What if broody hens occupy all nests???


Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
I have a flock of 6 one year old hens - 3 BR and 3 BO's. They have always gotten along without major issues. But I am really concerned about 2 being broody. The coop has 2 nest boxes by the recommended 1/4 chickens. One buff has been broody for 2 weeks - has not caused a problem for the others to lay, the other 5 just used whichever box was empty. But a second buff is showing signs of going broody, getting grumpy and yesterday afternoon she started sitting the second nest. When both were convinced with help to leave the boxes and join the flock several brief fights broke out. And both grumps went back to the nests.

I am really concerned about what will the others do about laying if the 2 grumps monopolize the only 2 nests!!!!!
I am really concerned to see a previously congenial group starting to fight!!!

At this point there is no way to quickly add more nests, any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Should I be concerned or just let the flock work it out?

**** there are no Roosters, and grumps are just sitting on empty nests, Altho the first to enter broody mood did move once to someone else's egg.
Thank you for the idea, this might work. But yesterday the gals took care of the problem. One just went in with the newest nest sitter and laid her egg beside her. Later they must have enticed her out of the nest long enough for all 4 still laying to lay in her chosen nest, and after she visited the run for food and water and fresh air, she went back and sat on the others' 4 eggs.

Once again, it seems I worry too much. Chickens are truly surprisingly smart and show they can get along without all my " mother hen" intervention.
I had this happen too. I just put a small wood crate in the corner, dropped in some hay and a golf ball, and it's done the trick. It is now 2 of my hens favorite spot to lay, actually.
You'd be surprised into what hens will take as a nesting box.
We use lawn mower 'bins/baskets' with some hay. Be creative, whatever is large, hollow, covered and filled with hay will be fine for your hens. :p
Update on occupied nests…the layers are just sitting next to the broodies and laying their eggs.

Another lesson learned in raising chickens. And gathering eggs from under broody hens has been like an Egg Hunt, until yesterday I realized they lay their breasts on the eggs, so I can stop searching under the other end and finding only feet.
Second update : THE EGG SONG QUARTET

Yesterday I witnessed the Egg Layer Chorus!! So sorry I did not have my camera ready to video this, but I do swear the event was real.

The four layers - 1 BO + 3 BR were in the run while the 2 grumps sat the nests in the coop. The layers started singing the Egg Song. Honestly, all four were singing it in unison, hitting the same tones in perfect harmony. This went on for about 10 minutes. Then they stopped, and Dottie = BR went up into the coop and sang a solo. Big Buff = grumpy, broody BO, left her nest, went out to the run letting Dottie access the nest solo to lay her egg. Once Dottie was finished and returned to the run, Big went back to sit on Dottie's egg.

If I had not witnessed this personally I would never have believed it.
You may want to break their broodiness if you're not planning on giving them fertilized eggs. Broodiness can be hard on a chicken since she eats much less. You can put them in separate crates without nests for a few days and that should do it.

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