Sitting Requirements


8 Years
Dec 25, 2011
My question goes to requirements for the egg to successfully complete the process to hatching.

Several of my lady Buffs have clearly shown that they are broody....Yeah!!! However I have noticed that the eggs are unattended for a good portion of the day. I know that there are heat and movement requirements for the eggs. I have seen the broody hens turning the eggs at various times while I'm working in the chicken yard. How long, typically, are the hens required to sit on the eggs to maintain the proper temperature? Also the hens refuse to lay their eggs in the provided boxes and prefer to lay the eggs in the straw on the floor. They keep scratching the straw out of the boxes onto the floor.

Yes, there is a rooster involved...


Southern NM
Most hens typically leave the nest for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour each day to eat, drink, go to the bathroom and maybe take a dust bath. Some hens take longer breaks, others take shorter. I guess some voice inside their little chicken head dictates that, I don't know. Once the eggs are brought up to the optimal temperature (100.4 degrees), the core of the egg will hold that temp for some time once they're left uncovered.
How long are your hens spending off their nests? If it isn't most of the day, just a couple or few hours (and the temps where you live aren't cold) they might just end up hatching a little later than the normal 21 day mark.

Best of luck!

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