New chicks or broody hen with eggs


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 8, 2013
Our hen has been sitting on eggs all month, we didn't educate ourselves and kept adding eggs under after a week or so. We started with 9 eggs. Three chicks hatched this week but have been dead under broody the next morning. We are assuming she is a "bad brooder" and doesn't shift her weight for the babies. 2 of the poor babies died while trying to hatch, just too weak.
As of this morning there are two new ALIVE chicks and broody is still sitting on 2 more eggs. After I candles them there are no pips and no chirping sounds yet. Both have movement inside but appear to me to have a couple more days until hatch time.

Here is my question: with bad broody hens history do we take the remaining unhatched eggs out from momma and make her be attentive to her chicks? Will she harm the living babies if we is still pretty broody? OR ... Should we just wait it out and hope the 2 are alive come tomorrow morning and let broody remain on the unhatched eggs, which do seem viable?
This is our first hatching experience and honestly it has been fun and so educational but also discouraging with only 2 living chicks out of the 9 and waiting for 2 more!!! What do we do!?


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
Normally the mama will sit on the eggs after the first chick hatches for about 24 hours, then abandon any unhatched eggs to take her chicks to learn to eat and drink. The chicks can live up to 3 days after hatch on their yolk. I think I would probably remove any unhatched eggs and see if I could get her up and moving with her chicks at this point. You could leave a couple in the nest that sound like they are alive to see if she will return long enough to hatch them. It's very hard to know what is bst to do for any one chick at this point.

Of course you could put any unhatched ones in an incubator, but you probably would have done that if you had one.

Here is a writeup on how one person manages broodies. Mosr people probably select the eggs to be hatched, mark them with a Sharpie, then put them under the mama all at once. But some people just let nature take its course. There are lots of ways to manage broodies.

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