Hatching Chicks


6 Years
Jul 31, 2013
I have 3 hens and a rooster in a large coop. The hens started a deep nest in an area I can't reach easily. I kept raking the eggs out, then thought maybe they want to go broody so I should leave them. It's been 5 days, and the nest is full of eggs, but nobody sits on the eggs. The nights have been in the 40s and 50s. Will these hens ever sit on those eggs? Would they even hatch if they did, or do they need to stay warm all the time? Why have they chosen such an inaccessible spot to nest if they aren't going to hatch the eggs? Any help appreciated!
That's simply the place where they feel safest while laying. Remove the eggs would be my advice. You will know when a hen is going broody, she'll stay on a nest, and no longer roost, she'll puff up and screech at you if you go near her and will hardly eat or leave the nest. Once she sits for at least 48 hours then you can be fairly certain that she is committed to brooding - then its time to give her some eggs to hatch.
Oh thank you! So the broody hen would sit on the nest from the first egg, and kept it and all subsequent eggs consistently warm? My little monkeys are probably wondering why all those eggs are still there...
No, a hen will lay a clutch of eggs and when she goes broody, only then will she sit on her eggs (and stop egg laying). That way, all the eggs begin incubation at the same time, and hence hatch at the same time. Removing eggs, and keeping them at room temperature, pointed end down, in an egg tray (titling the egg tray, i.e. keeping it an angle of around 45%, and alternating which end is elevated twice daily) is the best way to keep eggs in preparation for incubation / setting under a momma.

ETA: A hen will go broody whether or not there are any eggs, so don't be concerned about removing them)
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Well, I was so looking forward to baby chicks! But I did get 10 lovely eggs! Thanks so much for the advice!

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