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Clutch of eggs found - what next?

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For the last week we have only had 4 eggs a day instead of the 5, 6 or 7 we had started to get (first egg laid only 4 weeks ago). Two hens have gone broody for the last 2 days and will not come out of the nesting box. This is making it difficult to collect eggs unless you want your hand pecked, or it is done in the dark, and there is restricted room for the other hens to lay.

I have today found a chicken sitting on 8 eggs in a nest made behind the wood pile. The hen came off for feeding, and then went into the Eglu for the night as usual. I have taken these eggs away, and replaced with two fake eggs so as not to cause too much distress. Can we eat these eggs? I am presuming that if she has left them overnight she is not ready to incubate them.

Also, the two brrody hens were introduced to the others 2 weeks after we got them, and are very much bottom of the pecking order, so are very timid with me. I have read that dipping their rear ends in cold water will help, but this seems a bit harsh with the weather turning cold.

I would be greatful for advice please. (cube green)

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Hello Lynne and welcome to the forum!


If you drop the eggs in a glass of water, they will float if off and sink if fresh.


With the broodies, a quick dunking in the morning will lower their body temperature. You could also try ice packs wrapped in a towel placed on the nest to cool them.


Good luck

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Welcome to the forum.


I suppose she has had to lay behind the woodpile if the broodies are hogging the nestbox.


It sounds as if they only likely to be a week old at the most, so should be OK to eat. You will soon know if they are not! :lol:


The cold water treatment is reputed to work, but I agree with you about the cold weather!


I cured my broody last year by putting a frozen blue ice pack in the nesting box, changing it three times a day. It did the trick in about four days. I also booted her out of the Eglu and closed the door when I was reasonably sure that the others had laid their eggs.


The best way to break a broody is to put them in a wire cage such as a dog crate, raised off the ground so that air circulates from below, with nowhere for them to sit, and a place for food and water.


You would have to consider where you were going to site it, especially at night, with predators in mind.

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Hi there, thank you both for the replies received so quickly. I do think our chicken area is fairly secure, but would not like to take a gamble on it.

I will put some ice blocks in the freezer and give that a try tomorrow. I must make sure they are labelled, so they do not end up in the children's lunchboxes!

Many thanks,


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I omitted to say that we have two cockerels! This was not part of the original plan, as they were all supposed to be hens! Mrs Grey became Mr Grey, and Goldilocks became Tom Jones for obvious reasons!

Unless the neighbours complain, I will keep them, but if they have to go, then we will deal with that then.

Does this make a differrence as to whether we can use the eggs at this stage? If they have not been kept warm and constantly sat on then presumably they could be fertile but not yet incubated.

What about any eggs sat on by the broody in the nesting box?

(cube green)!eggbrown!

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