Problems Hatching with First Time Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by oldmcdonald, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. oldmcdonald

    oldmcdonald New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2009
    I have a broody Astralorp hen - her first time. She started with 12 eggs, not sure of the date, but they were not all her eggs. She had a "sister" hen go broody and shared the job in the same nest. However, she has now kicked out the other hen, is on the nest constantly. Last week she started cracking eggs and pushing them out. None were fertile. So, I candled and found the remainder to be fertile and fully developed. Yesterday I saw 2 broken egg shells, but nothing inside. The rest of the eggs were wet, as was the hen's underside. Today, she had remnants of egg on her comb, and 2 more empty shells (had to have had chicks inside) and remainder of what was left inside (no peeps tho). Could she be eating her own??? I lifted her completely out of the nest to check eggs. She came right back in and settled down. I'd love to move her and the 8 remaining eggs to a clean nest, but I'm afraid to upset her further and have her abandon the eggs. Can any help me with some suggestions. This is my first time hatching too!!!!!

    Pam McDonald

    ps: She was separated from other hens and roo just as soon as I discovered she was setting on eggs (had been out of town).
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This is perplexing. Just a wild thought. Do you think rats may be eating the eggs under her? I once had a black snake eat the eggs out from under a broody hen while she was sitting on the nest. It was really creepy seeing the snake wrapped around the hen and her just sitting there.
     
  3. kera!

    kera! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that is what it sounds like to me rats,,I doubt it is her ..best to try and make were she is safer or set some traps that the chickens cant get to try a crate with a store bought egg and a trap under the crate or something...I seriuosly doubt it is the hen..or keep a close watch if you can especially at night and early morning..better yet buy alot of chicken friendly cats.
     
  4. oldmcdonald

    oldmcdonald New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2009
    I had problem with big rats previously that lived under the chicken coup (palace). I placed rat poison out in their "den hole" with it covered last weekend and haven't seen any since. Also, I do have chicken friendly cats. Problem is, if I turn the cats loose in the chicken yard and they stay there overnight, the not so cat-friendly chickens gang up on the cat and peck her until she finds herself up a tree or on the roof!!!!

    You might be right about the rats, so until they all die - I do have a way to keep the rats out of the chicken house, and I'll secure it this evening when I get home from work and see if that does the trick.

    Meanwhile, the remaining eggs and the nest are a slimy mess from the broken eggs as is the hen's underside. Do you think it would be ok if I moved her and her eggs to a dry, clean nest of straw??? It really smells bad in there and I don't think that wetness will do her or the eggs any good at all! She has been very good about keeping the nest clean until now.

    Pam McDonald
     

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