Eggs at Day 17--And my hens ate one of them!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by EggDropSoup, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. EggDropSoup

    EggDropSoup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2012
    Hi all--

    I have a Salmon Faverolle hen named Floris who keeps going broody. I finally relented and got 6 fertile eggs from a friend so that Floris could hatch them.

    I candled them last night for the final time, and all 6 seemed to be very well-developed and the embryos were moving around.

    This evening, I came home from work and went out to collect eggs. My other hens have been pretty good about leaving Floris alone in her nesting box, but today, ALL of them had taken turns laying eggs with Floris' eggs, and I lifted Floris up so I could collect them.

    I had marked all six eggs with an "X" on each side when I first got them, so it would be easy to tell them apart from the eggs my other hens would be laying. As I took the newly laid eggs out of Floris' nest...I noticed that there were only five marked eggs left. And then I noticed that the remaining five eggs all had splotches of yolk on them. Upon further investigation, I saw that one of the newly laid eggs had a crack in it.

    It would seem that in all the jostling around, one of the nearly-developed eggs got broken and the hens ate the baby. :(

    Tomorrow, I'm going to move Floris and her eggs into a dog crate in the garden shed. I think she'll be okay with it--I'll leave the door open during the day and lock her in it at night. She's an EXTREMELY determined broody, and is very protective of her nest. I'm pretty sure that what happened was just an accident, and the chickens did what they instinctively do when an egg breaks, but I don't want to compromise the other 5 with anymore jostling and fighting over nest space.

    My main question is should I try to clean the other five eggs since they have some yolk on them?? They're not covered...just dirty. Will it hurt the developing chicks more to leave the eggs as-is or clean them off gently?

    Also, has this ever happened to anyone else?? I know nature can be brutal, but I feel as though it's somehow my fault. :(
     
  2. EggDropSoup

    EggDropSoup Chillin' With My Peeps

    108
    8
    81
    Sep 12, 2012
    I guess I'll just leave them unwashed. We're so close to the hatch date, I don't want to fuss with them at all, really....
     

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