en Behavior-Can they tell which eggs are theirs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CindyJean, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. CindyJean

    CindyJean In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2007
    Pittsboro, NC
    Maybe an odd question because I know people stick extra eggs under hens to hatch. Background: I had two hens on same nest. One hen was a bad mom, so I removed her. The remaining hen only hatched out half the eggs and abandoned the rest. I am hatching these out and the chicks are a different color from the ones the hen hatched out.

    In another coop I had 15 eggs under one broody hen. (there are two hens in that coop). The broody hen has neatly removed some of the eggs into a pile away from the nest so she is only sitting on 10.

    Have these hens selected for their own eggs? or is the first instance a coincidence, and the second a matter of not wanting to sit on so many eggs?
  2. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    I'm not sure if you're still interested in the answer, but no. Hens cannot tell which egg is theirs. The eggs that are being removed by the hen are eggs that are either dead or dying. They can detect something that we can't until it either explodes or starts smelling nasty.

    Edit: Sorry all. I didn't know this question was asked over 2 years ago.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010

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