Eggs disappearing from broody hen

Dec 29, 2019
54
111
76
Oregon
I have a Welsummer who has been sitting on a large pile of eggs for about 2 weeks. She got up to eat the other day and I noticed there seemed to be less eggs than I remembered seeing before. There was no mess though so I didn't think much of it. Then I went in the coop to check on the eggs while she was up and eating again this morning and now there are even less eggs, a small piece of broken shell, there is yolk all over and the nesting box and the entire coop smells like death. It's a horrible, nauseating smell. I have heard that broodies will sometimes eat the eggs but she has been up every other day to eat and drink so I'm not fully convinced this is her. There is a (assumed) gofer digging holes in the outside coop area and somehow it got into the nesting box? The only other animal I have seen around there is a chipmunk but I removed it and set it down across the property the other day, just in case. Do chipmunks or gofers eat eggs?? I know that my Dixie needs to be moved somewhere safer, so I do plan on getting hardware cloth and putting her in a wire dog kennel but I hesitate to move her before the chicks are here. This is all new territory for me so any tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

nchls school

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 22, 2015
6,892
3,630
386
Tennessee
I have a Welsummer who has been sitting on a large pile of eggs for about 2 weeks. She got up to eat the other day and I noticed there seemed to be less eggs than I remembered seeing before. There was no mess though so I didn't think much of it. Then I went in the coop to check on the eggs while she was up and eating again this morning and now there are even less eggs, a small piece of broken shell, there is yolk all over and the nesting box and the entire coop smells like death. It's a horrible, nauseating smell. I have heard that broodies will sometimes eat the eggs but she has been up every other day to eat and drink so I'm not fully convinced this is her. There is a (assumed) gofer digging holes in the outside coop area and somehow it got into the nesting box? The only other animal I have seen around there is a chipmunk but I removed it and set it down across the property the other day, just in case. Do chipmunks or gofers eat eggs?? I know that my Dixie needs to be moved somewhere safer, so I do plan on getting hardware cloth and putting her in a wire dog kennel but I hesitate to move her before the chicks are here. This is all new territory for me so any tips and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Gophers and chipmunks do not eat eggs; at least not that I've ever heard of. A large pile of eggs is not a good idea for a number of reasons. In this case it could explain why the eggs are disappearing. With a pile of eggs the hen can not get on and off the nest without stepping directly on a eggs which breaks them. The hen in turn tries to clean the nest by eating the mess. After a few times of this a hen can become an egg eater. My advice is to candle the eggs and remove those that have DIS. That horrible smell probably is the result of a rotten egg breaking. It might turn out that all the eggs have gone bad. In which case you have to decide on what to do-give her ten-twelve fresh eggs or break her of broodiness.
 

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