Having a really crappy hatching experience...so frustrating! Bought 6 fertile eggs to put under a broody that wouldn't be swayed from being a mum... she stood on one egg almost straight away leaving 5... then another one cracked and we used wax to seal the crack and crossed our fingers as candling had revealed a growing chick, then she broke another one and we couldn't find any evidence of a chick in the remains (possibly infertile egg or eaten!??!) so we were down to 4...THEN, waxy baby started hatching but found the egg all crushed (again) with baby dead yesterday at Day 19...went out this morning to find the first proper hatching underway and then came home from a breakfast outing to find a baby chick!!! YAY!!! It was still connected to the egg but completely out of the shell (not sure if this was right?), lots of cheeping...went back an hour or so later to check and it was dead! Two eggs left, no idea if they're fertile, no idea if she's going to be any kinder to these ones and it is all so stressful! Nature sucks
Having no luck with hatching
Odd that so many broke, were the shells thin?
It is possible that this hen doesn't have all of the mothering skills required. When my broodies sense the eggs are near hatch (from peeping and movement) they shift their weight up and hover over the eggs instead of laying on them.
If none of these eggs survive you could consider buying her day old chicks to raise but I would be careful with that if she is stepping on them.
Can you candle the remaining eggs? If they have developed they will look like a solid black mass with a large air cell on the wide end (compare the air cell and clarity to the eggs in your fridge). They may have pipped and will probably be peeping and jiggling about a little too.
Edited by Sonya9 - 11/8/15 at 2:23am
Edited by bekabat - 11/8/15 at 4:30am
I would candle them and also check for pip marks.
Put them back with the same side "up" in case the chick has positioned itself for hatch.
If they are fully developed the egg will look black inside with a large air cell on the wide end of the egg.
Edited by Sonya9 - 11/8/15 at 4:43am
There is a certain risk with hatching eggs that have been shipped or collected elsewhere. Without knowing the health and fertility of the breeders, how quickly the person gathered eggs, how long they were kept before you got them, and jostling during shipping...
Shipped eggs average a 50% hatch rate in most cases.
You'd be OK to candle the other 2 quick and see if they're even fertile. They would have normally hatched all within 24 hours if they were all set within 24 hours.. .
Fingers crossed on the other 2; maybe one would be all she can handle if she's a new mum anyway. If not, maybe get a rooster next spring and keep him just long enough to get some fertile eggs of your own
Edited by shortgrass - 11/8/15 at 4:44am
When getting shipped eggs it is best to candle them before giving them to the hen to look for detached (floating) air cells. Sometimes most of the eggs have detached air cells from shipping and the hatch rate for those is typically very low.
If the seller packed the eggs carefully that really helps.
If the hen has been sitting for 3+ weeks I absolutely would not give her more eggs, that would be far too long on the nest. I might buy her chicks IF you can watch her carefully at first and also be prepared to brooder raise the chicks if she can't care for them properly.
Edited by Sonya9 - 11/8/15 at 4:50am
I think it's off to the sin bin for her next time she goes broody!!
Thanks for the advice everyone