An egg starts to hatch and someone eats it

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 5chicks4us, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. 5chicks4us

    5chicks4us Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    I've got a broody buff orp and I gave her 12 fertilized eggs 23 days ago. On day 21, she kicked one egg out of the nest and another disappeared. It left behind a non-smelly mess matted with black feathers. My guess was that one of my Jersey Giants hopped in, broke an egg, and a battle ensued ending with the egg getting eaten. Okay, no big deal. Today I headed out to the coop and heard peeping! I lifted my broody out so she would eat and my Ameracauna that has been happily co-parenting hopped in to cover them. I went to the dentist and came home to no peeping. The egg is completely eaten. No sign of a baby chick. I don't have an incubator so I can't rescue the rest of the eggs. Should I try to separate the hen and eggs now or is it too late?

    Talk about a lesson learned the hard way.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Wow! That defies description. Unfortunately, it sounds like all you are left with is a lot of circumstantial evidence along with many possible perpetrators. That is one more good reason to separate the broody and her clutch from the rest of the flock. At least, that way, if she's a chick eater, you'll know for sure that she's the one. But, with the rest of the flock having access to the nest (I assume this is the case) it could have been an egg tussle and stomp as you suspect, or the hen could have kicked a dead egg to the curb, or, she may be eating the chicks as they start moving and pipping. You'll never know unless you spend hours watching and catch her in the act. I'm so sorry. Can you rig up a desk lamp with a damp sponge some towels and a thermometer and make a make-shift incubator?

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