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Oh, No! What To Do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ClareScifi, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    My chicken is broody under the house, I hope. I haven't seen her all day or heard her.

    She is sitting on unfertilized eggs. I managed to roll a few of them out from under the house and was trying to get them out from under the porch, when one cracked-- right atop the food I have sprinkled for her by her nest!

    These eggs are old-- perhaps laid as long ago as last November, but there was no stink when the egg cracked and the yolk went all over her food.

    So I have 2 new worries. If the egg is old could it get salmonella poisoning on her pellets that could make her ill? And will the cracked egg make her develop a taste for eggs and peck all the future ones she lays?

    If she would peck up all those unfertilized old eggs it could be a blessing in disguise, because then maybe she'd come out from under the house and give up on the eggs. But the salmonella or disease issue from eating an old egg to get to her food has me more worried.

    I don't know what to do. She doesn't seem to have come off her nest once in 3 days, but I had seen her beak pecking at the food and water yesterday and the day before.

    Should I sprinkle fresh food over the yolk, covering it deeply, in hopes she'll eat that food instead of the egg? I thought about trying to dilute the mess with water poured through cracks in the porch floor, but I'm afraid it might make it too wet and damp. I'm already worried about her being under the porch. There's no way to get her out.

    I'm at a loss as to what to do?

  2. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Use a hoe to reach the eggy feed and rake it out. Then give her some fresh feed.
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Yes, I would rake the food out, but not replace it. When she comes out to eat, nab her! [​IMG]
  4. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    I can't get a hoe in there. It's a tight angle, under steps. I did manage to take a straight stick and roll the rest of the eggs I could see, except one in a too distant location, out from under the house, per se, and under the porch, but she's nowhere to be found. I'm thinking she must have died. There were not as many eggs as I thought, maybe 12 or so.

    She ate and drank as late as yesterday afternoon, so I wouldn't think it would have been starvation that got her. I didn't see or hear a thing of her all day long.

    I set a plate of fresh food in water on top of the eggy mess to cover it up. There's not room for both food and water, so I figured if I mixed the food in water, at least she can get some liquid in her, if she's still alive.

    Do you think if I remove the food, she will come out? Since she's nowhere in sight or within hearing, she must have walked a ways to get to it yesterday? Or did she move to a new location because I rolled so many of the eggs out yesterday and today? Could this really upset a chicken and make her do something weird?

    The last two days I could hear her clucking right near where I put the food, but she's not there today.

    I wonder whether a skunkmight have killed her in the night. I didn't hear anything or smell a skunk, but I suppose I could have been in a deep sleep. No sign of blood, but maybe a skunk would have made a clean bite and carried her away? This worry really is upsetting.
  5. Nonny

    Nonny Songster

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I would try and remove a step or two so you can get a proper look in there and also clean up the eggs/food properly. You can always reattach them afterwards.
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I doubt she will eat spoiled food or egg. I would not put food or water under the house, only out where i could reach her.
  7. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Thanks for the posts.

    It is not my house-- it is the neighbor's house, and he is away on vacation until June 15. But maybe I could remove the steps anyway? He might not mind. But I'm still not sure I could get in there far enough to see her. It is a thought, though.

    Okay. I will take the food away, although there are so many crumbles and pellets in the egg mess, she could probably munch on them forever. If I can get the steps off, though, maybe I could get a hoe in there to clean away the mess.

    Maybe I just won't reattach the steps and the neighbor will realize we should have fenced around the bottom of his porch as I had requested many months ago. It would make it easier to do so now. Maybe I'll go ahead and do that, too, if I ever get her out? HaHa

  8. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    My S.O. just informed me that there is no way to remove the steps from the porch, that they are built into the porch, that we'd have to tear up the porch to get them off.

    This is just one horrible mess.
  9. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    The good news is, she's still alive! I just went back out, and now that it is pitch black, I could spot her with the flashlight. She's not too far from the egg mess food, but farther back than I thought, on a whole different clutch of eggs. I guess she doesn't even miss the ones I rolled out. She clucked softly when I shone the light on her feathers, which were moving up and down over the eggs. It's good to know she's still alive, but how in the world I am going to get her out, I don't know.

    In the morning I will try to scrape all the food away but maybe leave water so she doesn't get constipated?

    I am going to get some fresh strawberries and put one small slice within her reach and the others just far enough away that she can't get to them. Maybe that will help get her out from under the porch. But this will necessitate my having to stay by the porch all day long to watch for her.

    How long do you think it will take to coax a broody hen out for food? Could it take more than one day?

    Bless her heart. What a devoted little girl.

    I am just furious that the men wouldn't take my concerns seriously, and now I am the one left with all the worry and work!
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Think about it this way....when a broody sneaks off into the woods or tall grass to brood a clutch of eggs, she doesn't take a picnic basket or flask of water along with her. She just shows up one day with biddies following her. Chickens have been doing this for thousands of years without interference. So the eggs won't hatch, she will eventually realize it and give up the nest and come out. This is life with chickens...sometimes they just do inconvenient or stupid things and you just have to watch and wait.

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