How do I remove broody hen off nest so that I can candle eggs ?


6 Years
Aug 17, 2016
How do I remove broody hen off nest so that, I can candle eggs and remove die egg if any ?

I try the remove her but she goes for my hands (got gloves in).

She has 20 eggs under her.
I would not mess with her during the day. Sneak out at night, with a head lamp with red light. Wear a long sleeved jacket, and pull the sleeve down over your hand so you can reach under her, grab an egg, pull it into the sleeve with your hand. You can then candle the egg, and place it in a basket that is well lined with a warm towel. Mark each egg as you candle them. Or you can wait till she leaves the nest for a break, sneak half a dozen eggs, bring them inside to candle them, then return the viable ones.

But, here's the ?. Why do you feel the need to candle them? The more you interfere, the more likely you are to disrupt her brooding. Simply leave her to her business, and enjoy the chicks that hatch. A broody hen will often kick the dead eggs out of the nest or even eat them. That is the way God designed the broody system to work. If she comes off the nest with her chicks, and leaves eggs behind, you can then candle them, and decide if there are viable chicks that would benefit from being incubated.
The hen must come off the nest sometime, if not once a day? Candle the eggs quickly when she is busy elsewhere and she will never know.

I too candle eggs under my broodies. I once had an experienced (but determined) broody sit for three weeks on a batch of shipped eggs that turned out to all be clears. After that waste of time I always candle at least once each batch.
Have been pondering this too.

I have a broody now and I snuck 4 of 7 out last night and candled,
3 were good 1 was clear, I stuck them all back under.
I didn't want to disturb her too much,
at least now I know she's not wasting her time.
She's pretty mellow, doesn't bite or even peck much because I made point of 'handling' her so she's used to it.
I may dig for the back ones in a couple days and remove that clear.

Only my second broody, the other was in the dead of a bitter winter and I never candled at all, had 100% hatch tho.
I don't take the broody off the nest. I just reach under her and slip the egg out, candle it, put it down, slip out the next egg, etc. and in the end put all the eggs back in. If she pecks, whatever. I just endure it. My brother can't stand it and uses gloves.
Why I need to candle the eggs is because I don't know how many weeks, she has sat on the eggs for, as her first nest was hidden before I found it and move her with the eggs to a safer nest box. Also for two to three days she was sat on the hidden nest with snow, so candling for to see if egg are live or die.

I try to candle eggs on the night time and she went for my hands.


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