Egg eater


May 23, 2020
Hi everyone! So, I have a hen who has been brooding for 2? Ish weeks now. Has a clutch of 8 viable eggs. She is an experienced and good mamma so I've mostly left her to her own devices. Well this morning I went out to do My rounds and found another one of my hens DESPERATE to lay in her box. It appears that in the squabble over getting in the box one of the eggs was crushed 😒 now, I immediately separated the other Hen to a different area, and now my broody mama is eating the contents of the egg!!! Embryo, Goo, shell and all. Is this something I should be concerned about? She wont start eating the other intact eggs will she? Any insight is appreciated!


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
She's cleaning up the nest and it's normal. Keep an eye on her, but I doubt she will eat any others.

Other hens sometimes will come in and break and eat eggs, so it's always best a broody is set up by herself. Under natural conditions a broody hen will make a secret nest somewhere away from the flock.


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
She wont start eating the other intact eggs will she?

Highly unlikely. It's pretty normal for a chicken to eat an egg that is already opened, that's taking advantage of a free meal. I don't consider that a problem at all. It's when a chicken opens an egg on purpose to eat it that you have a problem. In al my years I've only had one hen that would purposely open eggs to eat them but many will eat an opened egg.

I had something like that happen one time. When the chicks in the eggs internal pipped and started chirping to Mama to let her know they were on the way another broody hen heard them and fought Mama to take over the nest. Several eggs were destroyed. So now if a second hen goes broody when another one is already broody I break her instead of giving her eggs.

I've never had a problem like yours where a broody fought over another hen laying in the nest. Mine lay with broody hens all the time. I did have a hen that was not broody that would not allow another hen to lay with her. She had other faults and was invited for supper. I also saw a different hen grab a pullet by the head and jerk her off the nest so that hen could lay an egg. Of course there were empty nests right there but those apparently weren't good enough. Violence around nests happens but I have never seen what you did.

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