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Can Chickens Move their Eggs (2024) | Hens | Egg

Why Do Hens Roll Eggs out of Her Nest

Can Chickens Move their Eggs – As a general rule Hens and birds of all kinds “roll” their eggs. This keeps the developing embryo moving and gets differential warmth from the hen or parent. It is necessary for normal development. If a hen “kicks” an egg out of the brood, then she has sensed that the chick has died in development, isn’t developing properly, or may have decided that she had too big of a brood Some hens also called broody hens may abandon eggs, and some even attack their chicks

Can Chickens move their Eggs / Why Do Chickens Roll Their Eggs – Move

Chickens Kick Eggs out of the Nest. Hens and birds of all kinds “roll” their eggs. This keeps the developing embryo moving and gets differential warmth from the hen or parent. It is necessary for normal development. If a hen “kicks” an egg out of the brood, then she has sensed that the chick has died in development, isn’t developing properly, or may have decided that she had too big of a brood. There could be other reasons as well. It depends on several factors. can chickens move their eggs

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Just because a hen is broody does not mean that she is going to be a dedicated hatching hen. Some abandon the eggs after days or weeks. Or worse they kill the chicks that hatch.

Broody Hen Abandons her Eggs

There is no way to predict whether a hen will quit setting before the eggs hatch or become homicidal after they do hatch. Before purchasing expensive hatching eggs for a broody to hatch, put her through the paces with ordinary hatching eggs.

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Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.

If she abandoned the nest or harmed chicks once, she will do it again. Always have an incubator and a brooder on standby while a hen is sitting in the case, she suddenly abandons the eggs or chicks. A hen can manage to cover and keep warm approximately twelve eggs proportional to her size.

Can Chickens Move their Eggs (2024) | Hens | Egg 1
broody hen kicking eggs out of nest

If she is a bantam, it is reasonable to expect that she can care for twelve bantam-sizes eggs, fewer if the eggs are from a larger hen. If the broody is a large-fowl breed, she can handle up to fifteen eggs of the size she would ordinarily lay, more if they are bantam eggs.

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Ideally, every broody will have her own private predator-proof space away from the coop and flock or set undisturbed by noisy flock mates. Unfortunately, she doesn’t ordinarily have the good sense to make a reservation for a room in the maternity ward.

Rather she usually parks herself inside a coop nest box. Some are more attached to their chosen nest than others and will protest mightily if attempts are made to move her.

broody hen pushing eggs out of nest

Broody Hen Behavior / Moving – Hens

Several things will happen when a broody hen is ready to set. She will pull feathers from her breast, which by nature is how she determines the proper temperature of the eggs as they lay close to her breast.

Her own body temperature will increase so that those incubating eggs will be at the optimum incubating temperature.

Chicken Hen Laying an Egg

That sweet little hen may become a mama bear as her hormones surge, so expect her to growl, peck, and even flap her wings at you if you come near. Just talk quietly to her and do not try to approach her if she is stressing and showing aggression. This is perfectly normal behavior, and once the chicks have hatched and are on their own, she will most likely return to her sweet self once again.

The more disturbances to the broody, the higher the risk of a failed hatch. Do make sure mama broody is in a protected and safe environment, it is not uncommon for a broody hen to choose a nest outside of the coop, especially if your flock free ranges. If a hen comes up missing, it’s time to start searching for her and remove her to a protected environment.

How to identify a Broody Hen / do chickens make nests

 Hatching Chicken Timeline

When relying on a broody hen to hatch eggs, be sure to mark those eggs. This way other eggs laid by hens trying to share the nest will be distinguishable and can be removed.

You can purchase fertile hatching eggs and place them under a broody hen.

As soon as you know you have a determined broody order your eggs, which take an average of three days to arrive via priority mail or at an additional cost you can have them shipped by overnight mail. If possible, move the broody to a nest not typically used by the others or set up a broody pen or crate for her so she is able to set in peace.

Be vigilant about how you place the eggs if you do move her, though she will re-arrange them to suit her. If they are not in the position, she has set them, she may kick some of the eggs out. Mark your calendar when you know she is setting.

Chicken eggs average 21 days incubation. This is merely a guideline; eggs can hatch either side of 21 days, so don’t be in a rush, allow her to determine when the hatch is over.

No Human Help Needed

There isn’t much hands-on work needed with a broody hen; she knows what she’s doing. Human intervention can discourage her and cause her to abandon the nest. So, if you want her to set, leave her to take care of business and only remove other eggs when she is off the nest for food and water.

It is possible to witness some co-parenting, where two hens may share a nest of eggs right through hatching and through the rearing of those chicks.

Determine if they are actually sharing the nest compatibly or if one hen is interloping. If one is just causing a disturbance, it will be best to move that hen where she can no longer bother the nesting hen.

Chicken Egg Hatching

As the 18th day approaches the hen will position the eggs for an optimum hatch. Do not disturb her during the final three days of the process. And do not assume when day 21 arrives with no pipping or hatching, that it’s over. Continue to leave that mother hen alone.

You may notice the mama softly clucking. She feels the babies moving in the eggs, and as they near the hatch, the babies will peep back to her. This may be a sign of encouragement and comfort to those unhatched babies. She will leave the nest when she instinctively knows that no other chicks will be hatching.

The hen will not leave the nest for at least the last three days of incubation, even to relieve herself. In addition, do not be surprised to see the nest soiled, the hen will relieve herself in that nest regardless of the eggs and ensuing chicks.

You can clean up the nest after she decides that all have hatched and she takes the babies from the nest for their first outing.

If by chance a broody hen does abandon a nest, you can gather those eggs and either places them under another broody hen or place them in an incubator. Just be sure to mark your calendar so you have an idea when that hatch is due.

After Chicken Eggs Hatch

After all the chicks have hatched, Mama hen will take her babies for their first outing, and you will want to observe how she expertly teaches them where to find the food, how to scratch for the food, locate a water source and teaches them how to dust bathe.

You will also notice her discipline them with a peck if they do not follow her instructions. We’ve seen mama hens send their offspring to a corner if they do not behave.

Can Chickens Move their Eggs (2024) | Hens | Egg 2
Chickens Kick Eggs out of the Nest

Final Thoughts

The best way to determine whether a Hen will roll her eggs out of the nest. Is watching here as she sets in her nest. If you find a hen that does not take care and incubate her eggs, it is best to slide her away from hatching chicks for you. She can still lay eggs for eating. If you find that she goes after the other hen’s eggs and baby chicks. You will need to take firmer action.

Family Sized Chicken Farm Egg Calculator

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Rare Breed Chicken Farming

Rare BreedsCountry of OriginEggs/WeekAverage WeightPrice / Chicks
Black PenedesencaSpain3-44-5lbs$ 13.43
Black SumatraSumatra4 / Tinted in Color4lbs$ 4.56
AmeraucanaUnited States / Chile3 / 4 Blue5 lbs$ 4.25
Lavender OrpingtonEngland4 / 5 Brown 5 lbs$ 6.08
Partridge ChanteclerCanada3-5 / Brown7 lbs
WyandotteUnited States3 - 5 / Tinted Brown6 lbs$ 4.90
WelsummerWelsum Netherlands4 / Dark Brown5 lbs$ 5.95
Silver Grey DorkingUK / Roman8 lbs$ 5.95
Light BrahmaUnited States / ChinaBrown13 lbs$ 4.90
Silver Laced Cochin / ShanghaiChina5-6 / Brown6 lbs$ 4.90
White MaransMarans / France4 / Dark Brown5 lbs$ 6.08
DominiquesUnited States4 - 5 / Brown 7 lbs$ 4.90
Exchequer LeghornTuscany ItalyWhite5 lbs$ 4.25
Silver Spangled Appenzeller
Switzerland54 lbs
Buff Brahma StandardShanghai ChinaBrown13 lbs$ 4.90
Silver Laced PolishPoland / Netherlands4-5 lbs$ 5.95
White Sultan / Fowls of the SultanTurkey2 - 3 / White 4-6 lbs$ 7.75
Mottled HoudanHoudan Paris FranceWhite4 - 5 lbs$ 7.75
Dong Tao / Dragon ChickenVietnam2/3$ 2500 -
Ayam CemaniIndonesia3 / Cream 5 lbs$ 50 - $ 2500
Onagadori / Honorable ChickenJapan$ 49.00
PolveraraItaly2 / 3
IxworthSussex UK4 / Cream
Naked Neck / Transylvanian Naked-Neck chickens.Transylvania5$ 4.25
CampaignBelgium7 / White5 lbs$ 7.75 / Golden
Deathlayer / German7 / White$ 99.00
Serama / Smallest Chicken in the WorldThailand.5 - 1 Lb$ 39.00
Silkie / SilkyChinese2 / Cream$ 5.75 / White $ 5.75 / Blue $ 5.75 / Buff
$ 5.75 / Black
Pricing is buying 1 Chick - Bulk gives better prices - they are also only available during a special date ranges

Types of Chicken Breeds

Chicken BreedsOriginMeat/ Layers / Dual PurposeFinished WeightEggs per WeekWeeks to Slaughter
Canada/US/EuropeMeat3.3 lbs514 Weeks
Cornish crossesEnglandMeat6.5 - 8.5 lbs38 - 9 Weeks
Jersey GiantsUSAMeat ( Intended to replace Turkeys)13 lbs48 - 9 Months
Hertigage Breeds6 - 9 months
DelawareUSA DelawareDuo6.5 lbs4 - large8 Months
DorkingUnited KingdomDuo10 - 14 lbs5 - med5 Months
BuckeyeUSA OhioDuo6 - 9 lbs4 - med5 Months
Rhode Island RedUSA Rhode Island Duo6 b- 8 lbs5-65 Months
LeghornItalyEggs4 -5 lbs48 Months
Plymouth RockUSA - MassachusettsDuo7.5 lbs45 Months
SussexUnited KingdomDuo7 lbs4 - 5 - large5 Months
WyandotteCanadaDuo7 - 9 lbs5 Months
WelsummerNetherlandsDuo7 lbs4 / Week5 Months
HamburgUnited KingdomEggs7 lb4 - med9 weeks
Black AustralorpAustraliaDuo\3 - 5 lb5 - med5 months
Buff OrpingtonEngland Duo7 - 8 Lbs4 - 58 months
BrahmaMeat11 lbs3 - med5 monthss
Name of Breed
Meat Breeds
Laying Breeds
Dual Purpose Breeds

Chicken / Poultry Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
US Poultry & Egg AssociationUnited StatesUSPA
American Poultry AssociationCaliforniaAPA
Ohio Poultry AssociationOhioOPA
National Chicken CouncilUnited StatesNCC
British Poultry CouncilUnited KingdomBPCE
Poultry Club of Great BritainUnited KingdomPCGB
Association of Poultry Breeders in EUEuropeAVEC
Australian Chicken Meat Federation IncAustraliaACMF
Australian Poultry HubAustraliaPoultry Hub
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