I have a hen that is sitting on two eggs and now have a hen laying eggs in the same nest.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by buddy18, May 29, 2017.

  1. buddy18

    buddy18 Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought it was strange when my broody hen would get off the two eggs that we let her have, another hen would sit on the eggs until the other hen came back and get off the eggs. Now I finally had a look at the nest when they were off it and the other hen has been laying eggs, 5 so far. What happens when the two eggs hatch and there is still 5 more eggs laid on different days? I can't tell which are the original eggs or I would have taken the others.
     
  2. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's common. A hen goes broody, the other lazy 'helpers' look at her and say "oh! Are you doing that thing? Well, since you're doing that 'thing' let me drop off my kids here, I get t call myself a mommy, but you get to do all of the work!"

    Six to eight eggs is about all a broody hen can hatch at once (been there, made that mistake!) If it is at ALL possible, fence off her box, put in a little feed and water just for her, and let those lazy 'moms' take care of their own!

    As for the eggs that are there now ... mark them now. If it is only a couple of days into the hatch, they might hatch as well. A broody will sometimes sit on the clutch an extra day or two for the sake of the unhatched. If her two hatch, and she gets up to dote on them, then it will be time to discard any extras.
     
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  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Mark the eggs today so you can take out all the added eggs later. The hen will stay on the nest for a day after the first chick hatches then take them to forage. Any eggs not hatched when she does this she will toss out of the nest.

    If the broody has access to eggs she will continue to carry them to her nest. It's funny and interesting how they tuck them up under wing then carry back to the brood but it's also aggravating if you don't mark the original eggs. Any marker will do, clear mark for easy collection of new additions.
     
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  4. buddy18

    buddy18 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2016
    I did not know that they carry eggs to the nest! Mine are free range and not in a cage, so they have access to the barn to make nests or they are sneaky and hide their eggs.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    As Egghead said, mark the 5, check every day and remove the rest. If she abandons the other three eggs after the first ones hatch, you can either try to incubate the others, or just toss them. Or, ,maybe you can candle them and get rid of the ones that are less developed than the others, if they're obviously way behind.

    For future reference, next time you get a broody, collect eggs for a couple of days, remove what she's sitting on and give her marked eggs. Easier to remove extras that way. I draw a circle around mine so I can see at a glance no matter what position they're in that they belong there.

    Depending on the size of bird and the size of the eggs, a broody can cover up to a dozen, sometimes more, eggs. The reason the other hens lay in the broody nest is that chickens just like to lay eggs where someone else is already laying. Maybe they figure, "Hey, if she's laying her eggs there, it must be safe since the eggs are still there. No one has found and taken them yet!"
     
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  6. buddy18

    buddy18 Out Of The Brooder

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    Worst part is I don't want anymore chickens! Can't seem to stop them, I feel bad taking the away but no more chickens :)
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If you don't want your hens to hatch more eggs, the best thing to do is break their broodiness. Take her off the eggs, and put her a wire-bottomed, elevated cage of some sort with food and water, but no bedding. You want to cool her belly down. It should be over in 3-5 days. You are the human, so you get to decide how to manage your flock. You are in charge - not the chickens.
     
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  8. buddy18

    buddy18 Out Of The Brooder

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    These chickens just showed up one day and decided to stay. They wouldn't let me pick them and it hurts to be pecked :) I did buy two babies and they let me still hold them but they have no interest in being mommies.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Thick long sleeves, and heavy gloves. Those are your friends!
     
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