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My broody got confused and sat in another nest box for a few hours.

 
James Nelson
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Hello all!
I have a question. I came home from work today and found my broody setting in a different nest box than the one she has been in for the last 16 days. I don't know how long she had been off the nest. If I had to guess I would say no more than three hours. I felt the eggs and they were not super cold (outside temp is 70) but they were definitely not up to what they should be. Can the unhatched chicks stand this or will it kill them inside the shell?
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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It will depend on how cold the eggs actually got and for how long. We always move broody hens into a private pen without any other nest boxes, it stops your situation and keeps other hens from laying in the nest with a setting hen. I suspect you'll have a reduced hatch from this, we had a breaker trip in our hatching/brooder house and we had one incubator cool down to 68 deg., lost 60 in that incubator, not one egg hatched, but that was over an 8 hr period.
 
James Nelson
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Thank you for the reply Tracy. Unfortunately not one single egg hatched. I wanted to move my hen about a week into her sitting but she was a first time broody and I was afraid that it would break her forever. I took all the eggs out but now she insists on sitting on more eggs. I keep finding her on the eggs that my other chickens have laid throughout the day when I am at work. Will it hurt her to sit on another batch of eggs or will another three weeks stress her to much? I will definitely move her to her own "maternity ward" this time. If it will hurt her then how do I make her stop sitting on the eggs? Thanks
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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I would break her up, you'll need to put her in a private pen with no eggs or nest, I've had to pen them for up to 2 weeks, but usually about 3 days after she stops clucking. To move a broody hen, once SH&E has committed to setting go out after dark, pick her up and her eggs then place eggs then her on new nest in new private quarters. She'll likely peck and raise a fuss, don't let that affect you, just go slow and steady and you'll be alright.
 
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