my first broody hen ATE one of her eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mpguay, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. mpguay

    mpguay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MY Buff Orp has been sitting on 9 eggs for about 9 days. Today I went in and took her off the nest (Ive done this 3 other times during the 9 days) and found a gooey mess on her belly and all the eggs. It looked like yolk, and sure enough, only 8 eggs were left. I assume she ate one. I gently cleaned the other eggs with warm water on a soft rag and changed the nesting material. she came right back to sit.

    Should I take her off the nest more often? Was she hungry? she eats and drinks nicely when i take her off. I also noticed that if I dont take her off the nest every day, the other girls pick on her like she is a stranger.

    Is there a rule of thumb for how often to insure mom leaves the nest?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My first guess is that one egg had a thin, weak shell or maybe was already cracked and just broke from her moving them around.

    My second guess is that a rat or something partially ate the egg.

    My third guess is that she was fighting something to protect her nest and an egg got broke in the commotion.

    My next guess is that the egg became infected with bacteria, the pressure built up in it, and it exploded. If that was the case, it would really stink.

    While it would not be unusual for her to eat an egg that broke, and it is possible she broke it on purpose, I really doubt she broke it on purpose.

    I check under a broody in the evening to see if there is a fresh egg under her. That might be a good time to put her off the nest so she can take her daily constitutional. But most leave on their own once a day. Each situation is different. There is nothing wrong with taking her off once a day, morning or evening. Whanever suits your schedule and circumstances.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Agreed. After taking one of my first broodies off the nest daily, with mixed results I decided from here on out to just leave them be. They do come off the nest without prompting; for more time on nice days, less on cold or rainy days.
    I currently have three broodies, plus another iffy one. I let them handle everything now, just making sure that there is a chick feeder and waterer available to them close to the time of hatch.
     
  4. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Eggs get broken from time to time when a hen is setting them. I've never bothered to clean up the mess, it doesn't seem to effect the hatch. I assumed it would do more harm than good if you scrubbed off the bloom.

    -S
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The bloom helps keep bacteria out, but it not a perfect barrier. A dirty egg can get bacteria through the egg shell even with the bloom intact. I'd be more concerned with that egg mess harboring bacteria and would have cleaned the eggs.

    However, I do not normally wash eggs I am going to incubate because the bloom does help. I just do not set dirty eggs. It's like about everything else chicken. In ideal circumstances there is the best way to go, but sometimes you have to deal with less than ideal circumstances.
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Is she seperated or can the other hens still get to her nest? Often the other hens will continue laying in a broodys nest and eggs get broken that way. If she's not seperated I would do so. Put her in a cage with food and water that is big enough for her to take care of her business in. This is the set up I use:
    [​IMG]
    Its an old bird cage, so the wire doesn't allow mice or other beaks into the cage. I usually leave them in there until she is ready to take the chicks outside. Its in the coop, so I put a piece of tin on top so she doesn't get pooped on. Works for me, good luck!
     
  7. mpguay

    mpguay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for the replies. She is settled now on 8 eggs.
    OH!
    Last night we caught a racoon in a have-a-heart trap. left it there overnight till we could relocate it. It BUSTED OUT of the trap!
     

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