Broody hen eating her own eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ladyh, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will a broody hen all of sudden start eating her eggs she is sitting on? She had 11 eggs and now she has 4. They just disappared. She is in a secluded place where nothing would get her eggs. She is locked in at night so nothing gets in there?
     
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    It is possible. I've seen it happen before.

    Is there any evidence it is her? Broken shells or are they 100% gone?

    Could be a snake.
     
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi there ladyh

    I am sorry that you and your hen are losing eggs.

    If she was eating them, you should see some signs of egg mess on the nest. Any left over bits of shell or sticky stuff to show signs of eggs being broken?

    Minihorse927 posted as I was typing and I was also going to ask, when you say “nothing gets in there” would that include rats or snakes? They can both remove an egg leaving no telltale signs.

    Are the eggs disappearing overnight?

    Is she alone during the day also? Do you have more than one broody? I have seen a broody steal an egg from a nest and roll it across the coop floor to her nest.
     
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  4. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are no broken shells, they are just gone. Would she allow a snake to go under her and heat the eggs?
     
  5. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I noticed a couple times there was an egg out from underneath her and I just put it back under her. She rarely gets off her nest. I wasn't checking every day or morning.. I wouldn't think she would let a snake under her. The only thing allowed in her broody area is during the day other hens have their nest to lay eggs. She is the only one broody. This is my first broody hen and my first. I did notice that there was something smoshed..kinda like a chocolate eggs smoshed in half, but it didn't smell. I don't know what it is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  6. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    Yes they seem oblivious at times to the snake eating eggs.
     
  7. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she goes broody again, how do I protect her?
     
  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Yep, I have heard of snakes taking the eggs right out from under a broody hen.

    I recommend a camera to see if you can catch on film what is happening. Until you figure out what is happening to the eggs it will be difficult to plan a defense.
     
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  9. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    Put her in a metal airtight box... :lau (I'm joking) snakes are hard. You have to cover every nook and cranny with hardware cloth to stop them and even then the dang things can find a way!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  10. ladyh

    ladyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did have barn cameras, but a storm blew them all out so I have nothing now :-( The electric company takes no responsibility.
     

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