Is it okay to steal eggs from under a hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gophert, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. gophert

    gophert In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    I am new to chickens so sorry if this a dumb question. I have three hens. My RIR seems to like to "hang out" with her egg after she lays it. I hear her up there rummaging around or...something. Yesterday she managed to crack the egg. Maybe she is broody? I don't know. Anyway, I didn't want another cracked egg and I knew she'd been up there a long time (40 minutes?), so I opened the door and there she was with the egg under her. I gently took it, but was this a dumb idea?

    My hens just moved to my house so right now they are living full-time in their chicken ark. We will let them start free-ranging soon. One of the other ones seems to like to hang out with her egg too. How long does it normally take them to lay once they enter the nestbox, anyway?
  2. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I think it's fine as long as they have already laid their egg. I don't think you want to interrupt them when they are actually laying. Although I will say I have pulled eggs from under a hen before she laid to get all the eggs the other hens laid in that same nest. I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. cassidy22

    cassidy22 Chirping

    Apr 20, 2011
    Front Range - Colorado
    I have three broody hens, and I pull all the eggs out from under them every day. I pet them and tell them I am sorry. Wear long sleeves, sometimes they try to peck you.
  4. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I take the eggs. Sometimes they look like they don't care other times they make some noise.
  5. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    I usually try to wait her out. Some of mine lay fast, in and out, others seem to like to relax and enjoy the nest box. I have a couple that will spend hours in the nest box, (much to the disapproval of the others waiting on that nest box) I've never had a broken egg yet either though, so then I might start reaching in under them. I'm also able to collect eggs sometimes 2 or 3 times a day usually, so the nests don't have a chance to get more than a couple in them at one time.
  6. kwoody88

    kwoody88 In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2011
    Birmingham, AL
    I do it sometimes. It just depends if they Hens are in the nesting boxes when I get in from work or not. If they are in there, I just reach in and they are ok with it most of the time.
  7. hypnochyck

    hypnochyck In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2009
    Benicia, CA
    My Buff Orpington gets broody for weeks or months at a time and the other hens will climb on her or next to her to lay in the same box. So, she may be sitting on a half dozen eggs. I reach under her and collect them all the time, but she's sweet. I pet her and talk to her and thank her for her eggs. Sometimes she's there so long, I leave her food and water because she's loosing weight.
    No worries!
    Nancy K
  8. sdeneen2001

    sdeneen2001 Songster

    Feb 26, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    I do. I also wear heavy leather gloves when I do it! [​IMG]
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I usually leave eggs under hens. I'll just come back later and collect 'em. Unless it's a broody hen with a clutch I'm going to let her hatch.... and I've got one of those now. I mark the eggs she gets to keep, and remove the newly laid eggs daily. Other hens will lay in that nest when she's up taking her constitutional.

    I just leave a sitting hen alone out of a sense of.... well, I guess you could call it transferred modesty. I don't like being bothered when I'm involved in a task requiring me to sit for a while, y'know? I can wait until she leaves the nest to get her egg.
  10. Hinotori

    Hinotori Silver Feathers Premium Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Graham, WA
    I pet mine then reach under and take the eggs. Most of the girls will rise up a bit for me to get them. Then I pet them again and tell them how good they are.

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