ACK!!!! Broody pooping on eggs...need help.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by IggiMom, May 19, 2009.

  1. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    My broody hen has been doing great, and then this evening when I checked the eggs, I found them all covered with poop.

    Why is she doing this, just because she does not want to get off?

    Here is my plan, tell me if it is useless or if there is something else I should do.

    It is a little late tonight, I guess, but I am planning to take out some warm water and paper towels and clean them off as best I may, put some new hay in there, and then go in a couple times a day and lift her off the nest and try to keep her off for a little while anyway.

    I thought about cleaning them up and putting them in the incubator, but I do not want to contaminate my other eggs. They are REALLY icky.

    I have been checking her twice a day, she has been on them several days, and they were fine up until now.

    Any other suggestions appreciated, thank you.

    I have had other hens hatch out eggs but no one ever did this before, and these are eggs I really care about.

  2. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    I posted the other day about a similar situation I had. The hen turned out to be lethargic from mites so I had to DE the coop and hen ... but back to the eggs. I scrubbed them with a dry sponge then dampened it and attempted to wipe them clean. The egg was stained poo poo colored. They did hatch, though had a rough go of it. The two chicks with poopy shells both were born weaker and one has a large bulging eye that has since grayed over... I suspect one or both may die soon.

    I believe I rubbed the bacteria into the shell and formed some sort of infection.

    If this happens again, I will dry sponge excess poo poo and let it ride. Good Luck
  3. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    Oh gosh, I remember about your hen and the mites, but I forgot that she had pooped on the eggs.

    I'll go out and dust her right now! I haven't seen mites but you never know!

    I can't believe this.


  4. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    Msbear, thanks for your comments. I am so sorry about your hatch.

    I did remember about your hen with mites.

    I went back out, and cleaned up the eggs as best I could with just brushing them off. They are still pretty bad.

    Then I took Hen off the nest and dusted her thoroughly.

    Then I took the hay out, threw it away and put clean hay in and dusted it.

    Then I put the eggs back.

    Then I gave her fresh food and water, which she ignored.

    Then I let her back on, and she went right back in there.

    One odd thing about this is that her chest was pretty much bare of feathers. Of course this is not obvious when she is on the nest.

    I really blame myself for this. I do try to take care of my animals, all of them, and give them a good life (like St. Francis would have done, were he here), but I sure did goof up this time.

    I did not see any mites, but something is a problem.

    One thing this has taught me: next time I expect a hen to be something special, like a broody, I will examine her CAREFULLY first, turn her upside down, check her over, dust her, EVERYTHING, just as I would if I had a dog I intended to breed or show.

    I'll never again just say, oh, she's broody, and tuck the eggs under.

    I am really distressed about this, and not just because of my good eggs that are most likely ruined, but because of the hen, also, and because it was just such a neglectful thing to do.

    If anyone knows anything else I could do, please say.

  5. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I am sorry your having this trouble with your hen and eggs. However about the bare chest she will do that when she is broody. They pluck them or loose them so their bare skin will be on the eggs to warm them better.
    suntonova likes this.
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I've washed dirty eggs and had them hatch with no problem. I think it makes it worse to try to wipe off poo, or dried egg, or other grime, with no water to rinse it away. Sort of like applying stain to wood. It probably pushes a lot more ick into the shell than if you just washed them well, in warm water, with a little soap. The water flushes the dirt off of the egg, a dry sponge or cloth rubs it in. I don't think the risk of removing the "bloom" is worse than leaving bacteria laden poo on the eggs, or worse, rubbing it in. Remember that poop also contains digestive enzymes and acids, which may actually weaken and erode the shell, making it more vulnerable to contamination. I'd give it up and wash them off. I suspect that most of this bloom gets rubbed off under the hen anyway, if it's all that delicate. If pencil, crayon and even dried egg will rub off, so will the bloom.

    I had a new broody this year, who pooped on the eggs at first. I found it right away, because I check under my broodies daily. I cleaned her, the eggs, and the nest. Then I took her off the eggs everyday for a short time. Then she started getting off the nest by herself. I think she just needed help setting a pattern, with these new urges she was feeling. She now has babies, and is happy.
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  7. SilverStar

    SilverStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Quote:I will be trying out hatching for the first time this year. I have wonderd about what to do if they poop on the eggs. Thanks for the advice. I am glad i found this thread.[​IMG]
  8. ChicoChickens

    ChicoChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2008
    Chico, CA
    [​IMG] I wanted to send you a hug because you sound sad hon. You are not a bad Mom! OK? You are taking great care of your animal babies, sometimes things just happen.

    One of our broody hens pooped on her eggs and boy was it seriously stinky! [​IMG] We just cleaned them off and there was no problem. Maybe the hens just get lazy [​IMG] I know I do. LOL

    Hang in there, you're doing great!
  9. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    I appreciate the advice. Ok, I'll go out and wash them.

    Debby, thanks for the virtual hug! I do really need it.

    I truly was checking under her twice a day, so this all happened in one day.

    And like Debby said, it was SERIOUSLY stinky. That is why I kept thinking it was something besides poop.

    I'm going out again in just a little bit to check on her.

    I did not know that they pluck their feathers when broody! And although I am new to incubating, I am not new to chickens, so it just goes to show, learn something new every day. Thanks so much for telling me.

    And I am going to take her out of there a couple times a day to try to establish a pattern.

    If these eggs do not hatch, I have some (well, many) eggs in the incubator, and I hope that when they hatch I can put some under her so she will have chicks.

    I don't know, maybe a hen doesn't feel bad if her eggs don't hatch, and she probably does forget about it quickly, but it will make ME feel bad if she does not have babies.

  10. Msbear

    Msbear Fancy Banties

    May 8, 2008
    Sharpsburg, MD.
    Catherine, I didn't mean to suggest your hen had mites but dusting her was probably a good thing as broodies are much more likely to get overrun by parasites as they sit in the nest day in day out... And she may be ignoring the food because she is in the zone [​IMG]

    Washing them may be better... I dunno. I was just sharing my personal experience. My eggs were actually stained green in some spots as a result of the icky poo.

    Good Luck with your hatch and it is always a good idea to have the back-up gowing just in case broody hen needs some babies. You're a great mom. ...doing all the right things. I feel very neglectful myself for not realizing but those things are so darn fluffy, it's hard to know what's going on under there. I try to take a few moments in the evenings now when Im closing them up to check a few with a flash light.

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