One hen replacing another on nest

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by onegreenfrog, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. onegreenfrog

    onegreenfrog New Egg

    Feb 22, 2013
    I'm new to brooding and hatching out eggs and would love some advice! We had one hen (one-eye) broody for a long time, so we decided to put some fertilized eggs under her. We kept her in the original nest box - we have 3 lined up on a wall - which may have been a mistake. Anyways, 12 days in, another hen (ninja - these were named by young boys :)), started brooding, and they started this nest hopping situation. We'd go out at different times, and sometimes one-eye will be sitting on the eggs, and sometimes ninja! Tonight, ninja is on them, and one-eye is hovering over her standing on top of the covered box! So, now we're wondering what to do... should we try to move the one on the eggs most (we're at day 17) into isolation? If the eggs do hatch - we have candled them and some look viable - is the mama going to be the one sitting on them when they hatch?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Many people separate a broody while they are setting for this reason. The hen will not know whether the eggs are hers or not when they hatch. Hens sometimes even want to raise ducks, etc. that they hatch. Usually they will then raise whoever hatches, though occasionally a broody does not make a good mother. I separate broodies while they are setting, then let mama and chicks in with the flock with their chicks when the chicks are a couple of days old, running around -- and trying to get out of their pen and in with the flock.

    Here is an article on broodies from our learning center, written by one of our members:

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