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Abandoned at day 21

post #1 of 4
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I feel just awful.  4 chicks hatched on Sunday the 28th, under broody hen.  On Monday afternoon, I moved hen, chicks and remaining eggs into warm hutch away from other chickens. (she had built her nest on top of the coop - also temp was going to be low 30's)   The hen did not return to sitting on the eggs, 2 of which had started piping.  I kept checking on her to see if she returned to them and sometimes she was on the eggs, but mostly not, she did keep the 4 chicks under her though.  I next checked early Tuesday am and she had left the eggs and they felt very cool, so I scooted them directly under the heat lamp.  There was a little more progress with the 2 eggs that were hatching.  On Tuesday afternoon I checked on them again.  I could see the chicks head in one of the eggs and could tell it was breathing, but really not moving.  I could see no difference in the other egg.  A third egg had a slight hole in it.  The hen had obviously moved the eggs around a bit, as they were not all directly under the lamp.  I thought it best to try to leave them all alone and hope for the best.  This morning I checked on them and there was no further progress on any of the eggs.  I brought the one in, and could see the chick was still breathing.  I then helped it out of the shell, and warmed it up under a light checking the temp to make sure it was in the 95 degree range.  It was too late though, and it died about 2 hours later.  After reading through some posts (which I should have done before I even moved them) I called home and asked my husband to take a basket out to the coop with a warm towel in it and put the eggs in it, in the same position they are now in.  I asked him to put a warm towel over the top and bring it in the house.  Then get the top towel wet in hot water, ring it out and put it over the top of the eggs and put the light over it to keep it warm and lay a thermometer in with them and keep watch that the temp stays around 95 degrees.  I am hoping this works and it's not too late for the remaining eggs.  I'm sure the yolk sac is dried out on the one that has about an pencil top eraser size hole in it.  I have not seen any movement of that egg.  When I get home I plan to look at it more closely and perhaps carefully open the hard outer shell if there is movement.  The one I opened this am was indeed dried out and the poor chick was stuck and couldn't move.  I hope my ignorance in moving them does not result in 7 chicks dying for no reason. :-(.    Is there any possible hope?


Edited by Birdly1 - 3/2/16 at 1:36pm
post #2 of 4

It is instinctive for a hen to leave the nest within 24 to 36 hours after the first egg hatches.  This is why staggered hatches become problematic.  You may have speeded up that scenario by moving the hen, eggs and chicks to a new environment.  These birds are a learning process.  Others have made far larger mistakes - it's how we learn.  :hugs

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 4

All any of us can do, is to try and do our best. You did that so cut yourself some slack. I've been raising birds, of one kind or another, for fifty years. I continue to make mistakes, but I take comfort in knowing I tried and I did what I could.

post #4 of 4


I help mine out regularly,if I leave them overnight,every one is dead. Ive only lost a couple helping them out.I think I could be an egg surgeon now.There is some videos. I use my finger nail.If you break the membrane and see blood,put it back.

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