Unsure what to do!


In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 3, 2013
So, we have had chickens for a little while now. We debated hatching chicks. After lots of reading, we decided to let our 2 broody hens hatch a few eggs. Today should be the start of the hatch and I am super nervous! One of the 2 hens has sat faithfully, and I originally planned on letting her hatch and raise the chicks, but now I am not sure! My other hen was sitting and not letting the others lay in her box, but then she end up letting a couple lay their eggs in there. I am not sure which were the original eggs so I left them all. Now I don't know the hatch date for all the eggs! Should I take them and put them in the incubator? I just don't know what to do! I need help! Any advice appreciated!
First find a way to separate mom and chicks from the flock for the first few days after a hatch (wire cage in coop works great). I would give 3 days after the hatch for the rest of the eggs to hatch and give up on the rest as a staggered hatch rarely works out right.
I had the same problem with one of my hatches with 2 hens nesting side by side. In the end I left them to sort it out and they sat for an extra 2 weeks and just hatched a couple of eggs then gave up sitting so it worked out OK in the end. Since then, I now mark the eggs !
I have been out to check on them so many times today! I haven't heard or seen anything yet!
Ok, my chicks were set to hatch yesterday and today, nothing yet! They are still under the hens. New problem! I noticed my hen in the top nesting box no longer has any straw in her box, and there is a small rusted out hole in the bottom! I am worried about chicks getting caught! Should I take the eggs and put them in the bator and give them back after they hatch? I am just worried they will get badly injured! Help!
No, you don't want to take them away from her but you do want to move her and her nest to a safer location. She would be picking up the nesting material and trying to put it on top of her. Sometimes it gets thrown out of the nest this way. Hatching times are not exact and can sometimes be a little late but a broody hatched chick is worth it because they are stronger.
Ok, I don't have a way to move the whole box. Do I just pick her and the eggs up and put them in a new box on the ground? Will she stay on them if I move them?! Ugh! I am having a panic attack!
I think that if you can wait till towards evening roosting time, it would be better to move her and the eggs then. Try to keep the eggs in the same position , moving them gently one at a time then pop the hen back on top. Would be easier if you have someone to hold the hen whilst you move the eggs. A shallow box on the floor should be fine as long as any chick (when hatched) who falls out can get back in - or cut a pop hole out of a deeper box, if you see what I mean.

Or depending on the position of the holey nesting box, can you patch it up from underneath or slide a piece of card in to make it solid?
I think they would be safer on the ground. I would like to wait until roosting time, but also nervous about her rejecting the nest and finding her off in the morning. Do you think it would be ok for me to go ahead and move her?

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