so new at this chicken thing-can two hens both sit on the same eggs?

sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,008
91
411
onchiota NY
Please xcuse my ignorance with all of this-I have 3 hens and 1 rooster-I believe they are all Rhode Island Reds-They lay 2-3 eggs a day-I have never seen any mating-ever-they are 10 months old. Is it possible for 2 hens to share the same nest-sit on the same batch and still have baby chicks hatch? I let one fiesty gal ( who I got because the owner was not taking care of) sit on some-I think were hers. I marked all 6 with a pencil and pull out all others that get laid-I have only one large nesting box-now I've seen another hen sitting on them while the other is outside eating? Should I just let nature takes it's course or am I wasting eggs and confusing my chickens-especially if any hatches who becomes mama and will they kill the chicks? phew????
 

sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,008
91
411
onchiota NY
also-I have no idea if my chickens are mating-so why confuse the poor mothers sitting on unfertile eggs if it's a waste of time? I have candled eggs but they have all rotted-so I assume they weren't fertile?
 

sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,008
91
411
onchiota NY
Thanks :) Seriously I got these buggers for a "gift" when they were 4-6 weeks old or so from a family freind who had incubated them himself-he "heard" my husband and I talking LAST YEAR about MAYBE raising a few chickens for our girls to play with and for the eggs-MY girls are 13 and 10. He showed up July 4th with them-of course we couldn't give the little peepers back=we build a coop out of an old dog kennel and kitchen cuboards and old ladders-they love it! But we want more chickens-and we want to let our hens do the work! They eat Laying mash all the time and corn-love corn but their favorite snack-tortilla chips!!!! and pasta-yes they are spoiled rotten-fresh fruits and veggies-good thing we only have a few huh? When we get more it will be truly restricted though can't afford to do that tons of chickens! ANy help would be appreciated because we are clueless on everything!
 

PortageGirl

Songster
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
2,511
13
181
Portage County, Ohio
Two hens do sometimes share setting on a nest if they're both broody, but it's hard to say if yours will or not.

You need to crack a few of the eggs and examine them for the 'bullseye' that means they're fertile. Here is a link with lots of pictures of what fertile eggs look like. If you examine a few and they're fertile, you can expect most of that's hen's eggs to be fertile. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008 If a pair are mating, the eggs will be fertilized for at least a couple weeks, even if the roo isn't mounting the hen every day.
 

flakey chick

Songster
12 Years
May 3, 2007
1,140
4
181
Florida
I had a similar broody situation, (except no roo). With only 2 hens I didn't want to separate them. They were lonely enough as it was. It was an Xtra wide nest box (kind of like the comunal style) and they got along fine sharing it while one sat on her eggs. I had to collect all the real eggs (left some wooden ones under the broody). AFter 3 weeks I slipped some chicks under her and that's when the other hen tried to eat the baby chicks.

I would first crack the newer eggs and check for the bullseye. Then if you want to let her sit, make her a new nesting area where you can keep her away from the other chickens for a bit.
 

embkm

Songster
11 Years
Jan 16, 2009
571
5
139
Colbert, Ga
You don't have to see them mating to check fertility.

A few ways to check...

1) let the hen set the eggs and candle at day 7. If you see veins, they are fertile. If nothing, wait and candle again at day 10, if still nothing, assume they were duds.

2) Sacrifice a few eggs by breaking them open and looking for the ring on the yolk. There are a few threads here with pics. I don't know how to link here or I would. If you see the ring, you can assume most of your eggs will be fertile since your hen:roo ratio is low.

Don't know what to tell you about them sharing a clutch though.
 

sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,008
91
411
onchiota NY
amazing!! thanky ou for the pictures of fertilized eggs--last night I cracked 3 fresh ones open to examine them -they were in the nest for 2 days-I had Bulleyes!!! they were fertile--so according to my calculations I should be having maybe some baby chicks by April 4th--I will keep eveyone posted-and maybe even get brave to figure out how to post pictures!
 

I have WHAT in my yard?

Songster
11 Years
Jun 24, 2008
3,626
7
211
Eggberg, PA
I can't tell if my girls are sharing or taking turns or if one is broody and she moves to let the others lay there!!

I have a roo and Oh Boy has he been a busy boy!!
I kow some of those eggs are bound to be fertile!!


Since I have ten hens should I move the brood and broody once I am sure she IS broody??

SONEW 123 I was in the same situation. Look at my name and you'll know what I said when I got home and found---- I have WHAT in my yard??! It has been almost a year and I love em! But, this will be my first let the hens do it brood.
 

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