I found what happened to the missing egg...


11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
Bay Area, CA
I've got two broody hens who are incubating fertilized eggs. Juanita, my trooper broody, has been doing just fine with the bulk of the eggs. Sophie is a first-timer, and had three of the eggs until about a week ago. Then one of the eggs vanished. It would have been about ten days old. Today, I found the shell, down behind the feeder, and it looked bloody inside, so there was an embryo in there.

So the question is: do they destroy eggs if maybe the chick dies in vitro? Or could this have been damage from Clarisse, my butch hen, who was doing all manner of harrassment to poor Sophie, chasing her off the nest, pecking her until she bled, disturbing the nest box, etc.? She has since been taken out and confined to a small cage, and threatened with stewing. (If she wasn't named after a friend, she'd be food by now. Never name chickens after friends who then take an interest in them.) Do rival hens (or honorary roosters) destroy the eggs of other hens?

I'm hoping it was just a non-viable egg, but I'm wondering...
I think it's always best to separate a broody and a clutch, she needs a no stress environment, food, water and enough room to get up and stretch when she needs it.
Most broodys will get up at least once a day to poop and get water and sometimes feed, when they do the nest is left unguarded and other hens may do what happened to you.
Just make sure she has water and room to get off the nest for a bit and she should be fine.
Of course when the chicks hatch, they should be protected as well, other hens may or will kill them.
Juanita and Sophie now have this coop all to themselves, and will be moved into a nest box area when the chicks hatch. I'm not letting other hens anywhere near those chicks!

Do you think the two moms-to-be are okay with being together when the chicks hatch? They both went broody at the same time, and the chicks will be from the same batch of (mail order) fertilized eggs. (They also have a couple of unfertilized eggs, from themselves, in with the clutches, since they were still laying when they got the fertile eggs. I'm expecting those to maybe be discarded when the clutches hatch.)

Hmm, maybe I should be posting this over in the forum on raising baby chicks.

Chickens, always an adventure...
I had two hens go broody at the same time, in the same nest box. After they went broody I moved them and their eggs to a private coop so they wouldn't be harassed by the other ladies. They got along just fine and hatched out six pullets and two cockerels. Good luck to you and your broodies!

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