Broody Hen ate one of her eggs!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by deborah, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. deborah

    deborah Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    It is day 18 and our Mama hen ate one of her eggs! I checked on her, the egg was outside the nest with a hole in it. The egg was empty and the chick's head was next to it. She must have eatten the rest!

    This is the 3rd year this hen has gone broody. This year when she went broody she started sitting on 3 eggs. It's the smallest clutch she's ever sat on, but after a day of sitting, I didn't want to pull them out to start her with a bigger batch. On the 2nd day, we were going to put her in the brood box in the evening, but she got out of the nest and I found another hen on the eggs. I checked to make sure she hadn't laid an egg yet and then I marked the 3 eggs so they wouldn't get mixed up. I made a stupid mistake and put a RED dot on them. Once we moved MaMa into the brood box, she broke open one of the eggs. I figured it was because of the red dot and marked over them with a black dot. Since she only had 2 eggs, I ordered 5 chicks to arrive when these eggs hatch and I was going to put them under her at night and hope she raises them all. She's been a great mother with her other hatches, even fought off a hawk last year to protect the chicks! But she hasn't seemed as devoted this time. We let her out once a day. In past years, should would spend 10-15 minutes to poop, eat, drink and maybe take a short dustbath and then go back to the nest. This year, she's spent much more time away and I usually have to urge her back. She goes willingly, but not on her own.

    We have food and water in the brood box. I've put in chick starter feed, figuring she didn't need layer ration. It's more powdery than the layer ration. My husband thinks maybe she didn't like the food and was hungry. I admit she scratches a lot of it out and I can't tell how much she ate, if any. I switched it back to the layer ration. Or could something have been wrong with the chick? Are they communicating with her by day 18?

    It was such a bummer to see that chick head. It appeared fully formed, just wet like when they first hatch. The last egg is still under her. Has anyone ever had this happen?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've never seen them eat the chick.

    But it doesn't surprise me.

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