10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
Karachi, Pakistan
I have 4 hens and a rooster, one of the hens got broody and sat on just 2 eggs. I eat all their eggs so i didnt have any left to keep more under her. Now the other hens lay eggs and push those eggs with their beaks towards her. She then uses her beak to place the egg under her. I have never seen or heard of this happening. I'm worried that the eggs she sat on first will hatch first and she will leave the rest of them. They are all of different breeds and god knows what kind of chicks i'll get.

Does any one know how this works. This has been happening for the past week and she now is sitting on 10 eggs.

How do i make her more comfortable?
Do i have to do anything when the eggs hatch?
What can i do to get a better hatching ratio?
if i understand what your saying, ussualy the hen wont start "incubating" untill all her eggs are there. you dont have to worry about them hatching at much different times, the chicken is a good mom
Might I suggest you read this thread. I think it will help.

Isolate a Broody? Thread

The other chickens like to lay in a nest where there is a broody and a broody hen will normally accept any and all eggs she can get. Nothing unusual at all in the behavior you've seen.

How do i make her more comfortable?

As mentioned in the above thread, you can either isolate her or not. People are successful both ways and chickens have been hatching eggs both ways for centuries. There are risks both ways. The hen right now is not worried about being comfortable. Her hormones have her thinking of nothing but hatching eggs and raising babies. If you isolate her, make sure she has access to food and water and a place to go poo whenever she wants to get off the nest, which is probably once a day. If you don't isolate her, I'd suggest tossing her off the nest once a day when you check for new eggs, preferably late in the day but before dark. She'll probably eat a bite, get a drink, take a poo, and maybe take a quick dust bath before jumping back on the nest. Other than this, the less you bother her the better and more comfortable she will be.

Do i have to do anything when the eggs hatch?

You do not have a normal situation since eggs have been added. I'll get to that in a minute. Normally, you have a decision to make. Do you let her raise them with the flock, do you isolate her and her chicks so she can raise them away from the flock, or do you take them away from her and raise them yourself. People have been successful for centuries doing it all three ways.

Since eggs have been added, you will get a staggered hatch. You have some options, none of them real easy. You can just let her go and when she decides to bring the ones that have hatched off the nest, accepting that the others won't hatch even if they were developing. You can do the same but try putting any eggs left in an incubator or hatcher, trying to get more chicks. To me this is the most risky but people have done it. You can remove the chicks as they hatch and dry off, put them in a brooder, and raise them yourself. If you remove them as they hatch she may stay on and hatch the others. After 21 days from the last day that a new egg was put in the nest, you can let her keep and raise any chick that hatches. You can even try to give her back any chicks to raise that are only a few days old. There is a pretty good chance she will accept and raise any chick that is only 2 or 3 day sold if you slip them under her at night. But you will wind up raising some yourself and they will be of slightly different ages. It's all doable but messy.

What can i do to get a better hatching ratio?

If you are going to let a hen hatch the eggs for you, save up all the eggs you want her to hatch, mark them so you know which they are, and start them all at the same time. Remove any new eggs that find their way into her nest.

Hope this helps. The situation is messy but not hopeless and it is a great learning experience for you. The next time should go a lot smoother.

If you want to, you can tell us the breed of the rooster and hens or post photos and we might be able to tell you what the chicks will look like.

Good luck!!!
Thanks for the replys. I took her off the nest and marked the eggs with a permanent marker. She didnt have food or anything she just came back to the nest and sat back down. She started with 2 eggs and there are 10 now I dont know which ones are new and which ones are old so i'll just let her sit on them all. I'll check for new eggs tomorrow and remove them. Its been a week now so i'm expecting a few eggs to not hatch.

I hope I have at least a couple of new chicks.

I know a few people who also had chickens, they told me that they would collect 10-12 eggs and then make a hen sit on them. That worked a 100% of the time. so if after a couple of hatches she gets off the nest, can I make another hen continue till all of them are hatched??
If you have another broody you could try it. When this same situation happened to me (in September!) I did not have another broody so I had to sacrifice the remaining eggs...all fertile but one
It made me very sad but there was nothing to be done! Good luck! Terri O

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