I have a few questions about Broody Hens

deputychicken21

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 11, 2013
131
15
83
Ozark Alabama
Hello
After 2 years I finally have a broody hen, a Welsummer. She was setting on 8 eggs and only one hatched. The chick is 5 days old now and doing great. The problem is she is still setting on the other eggs. I feel strongly that they wont hatch due to our rooster being in time out for a week before she went broody (he was attacking our ducks). Here are my questions :

Question 1
I read about putting eggs under broodies and removing eggs, but how do I do it? Do Iiterally just stick my hand up under her while shes setting, or do I try to catch her when shes out eating, or run her out or what?

Question 2
Should I remove all the non fertile eggs and allow her to raise the chick before giving her more fertile eggs, or go ahead and remove the old eggs and give her more fertile eggs now while she has the chick?

Any advise would be helpful
Thank you




 
Last edited:

Kev

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
6,517
695
361
Sun City, California
that is not normal. Normally a hen starts 'quitting' the nest within 24 hours of the first chick. if all eggs are of same age when she started then they are no good but you can look up candling eggs if that hasn't been done. If they are sloshy, they are VERY bad and ready to go kaboom, be careful haha...

If you would like or need her to leave the nest for the chick, just pick her up and put on ground with chick and probably need to remove or block access to nests so she can't go back and abandon the chick- that sometimes happens with hens who are more earnest on sitting on eggs than brooding chicks. If that's a covered cat litter box(I use them for nest boxes) just pick up the whole thing, set on ground and remove the top.

Removing or setting eggs depends quite a bit on individual hens. With 'warrior queens' it is best to either do it while they are off nest on a break or calmly, quickly remove them from nest before dealing with the eggs. Otherwise they can break eggs if they go in battle mode while still on the nest. That's biting, beating wings, doing cartoon propeller motions with their legs.

Other hens that object can either just puff up and screech but not do much else.. some will give a good bite but otherwise remain steady on nest. with those you can reach under to replace/remove eggs.

Some hens are so calm and accept being 'bothered' with grace.

I still prefer to lift hen off nest and basically force her to have her toilet break right then, no matter which type of broody they are. They need a break anyways, it's great way of seeing the entire nest, reduce risk of 'oopsies' especially if the hen surprises by biting or pecking and that causes an egg to accidentally slip....

To answer the other questions- you will have to decide between letting her raise the single chick, she will not lay or be broody as long as she is in mother mode. Or removing the chick to care of by yourself, if she remains on the nest it is possible to put a fresh batch of eggs under her. But would make sure she gets off the nest when the second clutch hatches. No way would I recommend letting a hen continue to sit and have a chick with her.
 
Last edited:

lenfrack

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
3
1
8
I have done this many times. Just reach under her and pull out the eggs to candle them. They should be opaque at this point. If not the eggs are not viable.
 
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