Bad Mother or Bad Eggs???


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
Southern California
I need advice!!!! Let me begin by saying I am 100% new to the chicken world. My chicken found us. She was walking around our yard in November and we decided to keep her.

Around March 17th she disappeared for about two weeks. Thinking she got out of the yard, I went and bought three hens (I'm now addicted). A week ago I found her running around the yard frantically so I watched her to figure out how she was getting in and out. Turns out she was hiding under a huge pot with eggs. I have no idea how old they are, but figured around 20 days since she has been missing.
Today I checked on her worried she may be sitting on bad eggs because of the days that passed. I found one chick dead right next to her nest.

Now the questions begin.....

Did she kill the chick? And if so is it because she is a bad mother? Or the chick was sick? Or maybe she is stressed out because of the new hens? And should I intervene somehow? Is it too late to trying a heating lamp? Please help.
Its not likely she killed the chick intentionally. Some first time mothers are just not experienced and will end up crushing a newly hatched chick. They tend to do a better job, as they gain experience. I've had a few losses, from young broodies. More often with the larger breed hens.
I'd let her continue with the raising and hope for the best. Much better than raising them yourself.
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