HELP!!! Momma hen was off her eggs!


Mar 20, 2015
I have 4 hens and one went broody. So we put 5 fertilized eggs under her to hatch. She has been doing great - 2 1/5 weeks in! I came home today and she was in the opposite nest box sitting on an unfertilized egg - and the other eggs were cool! Looks like when she got up to eat one of the other hens went into her nest box and laid and egg. So she came back and got into the opposite box.

I have 2 nest boxes - she has been in one and the others lay in the 2sd one. UNTIL TODAY...I did put her back onto the correct eggs. Will they still hatch?

Petra Pancake

Jul 15, 2016
In the suburbs of Tel Aviv
I had just the same problem: my broody also ended up in the wrong box last week and let her eggs cool down, don't know for how long, could have been up to half a day. They are due to hatch this Tuesday or Wednesday - hope they make it. I've got a second broody isolated in a dog cage - at least she can't take a wrong turn...


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Obviously it's not a good thing to happen, but it's pretty common. I've had that happen before and do what you did, put her back on her eggs. One specific time the eggs were really cold to the touch, she'd probably been off of them most of the day for them to be that cold. She still hatched 11 of 11. Surprisingly she was two full days early with her hatch. You'd think that might delay the hatch but not in her case.

Usually it has no effect but of course it depends on how cold they get and for how long. That's probably the most common problems with letting a broody hatch with the flock.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 1, 2012
Northern Alberta, Canada
Similar here too. My eggs were suppose to have hatched this pipping. Eggs are dark through out and my broody decided sittings not for her anymore. When she'd get up to stretch her legs the others would come in an lay in that spot (it's a favourite). I took them in an popped them into my bator...though of the ones in there only one has opted to start coming out & it's not really made an progress since I noticed the pipping yesterday afternoon.

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