First time broody cracking eggs and eating babies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Aerielle, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Aerielle

    Aerielle Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2012
    Orange, CA
    I have a first time broody silkie who has cracked one of her eggs and pecked/eaten the chick. The egg had about 5 days left until hatch. I found the little body as she was furiously pecking it. She has two other eggs she is sitting on. Never had this happen before. :(

    Do you think it was nature weeding out a bad chick or the broody should have the eggs taken away? I have 3 other broody hens with chicks running around with chicks so it's hard to imagine that the hen in question could be so cruel. Should I wait and see what happens during the hatch? Can someone else share a similar experience and outcome?

    Thanks so much in advance.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They will definitely do this if they sense (or smell, or whatever) that the chick is sick or dead. It protects the rest of the hatch. Trouble is, sometimes they will also do it when the chick would have been fine, as far as anyone can tell. I do think it's most often when the chick has quit, though.

    Unless they are particularly valuable eggs, if I wanted to have a good broody, I would leave her alone and see how she handles the other two, myself. Personal choice, of course.
     
  3. Aerielle

    Aerielle Out Of The Brooder

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    43
    Nov 9, 2012
    Orange, CA
    I'm leaning towards letting him hatch the other two as well. Thanks for your opinion! They are her own eggs, not that being sacrificed is any consolation to them. :rolleyes: I will hope for the best and bury the little skeleton.
     

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