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Momma helping baby out of shell?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have two broody hens in separate boxes with three eggs each. This morning they were in one box together, acting protective and the empty box was missing an agg and had one piping out. I carefully placed the piping egg under the mommas but see no trace of missing egg or perhaps chick that came out of it. I can't get under the hens to see. I checked again and saw some exposed chick looking like it was trying to finish hatching. Moms were eating shell off the floor then one started pecking at the shell as if trying to help the chick out of it. I'm worried they will eat the babies but I have no incubator. Is this behavior normal? What should I do?
post #2 of 3

I have heard of hens "helping" chicks hatch, but have never seen it happen. If a hen pecks at the hatching chick and seems to be causing it harm, I would discourage her. I hope the hatch went well.

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I think her "helping" proved to be fatal. Found one chick dead with goo and shell stuck to it, and another dead this morning, not sure what happened cause it looked fine. But did get 2 healthy chicks and one still unhatched. Never figured out what happened to the missing egg.
Edited by MrsWagley - 6/29/16 at 3:43pm
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