I have been helping out on a farm for a number of weeks and about 3 weeks ago I was asked to big out some big eggs and look after a broody hen. I have been feeding and looking after the hen house since and monitoring the mother obsessively to make sure she is ok :)
Unfortunately I leave tomorrow! I have made a maternity run as the last lot apparently got eaten by rats and have been keeping the batch safe from other broody hens.
It has been probably about 18-19 days and as such I was not expecting to see any chicks. Today, another broody hen got in a fight with the mother so I moved the intruder. I accidentally dropped her on the eggs and I noticed one was cracked and she started pecking at it. In a panic I picked it up and it was moving slightly so I put it back. I monitored it for a while but noticed it had stopped moving. The owner told me to take it out of the nest if it was dead. I tried to rub it very slightly but it was too late. I can't help but feel I killed it accidentally which makes me very sad and guilty :( Should I have just left the other hen in the nest? It was a rookie error I'm sure :(
Nonetheless, I went back this evening and there is one chick fully out of the egg, another emerging and 10 more to hopefully hatch!
I am disappointing I won't get to see them properly hatch or grow even in the next few days but am happy I got to see at least one born! I now have plans to eventually have plenty of chickens of my own :)