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Exploding egg under broody hen

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi there

This is my second season hatching chicks under a broody hen and this year, yes, a rotten egg exploded under a hen 

I had two lots of eggs under two hens
- 6 Barnevelders and 4 Houdans under a Barred Rock mama and
- 7 Silver Laced Wyandotte eggs under a SLW mama

Yesterday (27th December) was day 21. I tried candling them earlier on (day 17)  but found it quite difficult to see or know what i was even looking for so i thought i would just leave them. (Last year i didnt candle and it was all ok - there was a rotten egg left in the nest that i just discarded once she had gotten off)

Two days ago the SLW hen got off her nest and left the eggs, which surprised me, as she seemed so dedicated. When i touched the eggs they were cold and didnt know how long she was off. So i put them under the large Plymouth Rock with her eggs as i didnt want them to quit just 2 days before hatching. 

Hatch day was yesterday and a SLW egg exploded under the Barred Rock hen! I quickly cleaned off the remaining eggs (and left out 4 of the SLW eggs that felt VERY light) and put the hen and the other eggs into a clean area. But didnt clean the hen as she was freaking out! And i thought she wasn't going to go back to the eggs. She was squawking and flapping about but when i closed the hutch lid, she did go back to sit on them (phew) So the eggs were cleaned but she wasn't. I didn't want to disturb her any further. 

The other 4 eggs that i took out that were very light in weight, i took them far far up into the bush behind the house and opened them (i wanted to see if they were rotten) and they all were! So that was 5 SLW eggs that were rotten. Was this because they were never fertile to begin with OR was it because they were cold when i moved them? Im thinking they were never fertile as it was only 2 days ago when she left the nest so there would have been some sign of chick inside - but it was all liquid. I am also guessing that MAYBE the SLW hen KNEW that they were rotten and that's why she left the nest? They have good intuition don't they.

Also during that time of moving the eggs after the explosion - there was ONE new born chick that had partly hatched. It died in my hand! It was such a hard moment. I cried - it was so hard to try and clean everything and try keep the baby warm in one hand while i did so. I don't make a very good farmer, i know its just a baby chick to some, but even typing this i feel teary! It just so heart breaking! 

What im am afraid of is that the 2 SLW eggs that are left under the hen are rotten also. I shouldn't have put them under - i was panicking and emotional so might not have made the best decision. But they felt heaver that the others. I went out this morning and there is a peeping noise which is good. I just hope that the gunk left on Muma hen doesn't effect the other eggs or new borns. Its so heartbreaking when you are looking so forward to something like the hatching day and something like this happens. 

If you have any words id love to hear from you. Im feeling a bit guilty and sad that i didnt candle properly :-( 


post #2 of 3
So sorry about the bad hatch and the little chick you lost hugs.gif Good luck with the other hen and her chicks, hope they are all OK. Bad eggs being broken happens occasionally, and usually the hen and other eggs/chicks are OK, so hopefully the BR hen and her brood will be fine since you changed the bedding etc.
If the SLW eggs that were bad were liquid, they have been bad for quite awhile/the beginning (no way to really know now if they were infertile or the embryos died young, but they would not have died 2 days before when she left the nest).
post #3 of 3

I know this was a long time ago but I am currently experiencing some of what you did.  I am curious how it all turned out and if you now have any advice as I'm sure you are now a fantastic farmer!  I'm where you were... ;-)  I'm trying...


We had a broody hen Buff Orpington and decided to put fertile eggs under her.  On day 14 I candled them and was amazed that one of them was actually moving inside.  We had 7 to begin with, 5 looked like they were growing fine (YAY) and two were not, just looked like eggs.  I don't know how I missed all of the advice to take them out as I am finding that NOW  :-(   

Today is day 20, I didn't check her yesterday.  I just found that one of the quitters exploded.  There is dried goo on a couple of the eggs and some under her.  How do I clean remaining eggs?  Do I clean her off??  I'm so scared to move them too much, but just read that the goo can suffocate the chick!  Is it too late to candle the egg to see what's happening inside??  I so hope you or someone reads this to help out.  I don't want a baby to die in my hand - it was killing me to read yours.




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