Broody eating eggs

LadyAchee

Crowing
May 10, 2020
570
1,542
276
Liberty Hill, TX
My hen that was sitting on eggs got stressed and started eating her eggs. I thought it was another hen who did it because she was taking up the nesting box. I moved her and she ate 2 more and now has 1 left. My question is will I be able to trust her to brood again? The egg has 1 week left if she doesn't eat it too. Has anyone else dealt with this?
 
I had a chicken do this as well. It was her first time going broody and the chicks were about one week until their hatch date and she started cracking all of her eggs, I went into the coop to check on her and I seen 3 dead not fully developed babies and all of her eggs cracked. I had her in a coop separate from the rest of the hens so its not possible for another hen to have gotten in. She has not gone broody sense but I'm sure she will. I ended up purchasing an incubator and am hatching out chicks myself from now on because two of my hens that have gone broody started cracking their own eggs and eating them and killing the babies.
 
I had a chicken do this as well. It was her first time going broody and the chicks were about one week until their hatch date and she started cracking all of her eggs, I went into the coop to check on her and I seen 3 dead not fully developed babies and all of her eggs cracked. I had her in a coop separate from the rest of the hens so its not possible for another hen to have gotten in. She has not gone broody sense but I'm sure she will. I ended up purchasing an incubator and am hatching out chicks myself from now on because two of my hens that have gone broody started cracking their own eggs and eating them and killing the babies.
She has successfully brooded a clutch before and been kicked out of a cobrooding situation where she tried to steal another hens eggs/chicks. I'm hoping others will chime in. She is an amazing momma hen usually and my most broody. She's gone broody 4 times. We did integrate babies recently so maybe that's stressed her also..
 
@LadyAchee The same is happening with my broody now:
she is also in the last week (day 16) and started to eat the eggs including shell and embryo :hit We started with 12 eggs and this morning there were only 6 left.

I don't know what to do, we don't have an incubator. Maybe adding lots of hay or bedding to the nest when she is eating her food, so that the eggs are slightly hidden?

It's my first time incubating using a broody hen, but this is not a good start.
 
@LadyAchee The same is happening with my broody now:
she is also in the last week (day 16) and started to eat the eggs including shell and embryo :hit We started with 12 eggs and this morning there were only 6 left.

I don't know what to do, we don't have an incubator. Maybe adding lots of hay or bedding to the nest when she is eating her food, so that the eggs are slightly hidden?

It's my first time incubating using a broody hen, but this is not a good start.
I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you also. The hen in my post is on a new nest now. This will be her last chance to prove she can be a good momma hen. Did she end up hatching any?
 
So, we started with 12 eggs, there were 5 eggs left on hatching day:
2, she threw out of the nest
1, was rotten
1, hatched, but she stood on the chick and squashed it
1, hatched and is still alive after 40 hours.

We named him/her 'Harvey 1 of 12' and if he/she is still alive on Saturday I can permit myself to feel happy.

Sadly, we will get rid of this hen as she is likely to continue eating eggs and may even influence others to do the same.
 
We want our broody hens to have their own space, usually in a big dog crate in the coop, so other flock members aren't getting into the nest. Often moving the broody and nest at night will work, but not always. overall the chick survival rate is better though.
We do have separate areas in our coop that can be fenced off, also helpful.
A couple of times we've had a broody hen quit in the middle of incubation, and we never had that hen set on eggs again. Never had one eating half grown embryos though!
It seems more behavioral than diet related, but is this hen getting an all flock diet, nearby, so she's able to eat really well when she does go to eat? Is she being harassed when she eats? If her needs are being met, and it's actually a 'brain glitch' then don't have her brood again, and don't raise her own chicks if you want good broodiness in your flock.
Mary
 
So, we started with 12 eggs, there were 5 eggs left on hatching day:
2, she threw out of the nest
1, was rotten
1, hatched, but she stood on the chick and squashed it
1, hatched and is still alive after 40 hours.

We named him/her 'Harvey 1 of 12' and if he/she is still alive on Saturday I can permit myself to feel happy.

Sadly, we will get rid of this hen as she is likely to continue eating eggs and may even influence others to do the same.
Weird. In my case I believe the hen was being harassed by another hen and she wanted to start over in a better spot. She had successfully brooded a clutch before. They should hatch on the 7th. I also have a bantam frizzle who is broody(1 egg) so if I notice the first broody doing any egg eating, I'll give her remaining eggs to the bantam.
I know space can be an issue in alot of coops.
 
She is separated and went out to eat, drink and defecate several times a day for around 10 minutes. We believe she is either extremely clumsy and ate the damaged eggs to prevent infection OR she is not right in the head.

It couldn't have been predators either as the coop is very secure.

So far, she is looking after the one and only chick; she was showing it where to eat this morning and goes looking for it when it peeps.
 

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