I have had chickens for a while, and have had my share of broodies. Been able to break all but one. Her third bout of broodiness (in just 2 months) was extreme and after 5 weeks of trying every trick in the book to break, I got her 10 very fresh, fertile eggs from a farmer friend. She was a happy mama. I didn't think about marking the fertile eggs - but I should have. I also didn't know that it can be helpful to let the eggs rest before placing them. She has now been sitting for 3.5 weeks, so I am wondering what's going on. There is a HORRID stench coming from the coop (where she's brooding). I have removed at least 5 broken and empty shells from her nest box. Don't know why they broke - either she's a clutz and it just happened while she was rearranging them, or she's been pecking them to eat (she's been broody now for over 8 weeks, which can't be good for her, poor thing), or there is some other reason. Obviously some of the egg has oozed all over the bedding material and made a rotten, stinking mess. I didn't want to disturb her, though, so I have left her alone. Many of the eggs under her are dirty with bedding material and gunk smeared all over them. Yes - I said 'many' of the eggs - she still has 10 or 11 eggs under her! So some others of my flock have obviously been laying in her box and she's claimed them as her own! But not having marked them, I don't know which are the fertile and which are the unfertile ones. But even so, there should have been at least 2-3 viable eggs. in my calculation. She is a young chicken - just a year old. These would have been her first chicks. My girl is showing no signs of leaving her nest and appears to be as broody as ever. In my searching on BYC, I see that I can candle the eggs - not quite sure how to do that, but suppose I can learn. I hope that home equipment is adequate. I could also go an buy some chicks and place them under her and remove all the eggs. I think a nearby farm store has some in at the moment. (I didn't really want chicks - I was just doing this to help her get over the broodiness.) But any other suggestions, insight or advice? I am at my wit's end. Thanks!