Momma hen still has eggs in nest, what to do???


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 24, 2009
South Carolina
I have 4 broody hens setting on about 40 eggs. Two have had one chick hatch out yesterday. I candled the remaining eggs & they are all at different stages (I saw movement in some, some veins in others & some were dark with a small air space). I am afraid that when the 2 chicks are ready to get out of the nesting box & get on the ground to eat, the momma will not continue to set on the remaining eggs. I have one hen with 3 chicks that are about a week old & she took them out of the nest at about 2 days old & did not set on her remaining 3 eggs. I checked them & they were developing so I put them under the other hens. The nesting box is about 3 feet of of the ground & the babies cannot get back in once they are on the ground.
Should I put milk crates on the ground on their side with each hens eggs in them so when they are on the ground with the chicks, they can still set on the eggs? Should I take the chicks away from the momma (I really don't want to) so that she will continue to set on her eggs? Should I put the momma, the eggs & the chicks in a seperate cage? UGH...I just don't know what to do!

In the same coop I have a roo & the hen with the 3 chicks. The roo is very sweet & has not bothered the chicks at all.
Thanks for any ideas or help you can offer!


10 Years
May 26, 2009
who wants to know?
putting the chicks in the brooder sounds like it would work better. if a hens broody, and she still has eggs, she aint gonna come up off of them eggs.
hope this helps! good luck with your chicks!

In His Service

Wise Men Still Seek Him
9 Years
Apr 25, 2010
My broody hen hatched 3 chicks, then got up off the nest. I was afraid to leave them, afraid momma would not go back to the nest. I took the last 6 and put them into my incubator and only one hatched - three days later, the others had died at some point, but we got Hope out of it. I guess mine were at different stages like you described yours, but I had not candled them before while they were under momma. BTW, my momma did not seem to miss the eggs, maybe since she had 3 chicks to care for, and maybe she had given up on the other eggs. Also, we gave her the late bloomer after it dried, and she accepted it just fine.

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