Egg-napping Marans

I have two black marans setting eggs.

Each hen was in a separate box, sitting on her own clutch of eggs. There are other boxes for the other hens to lay eggs in, too.

I haven’t been finding eggs in the other nests lately, and I suspect there’s a snake in the henhouse somewhere (again).

Suddenly, both hens are on the same nest. Nothing but feathers are left in the box the usurper once occupied.

two maran hens in the same nest
Who’s setting the eggs today?

No eggs in the vacated nest.

I checked underneath both hens.

No eggs under the usurper, who sat in front.

4 eggs under the hen toward the back. That was yesterday evening.

This morning, both hens are still on the same nest.

I checked underneath again.

4 eggs under the usurper.

None under the hen in the back.

What is going on here?

Is one hen kidnapping the other hen’s eggs? Does she give them back the next day?

I’ll have to keep checking. This is social activity I didn’t know about and am still learning, apparently.


About Wild Ozark
Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Mostly we grow rocks. I use those rocks and some of the herbs to make earth pigments and watercolor paints. We also grow native clay that I use for making my Fairy Swing Mushrooms. And then there are the trees. We grow lots of trees. My husband uses some for his woodworking and some for our Burnt Kettle Shagbark Hickory Syrup, but for the most part they stand around creating good air, shade, & habitat for the ginseng nursery.
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About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. You can find my art on display and for sale at the Kingston Square Arts shop in Kingston, Arkansas. It's a tiny little town and a bit off the path to anywhere at all, but a wonderful ride out to a most beautiful part of our state. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making arts & crafty things, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.