 wks) that she would stay on the nest. Seems the other layers were "bullying" her off the nest and she would change to another. So I moved her to the far left nest and ran a small temp fence around her nest and a small area of the coop. I put seperate food and water in "her area" and she is doing great.

She comes off the nest to get food and water and back to the nest she goes.... I feel a little guilty that she doesn't get to go out in the run but hens really don't stay off the nest that long anyway while broody. She is going to make a great momma
Last edited:
There are 2 great reasons to separate a broody hen from the rest of the flock: 1, so the other hens won't shove her off the nest & add their own eggs to her clutch, and 2, so she doesn't get confused on her way back to her nest after her daily coffee break. It seems to be the most confusing when the broody is nesting in an area where there are many similar nest boxes in a row.

You can try to move the broody to a separate pen/box (this is best done well after dark) or just fence off a little area around her nest site. She just needs a little space to get up each day, usually only once, to eat, drink, and drop an enormous poop. If space allows, they also like to take a little dust bath every so often.

Check on her daily in the nest, make sure fire ants aren't building a nest under her nest, make sure mites aren't bothering her. I keep a little trowel handy to scoop out the poop boulders. You shouldn't have to force her off her nest, she'll know when it's time for her coffee break.

I think it's okay to have your 2 broodies going at the same time, okay that they've swapped eggs. But you should separate them now so they don't get interrupted or confused any more.
You can do your figuring during daylight hours, but it would probably be best to wait until after dark to do anything that might disturb the hens. Some broodies are very self-determined & will set on their nest through a hurricane. But others are more easily disrupted and may quit the job if they feel too disturbed.

If I have to move a broody to a new place I'll make it extra dark for the first few days, hanging feed sacks or something to block much of the light. Then when I see she's settled into the nest I can give her a bit more light & airflow.

Let us know how your hens progress with their projects!
Thank you so much!! I really appreciate the help
I would love a natural birth on one of my eggs so I am doing everything I can to make that happen

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom