Brooding hens crushing the eggs/killing chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Stonerowfarm, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
    In my bantam coop I have several brooding hens. So far they have hatched out two babies. However, in one corner of the coop three "moms" are tending the babies and a clutch of eggs. In other areas I have three others brooding. I was trying to let "nature" takes it course but in the last couple days I have found three separate eggs that were crushed with almost completely formed chicks dead inside. This is the first time I've let the hens brood out so I know they are inexperienced but why are they killing/crushing the chicks before the hatch out. Could they be doing this when the chicks pip/peep (?) or what. What should I do? Any advice is very much appreciated.
  2. judial8907

    judial8907 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    I recently had this happen to me too at the end of June, the chick had already pipped and was doing good. I don't know why they do this. I thought that maybe this happened because one of my hens that were not broody was trying to lay an egg in the nest after my broody got up to eat and such, and her weight on the hatching egg crushed it and killed it. I guess there is also the possibility that the chicks were not healthy and the hens are taking care of it before mother nature.
    I brought the remaining eggs in a put them in my incubator there were only 3 total one was crushed, one made it out but died later and one never hatched. So I started out fresh in the incubator and have at least 9 out of 11 that I know are good, they have moving chicks inside and everything. I think that if you want to let your hens set then let them do that for a couple weeks and then before they are due to hatch place the eggs in the incubator. Your hen still gets to set for a bit and you may not need to worry about crushed chicks. Plus letting her set for a bit saves on the electric bill:) Other than that you are at the mercy of the chickens and mother nature.

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