Questions about broody hens?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Nov 14, 2008
Central Texas
I have 3 hens that are all attempting to sit on a nest of eggs. I have noticed that all during the day they seem to be taking turns. There are 13 eggs in the nest. I know that the eggs will all be hatching at different times. My question is do you think that when several of the eggs hatch that one will start raising the chicks and the other 2 will keep sitting until more hatch? I don't know what to do? I know I should have moved her but I don't have any place to put her. Some of the eggs should start hatching on Sunday and continue hatching until the next Sunday. I know I should have done something different. Should I just let nature take it's course and see how many hatch and throw any eggs away after a few hatch.
Here is a thought for you, if you didnt have room to move the hen, could you have blocked the nest off so that just 1 hen was in the nest and no others would have been able to lay in the nest while that one was sitting? That is what I do, when a hen goes to sitting, I block the nest hole so that others can not get in with her and then ever evening, open her nest hole up and allow her to get off the nest, eat, drink and poo and then when she goes back on the nest, I put the cover back over the hole.

All 3 hens could and may want to leave the nest after a few hatch, so what I would do is let a few hatch then take 1 hen off the nest with them few and keep the others on the nest til more hatch or the rest and then let those hens have those chicks.

I have been thur this before and what I told you will work. When this happened with me, one hen ended up being mom to all of the chicks she ran the other hens away.

I hope all works out for ya. Good luck with them and let us know how it all turns out..............
I have a few questions that will help to help you with what to do. What do the hens do at night? Is all 3 staying on the nest or is it just one at night?
How many chickens do you have in that coop?
It will just depend on the hens if they take over and help with the chicks. Some hens will help raise chicks together.
If it were me I would move the one hen that stays on the nest at night, into a dog pet taxi. Let her hatch the first chicks and have a brooder set up to take the first chicks. So she will stay with the rest of the eggs and finish the hatch. And this must be done at night. You raise some let her raise some.
And a few of the hens may be just laying eggs and then going to roost at night and not be broody at all. This will put your chicks in harms way when they hatch.
Last night I noticed that 2 hens were laying in the same nest. It's almost like they are just waiting for the other one to get off the nest. I free range them during the day and this is when I started noticing that the hen that I thought was broody was out running around while another one was sitting on the nest. I was wondering about removing the chicks as they hatch. Maybe that would be the best thing to do and then maybe see if one of the hens will take over raising them after a few days. What do you think?
You can take the chicks as they hatch and wait till you think she is done hatching then put them back with her at night.
Its been done, you will need to keep a close eye on them.

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