Chook eating eggs/unborn chicks due any day! Help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ggibb83, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. ggibb83

    ggibb83 Hatching

    I'm new to chickens, and this site!
    I have 3 chooks, one has been broody so I popped some fertilized eggs underneath as a bit of a trial, we have friends with a farm who want chicks, and we're going to try our luck!
    Chicks are due to hatch this week, today I arrived home from the shops to the chooks going crazy and the dog very excited. I popped my head in and saw my broody hen, Lacey, eating an egg/unborn chick. On further inspection I can see a few broken egg shells, a couple of eggs missing.
    This is Tuesday, on Friday I noticed Lacey sitting on a different nesting box with just one egg in it, and her clutch was cold. So I pretty much have up hope then, but since then she's back on the nest.
    My theory is that they were dead, so she's eating them (natural instinct?) or she's just a crazy cannibal.... Anyone else have a similar problem?
    I'm thinking I'll grab an incubator next time!
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Sometimes they do that. Hard to say whether the eggs were duds and that was the reason she ate them. They will eat dud eggs. But some hens just do it anyway. Try another broody next time, unless the one you mentioned is setting on her own eggs. Ot use an incubator, like you said.
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Hens have natural instincts. Something was probably wrong with the clutch. They either weren't fertile, had died or were rotten.

    As far as her eating them, you need to break this habit. Make sure she has lots of calcium. Hens often eat eggs since the shells are filled with calcium which they are lacking. An eggshell is about 94% calcium which has to come from the hen's body. So either provide crushed, rinsed eggshells or oyster shell for the calcium required for laying hens.
    Here is a link on stopping hens from eating their eggs.

    Good luck!
  4. ggibb83

    ggibb83 Hatching

    Thanks for your reassurance that I don't just have cannabilism in my coop.... I have popped back in, and have noticed the chick is still intact, so possibly died whilst hatching and mum was eating the egg around the chick?

    Will see what the next couple of days bring!
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Sorry you had to experience this. Chickens are cannibalistic at times. Eat eating tends to be a habit the other chickens will pick up, so keep on any on them.

    Welcome to the BYC flock, we also have an excellent aussie thread "Australia, six states and one funny little island," if you want to see what others are up to.
  6. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So sorry about your hatch. It is very possible something went wrong and she did start to consume them. Either that or another hen got in to her nest and started breaking the eggs and causing trouble. Then of course the chaos started. Next time you have a broody on eggs, separate her from the others with a fence, wire or what ever it takes to keep other birds out of her area. Of course put out some water and feed for her. Make sure the lip on your nest box is high enough that eggs or chicks don't come rolling or falling out.

    Welcome to our flock!
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about the hatch.
  10. ggibb83

    ggibb83 Hatching

    Update: a chick has hatched and is alive! Woo!
    Do I need to do anything yet?! Literally 10 mins ago

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