Firstly, I have to say my heart goes out to the bush fire victims. I hope there are no more losses. I can say no more than that on your ordeals.
Chicken hatch problems. I normally hatch under cluckies to avoid issues but I am not having luck ATM.
Has anyone ever had this problem before?
Yesterday morning I was letting the girls out when I spotted under my clucky an egg just visible. So I took a look. It was open on the side exposing the chick inside which was not even dry. I could see the unabsorbed yoke and disposed of the egg/chick. They are due to hatch tomorrow. I put it down to accidental breakage. But last night when I got home from work I was checking on everything and the same thing happened. So I took this egg/chick inside to take a closer look under light to see if I could work out what was going on. When I took this photo - Sorry my iPad is old and the quality isn't that good - I saw the heart beating and the poor thing move. I did what I could but it didn't survive and when I broke it out of its shell once again I could see it's yolk was not absorbed. In the photo above I had removed only a small section of egg about the size of a 5cent coin.
I have removed the two remaining eggs and put them in an incubator.
The hen was still defending each egg. She is very defensive and was showing signs of stress beyond the normal cranky cluck. This morning she was still looking for her eggs so I gave her some fake ones which she immediately settled on. If the surviving eggs hatch I'll give them back to her.
Thanks in advance