Sitting Hens. Advice needed.


12 Years
May 8, 2007
Sacramento, CA
I have 2 sitting hens. I had three but one abandoned last night. My fault, I moved her and her three eggs off the floor and into a nest. It seemed all was fine when she climbed back on them after eatting and drinking, but this morning she was back in the corner on the floor and the three eggs she had been sitting on were cold. I moved two hens and the other is doing just fine sitting on her one egg.

The one who has the most promising batch of eggs, is in a nest that is filthy. The eggs have poo on them and the bottom of the nest is just discusting. Can I safely move the eggs to a clean nest box and put the box in the exact location of the dirty one, without disturbing her? What about the eggs, should I try to clean them, and if so, how?

This is my first time letting them sit, so I need all the advice I can get. I do not have a bator, so it's all up to the girls. I have split the coop and the pen in have and put plywood strips along the bottom so the chicks cannot get out thru the chainlink.

Any advice you all can throw my way would be greatly appreciated!
From my experience broodies do not like being moved. They'll go back to their original spot if they can and hate being disturbed.
Also, I had eggs get poop on them once and they all went off. Had to replace them with fresh ones. Sorry!
Sometimes people can move broodies, best bet is at night, very gently, and bring some of the old bedding with you...they don't like new and fresh, prefer the familiar. As far as the poo, people try to wipe it off, not wash it off, and in nature, it just happens.

There is a very long thread named old fashioned broody hatch along ... It has lots of information.

Good luck!
It's true, they don't like being moved. They are somewhat easier to move if the move is at night and in the dark. They should also be confined to a small space so that their boody urges will direct them to the nest you have moved them to when they get off the nest. A small private pen or a dog crate works well. Moving a broody is always a crap shoot. When I have an obvious broody, I let her set on some dummy eggs for a couple days, then move her, at night, along with the same eggs. After she has settled in for a couple nights in the new location, then I give her the eggs I want her to hatch, again at night. The idea behind all this action at night, is to stress her as little as possible. Then she needs to be completely alone and undesturbed til she hatches. None of this taking her off the nest so she gets enough water or food stuff. She will get off when she needs to and, if you have given her enough room, stretch and eat. They do like a dust bath, but often that isn't possible in a broody pen. I usually give them 2 weeks in the broody pen after the chicks hatch. By that time, they will be strong enough to enjoy a larger pen. Good luck........Pop

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