busted eggs under momma hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by augiedranch, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have never had a hen want to sit on eggs before.. so i was very excited when my golden polish wanted to sit on eggs for me. well, she has been sitting for 1 week and 4 days. and i walked by and something smelled really bad and so i lifted her up with a stick and there where a bunch of busted yucky smelling eggs under her! yuck! i felt soo bad! i didnt know what to do, there was yucky egg stuff all over her belly and all the other eggs. i busted one other egg cuz it was way covered with yuck.. i just dont know what to do. are the other eggs bad? should i put a whole new batch under her? or just leave them? yikes i just dont know what to do and i really wanted some cute babies...[​IMG]
     
  2. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    can someone please help me out?

    i have been reading up, and i have read about some chickens that r starving will eat there own eggs. shes not starving. she is on free choice 10 acres (when not being broody of course), laying mash as much as she wants, and chicken corn as much as she wants. she is in her own little nest she made for herself and i keep food and water nearby just for her so i know hunger is not a problem.. but i still dont know what to do with the other eggs.. are they not going to hatch now?
     
  3. hatchcrazzzy

    hatchcrazzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2007
    kemp texas
    i m sorry about her egg it just got broke for no reason she was not going to eat it only time will tell about the eggs hatching
     
  4. Josie

    Josie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go ahead and let her sit on them, at this point there is no harm in it.

    This is probably a little redundant, I know you said that she has food and water nearby, but can she reach them from the nest. I have read on here of hens that literally die before leaving their nest when broody.
     
  5. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks guys.. illl stop panicking now! [​IMG]
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Broken eggs ARE pretty smelly, even if they were on the side of fresh or after just a couple days incubation.

    If you really want those eggs to hatch, go ahead candle and wash the fertile ones. Be careful not to turn the eggs around too much and use pretty warm but not hot water. The eggs that either did not get covered or just got a few splatters probably don't need to be washed. I suspect there may be protests to this.. but I have done this and they went on to hatch. Candling will answer your concern about the eggs.. if they turn out to be infertile or died, you can simply go ahead and replace all of the eggs. Just be sure all the eggs intended to hatch were set at the same time.

    Common reasons for broken eggs in a nest are too many eggs or intrusions- usually by another hen attempting to lay in the same nest. If there are eggs continually added to the nest, that may be the problem. If it is not going to be easy to close off access to the nest, then it will be best to pretty much grin and bear it and be sure to collect any new eggs daily.

    For her, probably a maximum of 10 eggs is best.. less may be better such as 8. If there were 15 or more and you are seeing either visible eggs when she is sitting or the nest is literally a pile of eggs, with some on top of others, it is pretty likely that is the problem. If a hen sees an egg that is not under her, often times they will strain and strain to tuck the egg under her and also try to press all the eggs under her.. which can break an egg or two.

    I strongly disagree with placing food and water close to any setting hen. On the free range, that is basically attracting unwanted attention to the nest, either by other birds or even predators or pests. Even in a coop, if mice or rats are present it will attract them to her spot.. and either bother her during the night or again attract the other birds to hang around and make a mess out of her area.. especially if she is not the dominant bird. Some birds will poop on the nest if she has food and water within reach of their nest.. not a good thing.

    Hens should be getting OFF the nest at least once a day anyways, so she can excerise, preen a bit and go to the bathroom- away from the nest. Even if a hen actually refuses to leave the nest, that is not good reason to put food and water by her.. lift her off the nest and carry her off to the food spot or at least she poops and eats something before being allowed to go back to the nest. Not doing that is just asking for the hen to atrophy. Atrophy is lack of muscle excerise and if she is not maintaining her muscles, she is not as able to keep her eggs warm.
     
  7. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh my goodness! very helpful information. this is my first time to have a chicken want to sit.. ur right she did have quite a few under her..
    now i am worried about what u said about them not leaving the nest. the reason why i put food and water where she was is cz she wasnt leaving the nest. she has flown up pretty high and hid herself in this high shelf that i have. she didnt even do it in the coup. my nieghbor told me not to move her or shell leave the eggs..
    i KNOW she isnt leaving the nest to eat or drink.. or poop.. what if she is pooping in her nest with the eggs? if i move her will she want to go bck to the eggs? is it too late to clean the yucky eggs? its been a while since it happened... even though i have food up there she is not eating. but shes drinking alot.

    after the few that were busted and the few that i threw away cuz they were so yucky she only has seven now.

    thanks for your help:)
     
  8. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Hens that never leave the nest are not common. I only mentioned it because of the comment above about hens dying on the nest. It is normal for a hen to be on the nest constantly, just leaving the nest once a day for a short break.

    If there is no poop on the nest, she probably is getting off the nest once a day when you weren't looking. If there is poop on the nest, I would be concerned because that isn't normal. Oh I don't know if you're aware, broody hen poop smells absolutely horrible lol.. It's normal.

    As for moving a broody hen and her nest to a different location.. well it's possible but in your situation it's probably not possible. It's much easier done if the nests are already similar.. I use covered cat litter boxes as nests, I can move them- just pick up the whole box after dark and set it in a cage or a run. Some hens still reject this move and want to go back to the exact location though.

    Lift her off the nest and carry her to where the food and water usually are. That will be a good chance for her to have a break if you're sure she hasn't left the nest at all.. and also a good time to candle the eggs to see how they're doing. If they're alive and growing and the egg is really smothered in gunk, go ahead and wash it off. Don't hold egg under water for long and quickly dry them off as soon as they are clean as they need to breathe also.

    As you mentioned nest is on a shelf.. are the eggs directly on the shelf or are they on something soft? Eggs can get broken on a hard surface. If it's a bare shelf, put up something soft such as an old shirt or towel with no loose strings(they can get wrapped around toes).. be better if it was close in color to the shelf as not to freak her out or just put it up on the other end away from the nest for her to see for a day or two before placing it under nest. If the eggs are on something soft, no need to change anything about it.

    7 eggs will be great for her to cover very good..
     
  9. augiedranch

    augiedranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks kev
    very helpful! [​IMG] well there isnt much poop on the eggs, so i guess shes getting off. thats good... but i am nervous about her being so high will it kill the babies when they fall off? she is about 5 feet high. shes got hay under her with the eggs [​IMG]
     
  10. 3peeps

    3peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the other big concern about not having a ground-level nest is having the babies fall out, not be able to get back to mamma, and chill to death.

    I'm on my first broody project myself and have had some bumps in the road.

    She may not accept a move to the ground, but with her being so high up, you may not have much to lose by trying. I'd do any moves at night, in the dark.
     

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