Hatching questions


Apr 29, 2015
I have a chicken that went broody and on Monday I realized she was sitting on the eggs (4). Another was laid in that box on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday which she has gathered up under her. Do I start the count of days on Monday or on Thursday? Also, do I need to remove her and the eggs from the regular nesting box (I have another) or cn I leave her where she is?

Any help will be much appreciated.
If she's been full time sitting since Monday, you have a problem, because the first day for the first four eggs was Monday, the first for the Tuesday one was Tuesday, the first day for the Wednesday one was Wednesday, etc. That means that the first eggs are going to hatch a full three days before the last egg, and the hen is either going to abandon those eggs to take care of her chicks, or she is going to ignore the chicks and potentially let them die to keep sitting on the eggs that haven't hatched yet. You could have an even bigger problem because if you noticed she was broody on Monday but you're not certain that she didn't start that day, the hatch could be even more staggered if she started sitting on some eggs before Monday and the others were laid in her nest after she started.

The first thing you need to do is make sure no more eggs are laid in her box, either by blocking it off and going out once a day to let her off the nest and then closing her back up when she's done or marking the eggs she has now and removing any newly laid eggs each day.

To solve the problem of the staggered hatch, you're going to need to either take the chicks from her as they hatch and brood them yourself indoors until the last one hatches and then try to give them all back to her, which she may or may not accept, or you're going to need to remove the eggs that were laid later and put them in an incubator once her first chicks hatch and hatch them on your own, and then either raise them yourself or try to give them to her. Again, she may or may not accept them.
Thanks for the information. I really appreciate it. I know that the 4 eggs she was on Monday were laid that day since I gather eggs everyday. I've tried to get the other hens to use a different nesting box and had some success but I've had to grab some out of her box a couple of times. After reading some of the other posts I realize I can't let her sit too long after the first chicks hatch so I'm prepared for taking away the other eggs.

Can you tell me if I need to separate her and the chicks when they come or can they stay with the rest of the flock?

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