Broody hen stealing eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Thistledown, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Thistledown

    Thistledown Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2016
    Nova Scotia
    My americauna hen recently collected a clutch of 17 infertile eggs from her coop and began to set.

    Not having the guts to try and break her, I purchased a dozen fertile Dorking eggs and switched them while she was out of the nest.

    She sat on them for a few days, then began kicking them out of the nest one by one, until she was down - by my estimation - to one Dorking egg.

    This morning, day 17, I got a look in the nest, and sure enough there is one Dorking egg left... along with 13 stolen americauna eggs (infertile)!

    Has anyone got any advice on this behaviour?! I have no idea regarding the age of the stolen eggs, but I assume whenever the first egg hatches the hen will be off the nest and the rest of the eggs will die?

    This is my first brooch hen - any help us appreciated!
  2. Thistledown

    Thistledown Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2016
    Nova Scotia
    *sorry, broody not brooch :)
  3. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2016
    If you want her to hatch eggs she should be segregated from the rest of the flock so she cannot get access to any other eggs. We use a smaller coop for broody girls and they spend most of every day in there alone until they are done hatching.
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I thought you said the eggs she was stealing are infertile, so surely the only one that can hatch is the Dorking.

    Is she actually stealing eggs or are the other hens laying in her nest? If so, this could be why the dorking eggs have been getting rolled out, although it is odd that only the hatching eggs you bought have been discarded from the nest. What sort of nest box do you use? If there isn't a decent lip on it, it's too easy for the eggs to roll out. I use an old drawer for my broody nests

    If my broody starts setting in a communal nest I move her into a special one that has a door on it. I let her out once a day to have a broody break, do chores whilst she is out and then let her back in when she is ready to go back. The first few days she will go back to the communal nest, so I wait for her to settle then lift her up and put her into her own nest and close the door. If you make sure there are no eggs in any other nests and hers is full, then she learns to choose the right nest after the second or third day. I put food and water in with her, but she doesn't eat much when she is on the nest. I find this way, she remains part of the flock.... they see her every day....and she raises the chicks within the flock so no integration problems and I know that she is safe on the nest when I am not there and the eggs are under her, so no coming back and finding she is on the wrong nest and her hatching eggs cold. Broody hens prefer a secluded dark place, so closing the door to her nest is actually preferable to leaving it open for other hens to disturb her. It's important to ensure that there is some ventilation through the door though so I just drill a few holes in it. If they don't get off the nest when I open the door I lift them off and scatter some scratch. Again, after a few days they get to realise that when the door opens, it's time to get up and stretch their legs and poop and eat.

    I hope that gives you some ideas for next time and hope your remaining egg hatches and it's a pullet.

    Best wishes


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