First foray into hatching

madlaina

Chirping
May 12, 2018
56
125
73
Victoria, Australia
We have another broody hen and this time decided to source some fertile eggs to put under her and see what happens.

She has been sitting on some unfertilised eggs for a few days and we got a dozen fertile eggs yesterday. We tried to move the hen into a separate pen, as she was sitting in one of only two nesting boxes, and give her the new eggs to sit on - that ended in disaster: Two broken eggs and one very unhappy hen who absolutely refused to sit on the eggs. So after a few hours of waiting I moved the remaining eggs and the hen back into the nesting box - she promptly got up and stalked away from the nest protesting. I decided to leave her for the night and check on her in the morning.

This morning she was back on the nest. She had chucked 6 of the 10 eggs out, which resulted in two more broken ones, but was sitting on four eggs. I discarded the broken ones and placed the other four back in the nest near her. When I just checked on her just now, 4 hours later, I couldn’t see any eggs either next to her in the nest or outside the nest. I hope that means she has now taken all 8 remaining eggs. So now we wait.

I am also hoping the 4 eggs that spent the night outside the nest will be ok, as she never sat on them in the first place and it wasn’t cold overnight.

I intend to leave the hen where she is, as she clearly does not agree to being moved, and have set up our second small pen for additional egg laying space for the other chickens.

To make sure we disturb her as little as possible the kids are now on a strict egg collection roster.
 

alexa009

Crossing the Road
Apr 6, 2017
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Texas
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Why does she keep breaking the eggs? I wouldn't trust her not to break the rest as you go further into incubation. Some breeds are more clumsy than others and also have bigger spurs causing the eggs to crack.(Shamos for example). Is she just breaking some because she can't fit a certain number of eggs under her? Then in that case I would let her brood. Just don't let her brood too many eggs if she has a hard time trying cover them all or you won't get a really good hatch rate due to some of the eggs not developing.
 

madlaina

Chirping
May 12, 2018
56
125
73
Victoria, Australia
Why does she keep breaking the eggs? I wouldn't trust her not to break the rest as you go further into incubation. Some breeds are more clumsy than others and also have bigger spurs causing the eggs to crack.(Shamos for example). Is she just breaking some because she can't fit a certain number of eggs under her? Then in that case I would let her brood. Just don't let her brood too many eggs if she has a hard time trying cover them all or you won't get a really good hatch rate due to some of the eggs not developing.
Actually, the first two broken eggs were my fault. One I accidentally cracked against the side of the pen when she tried to peck me. The other one was in my hand when again she tried to peck me and got the egg instead. The other two got cracked when she rolled them out of the nest and they fell on the coop floor. I think she only did that because of the whole moving debacle, as she appears to have now accepted all of the remaining eggs.
 

alexa009

Crossing the Road
Apr 6, 2017
4,183
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Texas
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Actually, the first two broken eggs were my fault. One I accidentally cracked against the side of the pen when she tried to peck me. The other one was in my hand when again she tried to peck me and got the egg instead. The other two got cracked when she rolled them out of the nest and they fell on the coop floor. I think she only did that because of the whole moving debacle, as she appears to have now accepted all of the remaining eggs.
Oh, Ok! I would definitely let her brood then! I hope you post pics when the chicks come!
 

L1sa

Songster
Jan 25, 2017
432
1,001
211
South Australia
It is one of the hardest things to do, move a broody! I have had very similar stories to yours on 2 seperate occasions, always resulting in broken eggs.

The last time, (only a few weeks ago) I allowed her to do the hatching in the main nest box as she refused to move. I then moved her once she had live chicks, she was easy to move then!

Next broody I get, I am determined to get her to move before I give her any fertile eggs as my last hatch was a bit of a disaster. And not all of it was her fault. She broke some, I collected some by mistake, some were rolled out of the coop and got cold, we only got 1 to hatch in the end and had to buy her some day old chicks. I've set up a little brooder box inside the run, that she is using now for her and the chicks and it would be perfect for a broody hen to sit and brood and not be disturbed. I am determined!!

Good luck, hope the brood goes well.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2018
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We have another broody hen and this time decided to source some fertile eggs to put under her and see what happens.

She has been sitting on some unfertilised eggs for a few days and we got a dozen fertile eggs yesterday. We tried to move the hen into a separate pen, as she was sitting in one of only two nesting boxes, and give her the new eggs to sit on - that ended in disaster: Two broken eggs and one very unhappy hen who absolutely refused to sit on the eggs. So after a few hours of waiting I moved the remaining eggs and the hen back into the nesting box - she promptly got up and stalked away from the nest protesting. I decided to leave her for the night and check on her in the morning.

This morning she was back on the nest. She had chucked 6 of the 10 eggs out, which resulted in two more broken ones, but was sitting on four eggs. I discarded the broken ones and placed the other four back in the nest near her. When I just checked on her just now, 4 hours later, I couldn’t see any eggs either next to her in the nest or outside the nest. I hope that means she has now taken all 8 remaining eggs. So now we wait.

I am also hoping the 4 eggs that spent the night outside the nest will be ok, as she never sat on them in the first place and it wasn’t cold overnight.

I intend to leave the hen where she is, as she clearly does not agree to being moved, and have set up our second small pen for additional egg laying space for the other chickens.

To make sure we disturb her as little as possible the kids are now on a strict egg collection roster.

I’ve had similar problems with egg breakages with sitting hens.
I believe I may have found a way to reduce this and make sitting for a hen more comfortable.
See this article.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...e-make-a-sitting-hens-job-so-difficult.74389/

I think many people allow the hen to sit on more eggs than she can manage to control. Egg control is vital for successful hatching.

You can move broody hens but it takes patience. The longer a hen has been sitting the easier it has been in my experience.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Next broody I get, I am determined to get her to move before I give her any fertile eggs
This is key, IMO.
I move them with fake eggs once I know they're broody(and I want them to hatch) I usually wait 2-3 days/nights. If they are seriously broody, they get over being moved within a day and set the nest, then I wait another couple days before giving fresh fertile eggs.
 

madlaina

Chirping
May 12, 2018
56
125
73
Victoria, Australia
I actually tried to move her with her infertile eggs a couple of days earlier without success. That should have given me a hint. We will leave her where she is and move her and the chicks as soon as they have hatched
 

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