Should I remove SOME of the eggs from a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by smithnan, May 2, 2016.

  1. smithnan

    smithnan Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2012
    The Thumb- Michigan
    I should have asked - CAN i remove some of the eggs?

    My neighbor and I had been saving hatching eggs. We originally planned to have our own broody hens sit on them (so they can raise them later), but mine wasn’t cooperating. On Friday, my neighbor put all 14 eggs under her broody hen because it was time to do SOMETHING with those eggs. They are 2 distinct breeds, so we know who will get which chicks.

    Sure enough, on Sunday, my best broody hen became, well, broody. Since I will ultimately be the mom of about half of them, I’m thinking it might be easier to take my eggs now and put them under my hen, than to wait till they hatch and take the newborn chicks. But I’m concerned that taking those eggs will traumatize their broody hen, and maybe she’ll stop sitting, or freak out and break some of the eggs. I don’t want to mess up my neighbors hatch.

    So the question I am asking of all my backyard chicken mentors: Is it better for me to take my eggs now, which I’m sure my hen will accept? Or is it better to leave the current broody hen undisturbed so she will finish hatching them? As of now, she’s only been sitting for 3 days. Any ideas? Thanks for your help. :)
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I don't think removing some of the eggs from the broody's clutch will cause any problems, but if you're concerned and if you are able to, wait until she gets up for a break and a bit to eat and then take some of the eggs. Or do it after dark when she's sleepy and less likely to kick up a fuss. It also depends how tame the hen is, if she's used to people. If she's tame, she would probably be o.k. with being messed with a bit, if she's "wild" she may fly off the nest and not return for awhile, and then reluctantly.
  3. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    Go ahead and take some of the eggs. She won't even know they're gone!
  4. smithnan

    smithnan Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2012
    The Thumb- Michigan
    Well just to follow up. The neighbors hen is tame, but was a first time mama. She didn't seem too traumatized when we took the eggs, but she would not return to sit, she never did go back. :(

    Oh well I guess you live and learn, right?
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

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