How Many Eggs Will A Broody Hen Lay?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 26, 2010
One of my Faverolle hens has been sitting on her eggs for 13 days now. There were 6-7 when she took to the nest. Today there are 14!

Will a broody hen keep laying eggs once she starts sitting on them?

Obviously, the other hen is sneaking in there for a bit to help out, I'm just wondering how to figure out when these eggs will hatch. Surely they won't all mature at the same time?

Lisa in Ontario


11 Years
May 23, 2009
A broody hen might lay an egg or possibly even two after she begins setting. One of my broodies added one egg to her clutch after she began.

One reason people separate a broody hen from the rest of her flock is the problem you describe: other hens adding eggs to the nest. Sometimes the broody gets scared away by the other hen pushing her way into the box, and then doesn't get settled back in (or gets on the wrong nest), and the eggs chill. Sometimes the interloper hen breaks the eggs as she climbs in and out. And sometimes you get eggs at different stages of your situation.

If you have no way to tell which are the newer eggs, this is what is likely to happen. When the longer incubated eggs hatch, the hen will leave the nest with these chicks and leave the other eggs behind. A hen will usually linger in the nest a day or three, but that's it. The chicks in the eggs left behind will die unless you have another way to incubate them to hatch.
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Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
My BO went broody on one of her own eggs, and one apiece from two other hens. A couple of days later, she had four eggs in her clutch. I learned from this forum to mark the original eggs and remove the new ones, for that exact reason: hens don't do staggered hatches very well. Luckily, the 4th egg was from yet another hen... and I've now marked the original 3.

Ya gotta brave the broody 'tude to just get those eggs and mark 'em, and check every day, I guess. My Buffy lets me count them under her, but she's not at all happy about me taking them out. It's funny to see her settle back down on the eggs once I give 'em back to her.

I don't pull the eggs out unless there's more there than the original number.

Oh, and I'm not candling them, either.

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