I'm new to chickens so learning as we go - unfortunately my broody is paying the price. She is a large cochin and a determined mother - in March she went broody - purchased a dozen fertile eggs (we can't have roosters in our town) and after day 25 it was obvious she was unsuccessful. Luckily for us our school hatched chicks and we were able to bring home 3 - she adopted them that evening and was an awesome mother ! Here we are again - 2 weeks on golf balls (bright pink and yellow) and any egg she can get her bottom on. So I search craigslist for fertile eggs - no luck. I went to purchase 3 chicks (chicken math) and in telling the farmer our sad story he takes pity on our broody and gives me 2 turkey eggs - he didn't have any chicken eggs. I put the 2 turkey eggs under her that night and left her 1 golf ball as well. The next night I put the chickens to bed and decide to check on our broody - 1 turkey egg gone ! I wait for her next morning - she gets off her nest and eats, drinks and poops. Immediately hops back on her nest. I check on her at 1.00pm - the other turkey egg is gone - no shell, no wet spot under her - nothing! I call a friend and he suggests squirrels or egg eating and tells me to blow out 2 eggs, fill with mustand and put them into the nest boxes. Next morning I see our favorite hen checking out these new eggs and as soon as I turn my back - one is eaten. I go to fill their water bucket and when I come back some hen has taken the other mustard egg out of the nest box and rolled it down the ramp so all the chickens are feeding on shell and spilled mustard. It didn't deter them any - they seemed to enjoy it. I HOPE that they are just opportunistic eaters so I won't have to remove them ALL. I do hope to confirm that the girl I saw pecking was the actual thief and I saw another hen in the hen house with her so I will have to remove at least 3 from my flock (I have my suspicions of another girl). My question How on earth will I confirm that my 3 suspects are egg thieves. I purchased 2 huge dog crates (Big enough for a great dane) and thought to put the 3 girls in jail. These cages are big enough for them to move around in and have their own water/food but not much fun like in their usual run so I can't keep them confined for a long time. Will just keeping them seperated confirm the egg eating. I have 24 hens but 1/2 of the flock are bantams. They are mixed ages - 12 from last year and 12 from March of this year. Second question I am going to use the other dog crate for my broody so she can't be bothered or her golf balls eaten. These lock up and are self contained. Is there anyone close to Rockland, Massachusetts with fertile eggs I can purchase?