disappearing eggs under broody hen?

jeannedeaux

Songster
Jan 22, 2017
56
55
101
Amherst, Massachusetts
Hi chicken wisdom hive,
I have a broody hen on six fertile eggs that I bought for their potential to give me hens who lay interesting colored eggs. There were six for the past week; this morning there are only five. Nowhere in the crate/nest/coop is the other egg. What is going on? Could the mother have eaten it if it cracked or she thought it was inferior? Could another hen have sabotaged the brood while she was out on a break? Do I need to do anything special to protect the remaining five eggs? With my luck, that one had a female chick inside :(
 

AltonaAcres

Crowing
Jan 13, 2019
3,276
5,722
436
Is there any yolk, shell fragments, blood, etc. on the hen or around the coop floor? Snakes eat them w/o leaving any remnants, so maybe while the broody was off the nest eating/drinking the snake snatched one.
 

jeannedeaux

Songster
Jan 22, 2017
56
55
101
Amherst, Massachusetts
No remnants that I can find. There was an egg on the floor of the coop but it was much lighter in color. I’ve seen no snakes in the yard for a few years, and that was a tiny black one far from henhouse. The broody was off the nest over 45 minutes today so I finally caught her and put her back on. She has food and water in there so I shut the door for today.
 
May 24, 2020
218
237
73
it could be rodents. if so make sure you listen for her nervously clucking also if your other girls do not have enough calcium they will eat others eggs so i suggest seperating your future momma
 

jeannedeaux

Songster
Jan 22, 2017
56
55
101
Amherst, Massachusetts
I have her separated in a crate on the floor. She clucks and growls all the time—warning me and others to stay away. If a rodent did get in, would have to be very small mouse and wouldn’t she kill that? Thanks.
 

jeannedeaux

Songster
Jan 22, 2017
56
55
101
Amherst, Massachusetts
I don’t have a camera like that but my coop is nearly predator proof, save the occasional bear who might decide to really get crazy. I had weasels once and that was enough! No more opportunities to break in.
 

jeannedeaux

Songster
Jan 22, 2017
56
55
101
Amherst, Massachusetts
As per question of calcium—I give cooked egg shells and oyster flakes plus the layer feed is balanced. Treats once a day are Grubblies—grubs with extra calcium. Yet I still have one large Buff Orpington who lays a very bumpy and thin shelled egg that almost always breaks in the nest. Sometimes someone else lays a smooth-shelled egg that breaks too. I don’t know what else to give them!
 

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