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Overdue Clutch Under Hen

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Today marks 33 days.  Silkie has been on nest of mixed eggs (leghorn, silkie, Americauna).  At some point the kids mixed up the eggs, so we locked the coop... the eggs then piled up in the other nests and the hen got confused and may have spent a night off the nest.  We found a green stink explosion today.  So I got on here and found out how to candle and float... And was about to toss 50% of the remaining eggs and heard a peeping.  That egg looked like it had a "blood ring" but was a low floater and we saw movement!  


Ok, so we're stumbling along with nature to this regard, BUT, my question is: 

Once there are hatched chicks... how will they survive?  Their nest is up off the ground 2 feet and we're still getting hard frosts some nights, they days are dreary & cold.  Can I trust nature (should I manage to prevent improper interference?!)

post #2 of 5
I'm hatching my first Silkie clutch tommorrow (hopefully.) is it common for them to hatch later than expected?
post #3 of 5

I have no experience with silkies, but it seems that you may have a staggered hatch - the momma hen will likely make a decision either to sit on all the eggs until they have hatched, or abandon the unhatched eggs and take her chicks to feed / drink. It may be a good idea to ensure that the chicks cannot fall out of the nest whilst you closely observe what momma is wanting to do. Chicks can survive up to 48 hours without food / water (I usually put food and water in an ice-cube tray in the nest).


Personally, i collect fertile eggs and then set them in one go - it makes management of mother and chicks easier since all viable eggs seem to hatch within 24 hours of each other. After that, i put momma and chicks in a mini coop (within the main coop). I'd not worry too much about other flock members harming the chicks - in my experience, they leave the chicks well alone cos  a broody momma is not to be messed with. 


Good luck


post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for responding, CTKen!

One chick hatched on Sunday.  Made a special brooding pen on the ground with food/water close, been giving MamaHen drinks daily. Will put in nest as suggested.  Candled again.  So many eggs look to be 60% clear and only %40 dark, with a distinct "ring" (these are the ones I almost tossed) but saw movement and healthy veins... Must be a staggered hatch then.  Another egg was similarLY proportioned but I saw no movement except a bit of A "flop" when turning it, like goo was slowly flowing as it turned.  We cracked that one and found a fully formed chick :-O  but it seemed totally dead :-(  I feel awful.  There was another egg that is totally dark under candle.  Left it figuring it to be a chick.. So, a fully formed chick in an egg can look dark AND clear?!  So what's 100% dark?!


The reason I'm not just leaving the clutch to nature is that we did have a stink eggxplosion (before chickie hatched Sun.) and I read the bacteria can hurt the others, hard to clean, etc. and boy, does it smell bad.  Guess gasses built up and made it pop?  There was green goo in a half shell... Want to avoid this in the new brooder area...


Will def. follow your advise next year and batch them altogether!

post #5 of 5

Hi, you are more than welcome :thumbsup I never candle eggs (and know zilch about doing it), but then again, i set them on the same day, so i normally don't run the risk of exploding stinky eggs (nasty business). 


Good luck!



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