How long can a broody stay off the nest?

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
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I have a broody, well beyond 3 weeks, who likes to take breaks and run with the girls, albeit briefly. While she's gone, sometimes another hen lays an egg in her nest. We're up to 9 eggs. The temp is 70-80-ish. Realistically, how long can she stay off the nest?
 

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
2,720
5,760
392
Trying to determine if I need to break her, or let her be. While she was gone, I had the 9 eggs in hand, but decided to wait a few minutes. Within a minute or two I saw her returning and put them back before she got there.
 

song of joy

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 22, 2012
1,191
664
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Central Pennsylvania
5 to 30 minutes is typical in warm weather, although my broody hens usually don't stay off the nest more than 10-15 minutes per day. In cold weather, broody hens may only stay off the nest for about 5 minutes per day.
 

TheTwoRoos

Crowing
Sep 25, 2015
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Most hens do not get off the nest but for about 10 minutes,some expand,really depends.A determined broody will know how long she is be off and will return when she knows best,bad broodies usually over due the time.
 

aldarita

Songster
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Aug 2, 2012
651
213
211
Brenham TX
You need to stop adding eggs to the nest if you are going to let the broody hatch, otherwise you will have a staggered hatch which means the chicks will hatch in several days and the broody will have to leave the nest to tend to the chicks already hatched (usually after 2 or 3 days) or she will stay on the unhatched eggs and the chicks already hatched will be hungry although they can survive with no food or water for 2 or 3 days. At any rate you will have a mess. What people do is mark the eggs to be hatched and remove the extras.
In warm weather, broodys can stay away from the nest longer.
 

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