Thought broody hens didn't lay?


9 Years
Oct 26, 2010
Wee Acres
I thought when a hen went broody she was supposed to stop laying? My girl went determinedly broody 3 weeks ago, so a week ago I gave in and gave her 4 eggs to hatch. Now my husband says there are 8-10 eggs under her???? We've been collecting regularly from the other boxes - nobody liked the one we moved her to anyway. I keep a dummy egg in one of the lower boxes just in case, to make sure they leave her alone. What's a safe way to mark the eggs so we know which are the new ones to remove?
Also, being that it's winter, and despite giving them 24 hr access to feed, several hours of free ranging daily, and some scratch in the morning, my flock is kinda scrawny: should I give her some supplements? I bought a bag of game bird starter/grower 24% protein to feed her (the only higher protein feed our local had), and mix generic pedialyte in her water. They've been getting a few grapes almost daily lately. She's just skin and bones and she's got 2-3 weeks to go - I'm just so worried about her getting weak. I haven't moved her to broody-box/starter pen yet. If any hatch, I should just leave them with her in a clean pen? I'm new to this whole thing - we got day old chicks last April and started from that, this is my baby trying to have babies, lol!

Honestly, I didn't really think it through when I gave her the eggs, I was just worried about her. She'd been sitting in a box so long I thought if I gave her some eggs, she'd at least come out in 3 weeks - I know, not very bright on my part, lol. Now I've got to get her out of the 2nd tier nest box and build a pen to protect her and possible babies from our huge and hugely curious turkeys who share the coop, as well as the cats in the area who apparently have no problem scaling a 6ft wire fence.
She probably isn't laying the extra eggs. They'll be sneaked in there by the other birds. Either that or she'll be gathering them up herself and tucking them in under her feathers. Silly birds! You can mark her eggs with a pencil or a Sharpie marker. Either are safe to use on hatching eggs...
x2 Make sure you mark the eggs under her. Otherwise other hens will lay them in there. When the broodie hatches her chicks she'll stop sitting, and then the later eggs won't be hatched. I also usually give my broodies a little food/water dish in the nest so they have it available.
she is probably either stealing them or some one else is laying them. Altough I did have one hen who laid eggs while she was on a nest, and I know it was her because I had her in her own cage where no other hens could get in.
Sorry I didn't respond earlier, but y'all were right: caught another hen in the act of sitting on top of broody trying to lay an egg! I marked the eggs after that, then a week before they were due to hatch, finally got a hutch set up for her. On the 21st, found one half-hatched but dead, and hubby "helped" another one hatch, who is currently the toughest lil chick I've ever seen. She's got 3 eggs left under her that we can't tell if they are good or not - no experience candling, super thick shelled brown eggs, and none of our flashlights seem bright enough. Since she was gaining eggs for a week before we realized what was going on, we're giving her a few more days, hoping mighty-fuzzbutt will have a playmate soon.

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