Bad mothers - what do I do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 222danette, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. 222danette

    222danette Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2014
    I have a Barred Rock who became broody approx 4 weeks ago. The egg pile grew underneath her to almost 30 eggs until I realized one of the Aracunas was bunking with her frequently and adding to the pile. Ari must've realized that Bari couldn't incubate all those eggs, so about a week ago, she became broody herself and they are now sitting together in the same box. I thought this was great because I was worried some of the eggs weren't incubating properly. When the first chick began to hatch, it managed to remove a piece of shell and must've smothered because I found it dead the next morning. 2 days later I found another partially hatched dead chick, and one that made it out of the shell with a lot of skin peeled off it's back and head. I removed it immediately but it did not make it through the night. Now I'm checking them frequently and planning on removing eggs at the first sign of hatching. I do not have an incubator. Am I going to be able to trust these hens with any of the chicks? What do I do?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I have poor luck with hens sharing a brood nest. Even the best natured hens will try to steal eggs from one another and in the shuffling around may crush eggs/chicks. The adding of eggs during the incubation period results in a staggered hatch with the multitude of problems that can cause. They will probably be fine mothers if any of the chicks survive the hatching process. Next time do not allow them to set together, and do not allow hens to add to the clutch. Good luck.
     
  3. 222danette

    222danette Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2014
    Thanks for the info! I never had a bad Bantam mom, but this is the first time one of my Barreds has been broody. Found another hatch in progress today and removed the egg and put in under a light. Hopefully one of the moms will accept it in a few days.
     
  4. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would remove one of the hens and cage her so she can't come back. Let the remaining hen finish hatching what's left.
     
  5. 222danette

    222danette Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 5, 2014
    So, all in all, I removed 11 hatches-in-progress and put them in a home made "brooder". One, I was barely able to save because it had hatched entirely and I found it cold and wet at the edge of the nest. I believe the rest of the eggs are duds since it's been almost 2 weeks since a hatch. I had to protect the very last hatchlings until they recovered from the hatching process and were on their feet, because the older ones were pecking them. The oldest chicks are 2.5-3 weeks, and I tried introducing them to my bad moms outside of the nest, and they both fluffed themselves up and attacked the chicks. So I'm resigned to raising another clutch. A mother's work is never done!
     

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