Help with broody hens

Anne Katherine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
52
3
31
I have two broody hens that sit in adjoining boxes. Whenever one of them goes out to eat the other one will leave her box and sit on the other hen's and vice versa. Is this ok? And how long is too long for my hens to leave the box. And is it ok to handle the eggs when necessary?
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,925
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
That's a hoot. As long as they return to the broody boxes, and not to a box that your other layers are using, it will be ok. Generally they don't stay off the nest long, but I'm not sure what the average is. Did they both start setting the same day? If not, you'll need to keep a very close eye when the first clutch hatches that the still setting broody doesn't leave her nest to help the other broody with her chicks. good luck.
 

Anne Katherine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
52
3
31
They started setting around the same time. Also I want to transfer them to a safer box. Can I move the eggs?
 

midget_farms

Songster
12 Years
Apr 15, 2008
1,359
11
194
Dunlap Illinois
You can move them. But there are risks. They may decide they no longer want to sit. Or they may try to get back to the original box & neglect the eggs. If you move them be prepared to incubate
 

Anne Katherine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
52
3
31
Ok, thanks! I am really excited as the chicks are due Friday through Tuesday. I can't wait!

If any of you have name ideas, we are expecting around 15 - 20 chicks and I will let you know the names I picked :)
 

Anne Katherine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
52
3
31
Just five days away from hatching and having problems. Yesterday, when I went to check on my two biddies I found an eggshell that had a hole in the top about the size of a silver dollar and the egg was completly cleaned out. Today, in the same nest I found another one the same way, except this one had the hole in the side and it had red veins in it as if it had had a chick inside. There are no hatched chicks and I have no other hen to give the eggs to. Does anyone know what is going on and what I should do? I don't want to lose the chicks and don't not know what is going on with the eggs. Please help!
 

midget_farms

Songster
12 Years
Apr 15, 2008
1,359
11
194
Dunlap Illinois
1 chick hatched. An accidental break would not look like that. But a hatched chick will.

It's under 1 of the hens it has to be.

The other is a pip. She is about to hatch too. Might have been sitting on that egg longer than you thought
 

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