Originally Posted by lilstar
Eek! She ate one of her eggs! Why would she do that and is there anything I can do to lessen the chance of it repeating? Today is day 5. My dd caught her in the act. I immediately brought her out, and she proceeded to take a dust bath while I cleaned it up. I cleaned up some poop (ew) and refilled her food. Then wiped the yolk off the other eggs with a wet wash cloth so it wouldn't be tempting. She went back in and is sitting again, gave me a nice reassuring growl when I went to check on her. I also learned that straw as bedding kinda sucks. Its hard to clean poop out of it and I'm worried about spilled water collecting under it and chilling the eggs. So I picked up some pine shavings. Will it upset her if I fully clean out her pen and give her a completely new material to nest in? Is the best time to do that at night when she's disoriented or during the day while she's out taking a break? I want to make sure she still recognizes it as "hers"
I kinda worry about whether stress could impact her behavior. The other day a couple other hens were checking her out and she seemed pretty irritated with them. I chased them off. There's also kids playing in the yard. They don't taunt her or anything, but they're big, loud creatures who run around unpredictably!
When it comes to broodies, all you can do is try. If it works great, if it doesn't, try something else.
As far as changing the bedding, yes. My Smokey and Topsy changed their own bedding. I put straw down on pine shavings and both of them moved their nests off the straw and onto just shavings.
You can check on your broody as often as you like. Most won't freak out and quit. However some will. My EE and Silky complained but kept sitting.
Egg eating while broody is something some have reported. I haven't had that personally happen. But possibly she's trying to get protein and eliminating nonhatching eggs.
Hang in there! Let her do as much as possible, but if she's not getting up at all you will want to force her to. I put my girls at the waterer once a day until around day 18, then I leave them alone. I only peek to see if there are babies or candle the eggs by day 25.