Broody Hen, weird question/situation

Akemartin

In the Brooder
May 11, 2021
10
45
41
One of our hens turned broody, and although it’s fall we decided to let her lay on them (I’m pregnant and just couldn’t imagine taking her babies, probably the hormones lol). She was in the FOURTH nesting box. I felt under her slightly as not to disturb her too much, and I felt 3 eggs. I don’t know if there were more, but I didn’t put my hand very far under so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. She was on those eggs probably a week or so.
Yesterday I went out to gather eggs and she was in the THIRD nesting box. I gently felt under her and felt two eggs, but again I didnt want to disturb her so I only slid my hand under her side. There were NO eggs left in the box she was previously in. I’m completely perplexed as to what could have happened to those previous eggs and how she has more eggs in the new box. As far as I know Chickens can’t move their eggs. Has this happened to anyone else before? Do I let her still sit on the new eggs? Any idea what happened to the old eggs? My husband thinks our other chickens may have ate them, but the box is completely clean
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
35,425
290,634
1,662
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
One of our hens turned broody, and although it’s fall we decided to let her lay on them (I’m pregnant and just couldn’t imagine taking her babies, probably the hormones lol). She was in the FOURTH nesting box. I felt under her slightly as not to disturb her too much, and I felt 3 eggs. I don’t know if there were more, but I didn’t put my hand very far under so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more. She was on those eggs probably a week or so.
Yesterday I went out to gather eggs and she was in the THIRD nesting box. I gently felt under her and felt two eggs, but again I didnt want to disturb her so I only slid my hand under her side. There were NO eggs left in the box she was previously in. I’m completely perplexed as to what could have happened to those previous eggs and how she has more eggs in the new box. As far as I know Chickens can’t move their eggs. Has this happened to anyone else before? Do I let her still sit on the new eggs? Any idea what happened to the old eggs? My husband thinks our other chickens may have ate them, but the box is completely clean
Can you post pictures of your best box arrangement?
 

HumbleAmerican

Songster
Nov 3, 2021
338
1,271
138
Is there a possibility of critters hauling eggs off?

Maybe an egg eater?

It's fairly normal for a broody to get confused when coming back to an occupied nest. They get tired of waiting so they set on eggs in next box. I typically block off the adjacent boxes when I get one that's broody. This fixes that issue. (Never worried about the one above, just each side)
 

TheFatBlueCat

Chirping
Oct 16, 2021
80
181
71
New Zealand
Hens can move eggs short distances although I've not had one move them dramatically far or across barriers. They can roll them and can also move them under their wings. This is from direct observation myself. I had 3 eggs disappear from a broody nest once, my best guess is they broke and the hen did an incredible job of cleaning up... but I never got a clear answer to that! I never found a single bit of broken shell anywhere.
 

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