My hen ate her babies

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by katherine1, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. katherine1

    katherine1 New Egg

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    My hen (first time broody) has been on 10 eggs for roughly 14 days, maybe a bit longer. Today I went to feed her and there was blood in the nest box. It looks like she pecked 7/10 eggs into oblivion. She's a mess, the nest is a mess, I'm so sad for her egg babies! What to do with the remaining three eggs?? Incubate to completion inside? Let her keep trying? Why would she do that? Anything I can do for her or for them at this point besides wait it out? She has egg/chicken matter all over her underside- how can I best clean her or should I let her be? Such a mess!!!! I'm so sad! Help!
     
  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    I'm so sorry, I had a broody like that last year. [​IMG]

    The last egg I brought in and popped it into the incubator - had a solo chick for a while until I could buy a few companions for her.

    I'd just take the eggs that are left, clean her up in cool water and break her of being broody. Some hens are good mothers, we just happen to have ones that aren't.
     
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  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Do other hens have access to her nest? Maybe it wasn't her fault. Sorry either way, thats never a pleasant thing to deal with :hugs
     
  4. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you do have an incubator then try to save the other eggs. Some hens aren't cut out to be mothers I think they call them a "homicidal broody". Unfortunately you wont be able to use her to hatch eggs because she will just do it again. And if they did hatch she would kill or abandon the chicks. I'm not sure what it is that causes them do that and I'm sorry you lost your eggs. As far as cleaning she will need a bath. Get a shallow tub, fill with warm water and scrub her with mild soap, then rinse her and blow dry until she is fluffy again.
     
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  5. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    Sorry you had to go through this! I have heard of this sort of thing happening, but I have never had to experience it myself thankfully. What breed is she? I agree with the other posters, you should pull the remaining eggs and put them in the incubator. Whether to clean her off or leave her to clean herself off is really up to you. If you want you could probably give her a bath and wash off the mess. Again, sorry about this! [​IMG]
     
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  6. katherine1

    katherine1 New Egg

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    Thanks all. Was just shocking and sad. I'm soft on chickens (I'm guessing we all are?) so was hard to see all that. She's in a separate caged off area of the chicken yard so I'm positive it was she who caused the bloodshed. She's a buff Orpington, I left her w the eggs she hadn't destroyed yet and just cleaned the carnage around her; after reading your advice if she still has any intact tomorrow I will bathe her and bring the eggs in to try to finish them inside. I've never incubated chicken eggs but we have some tortoise egg incubators so perhaps I can modify them into something appropriate m. Would I give the chicks back when/if they hatch or just keep them away from her at this point?
     
  7. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

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    I would defintely keep them away from her. If she killed the eggs, she would mostly likely do the same to the chicks. Besides, the eggs still have a week or so left before they hatch, and she will probably give up being broody in that time if you take the eggs.
     
  8. teallll

    teallll Out Of The Brooder

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    I have an Orpington who ate her chicks as they hatched less than a month ago. I'm so surprised to hear you had a similar experience, considering that Orpingtons are such a gentle breed. [​IMG] I'm on this website to see if it could happen again because she's already broody for the second time. Ugh! From what I've read, I should probably never let her try again. I can't tell you the anticipation my family had, looking forward to seeing a mama hen raise some little ones! It would have been a new experience for us. :/
     
  9. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so sorry that happened :(. But you are right letting her hatch eggs again would be a mistake. Unfortunately just because a hen goes broody doesn't necessarily mean she will be a good mother.
     
  10. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Reading all this I kinda don't want to hatch Chiocka now
     

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