ok so i just ran into a problem with my broody hen!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 1, 2011
Killen AL
my broody hen has been sitting on 8 eggs for 18 days, this morning i went out to the coop to collect some eggs for breakfast and she was in a different nesting box. there was a hen on the eggs just not the broody hen, my broody was in a nest box with only 1 egg in it? what happened!?
did she get up for breakfast and another hen stole her nest? did she give up with only 3 days to go? What do i do? i tried putting her in her old box and she just got out and flew the coop!
are my little ones doomed?


12 Years
Aug 12, 2009
BuCo, KS
My Coop
My Coop
Unfortunately this can happen sometimes, especially if the hen is low in the pecking order and a hen with higher status decides she wants the nest. It is a good idea to segregate the broody so that she can't be kicked off the nest, and other hens can't lay eggs in the same nest too. It is probably too late to try to move her to a separate location this late in incubation. If she really does not want to return to the nest, do you have an incubator you can fire up and hopefully they're still viable?


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
I've had this happen before. Another hen probably hopped in her nest to lay and would not let the broody back on when she came back from her daily constitutional. If the broody won't stay if you try to move her back when the other hen is off the nest, try just letting her go. She will probably go back on her own, but definitely watch her.

When mine did it, I locked the broody on the right nest for a few hours. I purposely made my nests so I could lock a hen in there if I wanted to. That has come in handy a few times for different reasons. I like to build in flexibility in a coop.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
I have had that same experience with my Mille Fleur. I finally moved her into a tiny coop with a silky buddy who is also broody. Mille hatched 2 babies just yesterday evening and is guarding them like a hawk. I think if you just put her back on them in a dog crate or lock her in with them she will sit on them again. It is pretty hard to break a boroody. Good luck and let us know how it's going.


10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
Pike Co., GA & Palm Beach Co., FL
If she suddenly preffers the other nest, move her eggs to the new nest or, as suggested, use an incubator, if available. Probably if the chicks are alive, you could finish them off in a box with a light and a thermometer. Just mist them with warm water morning and night and cover the box to keep the humidity in. Ya got nuthin to lose by trying. Good luck.........Pop

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