Laying Hen - need advice!


6 Years
Dec 8, 2015
I purchased a hen for my tom a couple weeks ago, both are Bronze.
I need advice on "breeding", I guess you could say! I don't know much about it.
Her previous owner told me that she's been laying fertile eggs for quite some time. She took 6 of her eggs and put them under a broody chicken hen, and all hatched successfully.
Fast forward to now... My hen has laid 6 eggs in her nest box over the last week. Am I better off gathering these and putting them in an incubator, or should I leave them for her to sit on? I've heard that there's a magic number hens reach before they start sitting on the nest. However, I've also heard that some heritage breeds don't sit on their nests well.
How long should I wait for her before I gather them for the incubator? I know that as more time passes, the rate of survival for the eggs decreases (if they're fertile that is).
Any and all advice would be helpful and appreciated! These guys are pets of mine, but I'm very excited at the thought of offspring!
If you are unsure as to whether she will go broody, then I'd remove the eggs (store them pointy end down, at room temperature but a cool room). Viability decreases with time. I usually keep eggs for max 7 days before setting, but eggs can remain viable for considerably longer.

May be you could put some eggs in the incubator, as well as letting her sit on some eggs just to see if she will hatch?

My hens will set at the drop of the hat. I have some on their 2nd nest of the year.

If you remove her eggs replace them with chicken eggs. Then when she goes broody replace with her eggs.

Avg clutch of eggs is 7 to 9.

The general rule on storing eggs for hatching is 10 days. But I had some that were in the fridge for about 3 weeks decided to incubate some and set those. Out of 6 set 3 hatched.

Good luck
Thank you guys! Update:
She's sitting on the nest this morning. Last I checked, there were 8 eggs in it. Can you guys tell me how often she's supposed to be on the nest vs. how often she's supposed to be out walking around, eating etc?
(Like I said, I'm a total newbie at any of this!) Thank you in advance!
It will depend on the hen.

I've had some that set and you have to force them off to eat and drink.

Others about once a day or every other. For a drink quick bite of food. And a broody poop.

Watch those poops. They are stinky and huge.

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