Broody hen bumped and broke eggs

Petra Pancake

Songster
Jul 15, 2016
295
108
131
In the suburbs of Tel Aviv
I've got a broody hen, my second one right now, sitting on fertilized eggs. I had to move her away from the other broody because they were fighting and mixing up their eggs ( which are more than a week apart). When I moved her to a big dog cage, she panicked and raged for several minutes all around the cage, kicking her eggs in all directions. They got bumped quite a bit but seemed unbroken. That was day 2 of her sitting on them. Today, day 4, I saw ants crawling all around her and a broken egg shell next to her. I didn't dare to move her off the nest to get a closer look because I was worried she might panic again and smash the rest. Is there any chance that the eggs that got bumped and probably smeared with yolk are still viable? Should I leave them under her or try to exchange them for fresh ones (risking another "panic attack")?
 

FloridaChick88

Chirping
Jul 7, 2016
81
33
96
I had one of my broodies break an egg that she was sitting on once and all of the others underneath her hatched fine even though some of them did have egg smeared on them. The nesting box smelled absolutely terrible though.

I would probably try to look under her to see if any others are broken but don't try to set her back on top of the eggs yourself. Let her walk back to them and adjust herself on top of them to keep her from panicking and potentially causing more damage. Maybe add a little clean bedding to the nest too.

When I have a hen go broody I always try to mark her eggs that she is sitting on with some sort of symbol like a heart or a star. That way if another hen happens to go broody at the same time I can tell the eggs apart or if I have another hen try to sneak an egg onto the nest I know that it wasn't one of the original eggs. :)
 

Petra Pancake

Songster
Jul 15, 2016
295
108
131
In the suburbs of Tel Aviv
Thanks @FloridaChick88, good to know that eggs still can hatch with old yolk on them. I'll offer her some fresh bedding as well, as you suggested. By the way, I did mark the eggs of both hens with dots of red and green food color, that's how I knew they had mixed them up in the first place.
 

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