egg kicked out of the nest!

by ananya roy
(,barrackpore,west bengal,india)

My hen laid 4 eggs and was incubating them very nicely until yesterday, while checking on them I noticed an egg in their water bowl. Their water bowl is placed exactly diagonally opposite of the nest and is nowhere near the nest. I took it out and the egg broke! Out of it came a little amount of colorless and odorless liquid. The hen is not at all distressed at the loss and is incubating the remaining three. It has been 15 days and they are not hatching yet. Can the birds feel that an egg is infertile or it won't hatch and throw it away? The eggs are very shiny and a bit darker. Is there any chance that they might hatch? It has been 15 days and I am a bit excited, that's all.

Hi again Ananya,
Usually,I candle the eggs after the tenth day with a tiny pen light flashlight. If there is life inside at that time I will see lots of tiny red blood vessels. I don't know what you will find at 15 or 16 days, but it might show other signs of life if they are fertile or no life at all. It sounds as though your broken egg was not a fertilized egg, but even if these eggs aren't alive, don't dispair.
Your comment that the egg you took out of the water bowl broke so easily made me think that perhaps your pair is trying to tell you that the hen needs a bit more calcium in order to be successful. The easiest way I found to fix that is to sterilize the wet cooked egg shells in a microwave for three minutes and then offer the shells to your birds. I also offered a mineralized oyster shell grit to mine. If their bodies need the calcium You will see their happiness at finding it I bet.
Somewhere I read that the shell gets put on the fertilized egg just before it is layed and that it is very soft and flexible when it is first layed. I can't say for certain that the parents can judge whether their eggs are developing, but I believe they do. It just makes sense that they do. I would have loved to see your Gouldian move the egg to the water bowl. I know they can, but I don't know how.

Best of Luck, Jeanie

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