Can broody EE still share nest space with other 2 EEs?


9 Years
Aug 11, 2010
Greenacres, WA
Apparently one of my EEs has gone broody. Since these are my first chickens, and it's kind of neat, I thought I might get her some fertile eggs to hatch. The problem is I only have one nest box. The other 2 pullets apparently get screamed at when they try to use the nest to lay, and I've already found a couple of eggs next to the nest box b/c broodie "Chickie" wouldn't let anyone else on. Will this be an o.k. arrangement for the time being? I feel bad for my two non-broody girls who seem to get frustrated at the lack of nest box access (and there is no room to put a 2nd nest box).

My next question would be, if I do try to get "Chickie" to hatch some chicks, they would be born in early April. It is still very cold here in Eastern WA in April, and we often get snow. I'm assuming that the mama hen is suffient to take care of her chicks without me adding any kind of supplemental heat to the coop correct? It would be so different to co-raise chicks with a mama hen, than my initial experience of the 24/7 heat lamp, indoor brooder, and constant attention I gave to my first 3 chicks when I brought them home from the feed store!
It's possible to leave them as is, but it's ideal to put a broody in her own separate quarters. That way she isn't interrupted by the other hens trying to lay in her nest, and she doesn't get misdirected on her way back from her daily breaks and goes to set on a different nest, letting her egglings cool. It's also more difficult to have to check daily for any new fresh eggs added to the broody's clutch, more likely that developing eggs get moved & broken.

Perhaps you can try now to move your broody and see if she'll stay setting in the new location. There's been a lot of discussion on this in other threads, what she'll need & how to move her (after dark). If she stays setting then you can get fertile eggs to give her.

Most hens are capable of tending to their chicks' needs, even in very cold weather.

Watching a hen raise chicks is really enjoyable, for you & your kids. But have a plan in place for all the roosters you'll hatch, and any hens that you cannot keep past your limit.

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