Growing up on a farm you get to understand a little of chicken behaviour and come up with solutions for challenging problems.
One of these is getting broody hens to sit on a new clutch of eggs she has not laid. Typically a hen would become broody or as we say in Australia “clucky” and take over one of the nesting boxes. This meant other hens would lay around her and all eggs would end up under her or broken – including those not fertile.
The solution is to create a separate nest for her away from the main coop. Moving her onto a clutch of eggs that are all fertile and as they are incubated at the same time, will all hatch within a day or so of each other.
We found in many cases the hen would quite happily sit on the new eggs provided but on occasion there was a difficult customer who was quite indignant and would refuse to sit on her new nest.
The solution? I would move her at night to the new location (on dusk or early evening) and close off the front of the nest.
The idea behind this was the hen would sit and sleep on the eggs overnight and by morning would be settled enough to stay put.
Worth a try.