My pullet is only about 5 months old. She had decided to be broody suddenly. Once, she sat on her nest for 2 days straight. I finally explored her nest to find she had ZERO eggs that she was sitting on. Then, a few days later, she was sitting again, only there WERE eggs. Several days went by...she was sitting on a total of 4 eggs. I decided that was enough, so I marked an X on the eggs with a pencil. Today, I went to find any eggs without an X. I found my chicken in a different nest and the previous nest had the marked eggs pushed up to the corner, abandoned and buried under the straw.
Did this happen because I touched her eggs? I know they were 'alone" for at least today...does that mean they are "dead" or could they still be hatched? They were cool to the touch. I decided to give them back to her, so I put them in the other nest, under her. If she abandoned the eggs I touched, how can I keep track of the old eggs vs. new eggs, so as not to get too many chicks? What's the best way to handle a broody chicken and her eggs?