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?

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tami, you can tell if eggs are good by putting them in water. if they float, they are bad. if they stand up in the water, they can be used for baking. if they lay flat in the water at the bottom of the pan/bowl, then they are the best.
THANKS Constance! That info is quite handy! How do I tell if the eggs are still "alive" as far as being able to be hatched? I'm glad to know about the water trick because if I hadn't given them back to the chicken, I would have thrown them away thinking they were no good anymore since they had been outside and toasty warm under their mom for a number of days.
Some chickens are so broody they will sit on rocks, or nothing. Your hen is young and may be just a little broody and not totally commited. Chickens don't like to be discovered where they are nesting, so she probably changed locations because you disturbed her, not because you touched or marked the eggs. leave her alone and she will probably get more comfortable with where she is at. Try to disturb her as little as possible. Since you only want 4 babies, check once a week and take away any extra unmarked eggs then.

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