Help!!! Hen raids the nest of another hen

belfair_farmFebruary 5, 2010

OK so our black silky hen has been setting some foster eggs for about two and a half weeks now. We are very much looking forward to the new chicks and this silky hen is the best mommy....But she started with five eggs and the eggs started disappearing. Finally just yesterday we caught our young (she doesent lay yet) white rock hen EATING a under developed chick next to the silkys nest box...Our hen is down to two eggs now and our white rock hen eats fetuses....Why??? I have heard of egg eaters but I have never heard of this. Our silky hen is so little and the white rock just overpowered her. We moved our setting hen and her eggs but what to do with the white rock hen we dont know....We have never had her eat any other eggs before so its just the developed eggs she confused

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It doesn't matter why. Some hens eat eggs. Cull her.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 4:26PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I've learned to always separate my broodies who are setting on a nest of eggs. Mostly because other hens will crawl in with her to lay MORE eggs, or other broodies get jealous they fight over who gets to sit on the nest--and eggs get broken. Also if there is a hen sitting on the eggs at ALL times, the eggs don't get their 'rest' when mama goes out to eat, drink, poop & dustbathe that they need and nature has programmed into the process.

As rockguy said, it doesn't matter WHY she's eating the chicks, just that she is. :( Silkies are so sweet they are no match for bullies. Chickens are omnivores who naturally eat small living things such as mice and lizards, so you really can't fault her for doing what comes naturally. Check to make sure your girls are getting enough protein in their diet, though. I'd isolate your broody hen & eggs,

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 3:08AM
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