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Hi All: I have a wonderful brooding Jersey Giant hen that is sitting on a dozen or more eggs - at least when she started. The other two hens; one Aracauna and one Plymouth decided that they can ONLY lay their eggs in the nest where Jersey Giant is brooding. So my question is this; we have seen 2 chicks hatch this week and there are probably 20 more eggs left many of which are much too young to hatch. I know Jersey hen will not stay on the rest for another 3 or so weeks so we are not sure what to do with the remaining eggs. I am tempted to try to incubate them but for the hassle factor don't know if it is worth it. Any way to get the other hens to lay in the other 3 nest boxes? Thoughts?????
 

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I had the same problem. So, I built a platform that fits in front of my nesting box w/plastic mesh on the side. On the platform, I have some food and water. This keeps the other hens out, but gives my broody move to turn around and access to food and water. Plus, it means that when the chicks do hatch, they won't fall out of the nesting box.
 

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Hi All: I have a wonderful brooding Jersey Giant hen that is sitting on a dozen or more eggs - at least when she started. The other two hens; one Aracauna and one Plymouth decided that they can ONLY lay their eggs in the nest where Jersey Giant is brooding. So my question is this; we have seen 2 chicks hatch this week and there are probably 20 more eggs left many of which are much too young to hatch. I know Jersey hen will not stay on the rest for another 3 or so weeks so we are not sure what to do with the remaining eggs. I am tempted to try to incubate them but for the hassle factor don't know if it is worth it. Any way to get the other hens to lay in the other 3 nest boxes? Thoughts?????
You are going to loose alot of partial developed chicks, No matter what you do now, even if you put them in a incubator. If you want to get a "good" hatch under your Next Broody hen and Not have this problem, there is alot of things you will have to do different. I would stress out if I allowed this to happen---LOL.

Let me give you some info if you do not mind, maybe it will help alot of other readers. I set 27 broody hens this season and they hatched about All the eggs under them,

1st thing to do is ALWAYS collect All the eggs Daily Even under a hen that is in a nest box. You do this to keep all your eggs fresh and incase you get a Broody. If you got a hen in a nesting box that acts like she is going broody, still remove the eggs from under her, But if you want her set then give her a fresh layed egg from another nest to set on that night. The next day Still remove ALL eggs under her(the egg she set on over night is not affected and can go right in with your other collected eggs) give her another Fresh layed egg for the next night or if you prefer, you can change out this egg under her twice a day. After a couple days if she is still on the nest(getting off briefly to eat etc) "Set" her if You want. If you do not want her to set, then "break" her.

To set her put Fresh Layed "Marked" eggs under her, every how many you want as long as she can cover them. At least Once a day check and remove ALL fresh layed unmarked eggs from under her. After a few days I move All my broody hens to a private place, you will have alot better luck with your hatch if you move yours. Thats your call! By moving her, you will not have to check under her daily, other hens do not get in her nest stomping on and breaking some of her eggs, etc. I Move mine after dark, But its best to Move the whole nest. If you do not have a place to move her and do not want to fix a place, at least fix her nest where no other chickens can get in her nest after day 18. A hen will not usually leave her nest after she hears the chicks inside the egg, not to even eat or drink until after they hatch. I will say too, Never place food and water in her nest, where she can eat while setting on the eggs. If you want you can place food/water where she can get off the nest to get it if she wants. Good Luck!


Edited to add, I hear alot of people say their broody hen pecks them, I do not pay the pecking any attention but if it bothers you Get a Pair of Long thick gloves so you can check under her daily, set her, etc.
 

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My wife and i have had moderate success hatching leftover eggs in the incubator. We have never had that many eggs under our broody hens. Usually just 3 or 4 are left when she decides she is done. Now we move our broody hens to our old rabbit hutch and put the eggs we want to hatch under them.


Farm junkie
 

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You are going to loose alot of partial developed chicks, No matter what you do now, even if you put them in a incubator. If you want to get a "good" hatch under your Next Broody hen and Not have this problem, there is alot of things you will have to do different. I would stress out if I allowed this to happen---LOL.

Let me give you some info if you do not mind, maybe it will help alot of other readers. I set 27 broody hens this season and they hatched about All the eggs under them,

1st thing to do is ALWAYS collect All the eggs Daily Even under a hen that is in a nest box. You do this to keep all your eggs fresh and incase you get a Broody. If you got a hen in a nesting box that acts like she is going broody, still remove the eggs from under her, But if you want her set then give her a fresh layed egg from another nest to set on that night. The next day Still remove ALL eggs under her(the egg she set on over night is not affected and can go right in with your other collected eggs) give her another Fresh layed egg for the next night or if you prefer, you can change out this egg under her twice a day. After a couple days if she is still on the nest(getting off briefly to eat etc) "Set" her if You want. If you do not want her to set, then "break" her.

To set her put Fresh Layed "Marked" eggs under her, every how many you want as long as she can cover them. At least Once a day check and remove ALL fresh layed unmarked eggs from under her. After a few days I move All my broody hens to a private place, you will have alot better luck with your hatch if you move yours. Thats your call! By moving her, you will not have to check under her daily, other hens do not get in her nest stomping on and breaking some of her eggs, etc. I Move mine after dark, But its best to Move the whole nest. If you do not have a place to move her and do not want to fix a place, at least fix her nest where no other chickens can get in her nest after day 18. A hen will not usually leave her nest after she hears the chicks inside the egg, not to even eat or drink until after they hatch. I will say too, Never place food and water in her nest, where she can eat while setting on the eggs. If you want you can place food/water where she can get off the nest to get it if she wants. Good Luck!


Edited to add, I hear alot of people say their broody hen pecks them, I do not pay the pecking any attention but if it bothers you Get a Pair of Long thick gloves so you can check under her daily, set her, etc.

Excellent and helpful advice, PD. I remember the first time I had a hen go broody. Eggs kept "appearing" under her like she was a magician! While we got a few chicks to hatch (and thy grew up), we kept many of the eggs under her too long. One day I came to her nest to find her eating the foulest smelling, broken egg, filled with a liquified greenish-yellowish liquid. I never smelled something so bad in all my life. After that, I quickly learned how to handle this process the correct way.
 

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I keep a denim jacket and leather gloves handy for checking under chickens until I can get them set so they won't be disturbed.
 

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So far we've had 8 chicks hatch; and momma is still setting; hoping for a few more by the end of the week. I closed her in so she is in "isolation" now. Not sure how many more will make it but at least we have lift-off!
 

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Very good advice PD Riverman.
I always move my broody hens to a secluded area, and I always mark the eggs with their "due date" to save confusion. I have also found that keeping the hen and chicks secluded for a week or two greatly improves the survival rate of the chicks too.
 

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yes I mark the eggs and then remove other eggs as I can (daily or every 2 or 3 days, doesnt matter as long as the original set are marked)....
 
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