Why did the mean hen break the broody hen's eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by markandcindy, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. markandcindy

    markandcindy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I have 7 Jersey Giant hens, 3 bantam hens and 1 bantam rooster (Artie) who takes care of them all (or is at least trying). Joanie, the mixed cochin hen, went broody so I let her keep 3 eggs to see if they would hatch, although I had no idea whose eggs they were. I marked them with the date we started. Well, the biggest JG hen started crowding into the next box with Joanie, sometimes during the day and sometimes at night instead of sleeping up on the roost with the others.

    One by one over the last two weeks I found those eggs pecked open. The first 2 were just plain eggs but the one I found yesterday had a baby chick inside, so it may have been hers. Artie mounts all of them but I have no idea if he succeeds with the big girls.

    Should I have moved Joanie to another coop while she was nesting? Should I have moved the mean girl to the other coop? Was this a kind of bullying? The JG's lay eggs all over the sand in the coop, not in the next boxes, and I've never found other eggs broken open. I felt bad for poor Joanie. [​IMG]
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sorry that this happened, but when other hens have access to a broody hen this a fairly common occurrence. The JG may have inadvertantly broken eggs while crowding into thenest-- this can be a precursor to egg eating.
     
  3. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    so sorry you lost your hatching egg, it would be a good idea to have a separate broody hen area that the others can't access. You should watch the JG to make sure she does not start pecking and eating other eggs, it is an almost impossible habit to break once it starts.
     
  4. markandcindy

    markandcindy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for your advice. Next time I will move Joanie and her eggs into the other, smaller coop. Fortunately I haven't found any other broken eggs so hopefully the mean hen hasn't developed the bad habit of eating eggs. I think I may name her Attila.
     

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