I have seven bantams and an adopted RIR. One of my Silkie hens keeps trying to be broody, laying on huge clutches of eggs before I get out there to take them away (I can't collect until the afternoons each day and they are laying like crazy). She somehow gathers them all up, including the RIR eggs and the bantam eggs, and sits on them. Up until now, I gently take them out from under her, apologizing to her and saying "maybe someday Penny, but not right now". Well, the last three days I've been very ill and bedridden. I've managed to make it out there briefly each day, to take a head count and check feed and water (they have large self feeders, so there's little to do, but I made brief checks to make sure the food was flowing). Then I came back inside because it's very cold and I was ill. So today I suddenly thought of Penny and her broody tendencies and thought "Crap!" and went out to check. Sure enough, she's on a big bunch of eggs in a nest box, at least one of which is a RIR egg and several bantam eggs. My dilemma is two-fold: 1. I'm nervous about taking the eggs after it's been 3 days. How formed might the embryos be? It sickens me to think I would be taking (essentially killing) chicks that could be somewhat developed at this point. It's not that I'm afraid of what I'll see if I open them, I can simply throw them away. But for me, it's more of an ethics thing. If the chicks are well on their way of developing, I do not want to "kill" them by taking the eggs away. 2. Secondly, I know nothing about broodiness or hatching my own chicks. If I decide to leave them, what happens? I gave her some scratch in the nest box, which she is eating, but how will she continue to eat and drink if she won't leave the eggs? Also, what's my role in this, if any? Do I just leave her to do her thing and see if they hatch and then she will take care of them? I really am not prepared for new chicks, especially because I'm afraid of getting more roosters. I already have one and don't want more! Please let me know if it's too late, development wise, to take these eggs from her, and if it is too late, then what should I do?