Why would broody hens reject six eggs and break them?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kees, May 7, 2008.

  1. kees

    kees Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I have two broody hens and they have been sitting patiently on some eggs. Two others are not broody but the rooster often chases them back into their coop. All of the hens are Silkies.

    This afternoon when I returned home I was shocked to find six eggs that were kicked out of the coop. One was an almost developed black Silkie that probably would have hatched in a couple of days. The other eggs developed little cracks in them. I prayed for the best and put them back into the coop.

    Now the question is: Why would they have done this? One Silkie chick did hatch and instead of finding it under one of the broody hens wings, it was under a bush, almost dead from dehydration.

    Any thoughts on why this might have occurred? Some of the eggs are Silkies and some are from trades. Please advise.
  2. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    Some times a hen will kick a egg out if there is something wrong with it. A momma hen can sense things that we can not.

    The only other thing it could be is that one of your "not" broody hens kicked it out trying to get in the nest box....

    Sorry, Hope the eggs you managed to save will still hatch.
  3. kees

    kees Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    Thanks Tiffany...I hadn't even considered that one of the no-broodies would do that because the broodies are so careful and possessive of their eggs. Had two more babies hatch today!
  4. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    Once I noticed that a hen had pushed an egg out of her nst. Thinking it ws a mistake,I put it back under her. Next time I checked,it was out again. Again I pushed it under her. Next time I checked,I found a nasty mess where an egg(most likely "the egg") had exploded. I defer to the expertise of my hens now.
  5. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    Not all broodies are created equal. I had an experience of having 2 broody silkies. I had a feeling one was more dedicated than the other so I put all 10 eggs under her. After 9 were born she got off the remaining egg to tend to her newborns so I put it under the other broody. Went out there the next morning only to find the newly hatched chick pecked to death. Why did she do this? I'll never know, but she will NEVER hatch another chick again.
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If something is wrong with a chick when it hatches the hen will cull it.

    Mother Nature tends to do a good job when we humans don't interfere.

    Also the smell of the other hen was all over that egg and many many hens will not take another hens chicks and raise them. Some will but many hens will kill the chicks because they are not hers.

    It isn't a 'fault' of the broody silkie. What a shame to waste her as an incubator when you can't say for sure there wasn't something wrong with the chick she culled.
  7. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    What a shame to waste her as an incubator when you can't say for sure there wasn't something wrong with the chick she culled.

    I only hatch every few years and after paying $25 or more for 8 shipped eggs, buying starter, investing my time, etc., I'll save grief and money going with the more reliable broody. Like I said, all broody's are not created equal.

    Actually she tried to peck it to death. I thought it was dead so I wrapped it up in a paper towel and set it on the shelf in the coop. As I was watching the "good" broody with her chicks, the paper towel began to move. The chick was alive. I quickly took her in the house and put her under the light to warm her, covered her ripped, bloody back with neosporin and waited. For 18 hours I tried to feed her, gave her water thru a dropper. She did eat and drink, but especially peep. She peeped constantly so I knew she was a fighter.
    But she just couldn't hang on and died in the night.​
  8. kees

    kees Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    I put the eggs back under the two broody hens and they accepted them...don't know why. One more Silkie hatched today and one more egg was pushed to the side. Go figure!

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