Broody hen killed chick - should I give her another chance?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Petra Pancake, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my three barnyard mutt hens went broody about 4 weeks ago, it was her first time. As I have no rooster (yet), I got her 6 supposedly fertilized eggs from a neighbor. She was brooding adamantly, some days not even leaving the nest at all. Then the great day came. I noticed in the morning that she seemed quite nervous and restless, jumping off the nest and running around. One of the eggs had a tiny hole in it so I guessed it was hatching. I went to work and when I came back in the afternoon, she was sitting on the nest again as if glued onto it. But there were bits of egg shell next to her. Then I found in the opposite corner of the coop one half of an egg with a fully developed and unfortunately very dead chick hanging out of it. It had a nasty head wound; half the beak was missing. No other hens could get into the coop, so it seems that "she" did it. She's still glued onto the remaining eggs which are day 27 now and probably won't hatch any more. Tried to throw her off them by force today but she fought like a lion to get back onto them, so I let her. Hope she gives up eventually when I throw the eggs away. If she gets broody again next spring, should I give her another chance, or is she likely to be a killer mom for the rest of her life?
    (As for me, just to get over the experience, I bought myself today a new totally overpriced mother hen with two cute three weeks old chicks...)
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal True BYC Addict

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    I'd give her another chance, but if there is a repeat, never again. First time mothers aren't reliable.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    One more chance? Maybe, or maybe not. You could try a small number of eggs next time, and a quiet corner/ big dog crate for privacy. Really good food (mine get Flock Raiser, 20% protein), and some prayers. She might do fine, but I'd also be hoping that another bird decides to be broody and does better. Mary
    1 person likes this.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    First of all, you don't know for certain that the dead chick was healthy and viable. Sometimes chicks do not make it out of the egg before dying. There's also the possibility your hen may have dispatched a genetically flawed chick.

    Sadly, I've had more experience with eggs that do not produce healthy live chicks than ones that do, so I've seen my share of partially formed and fully formed, but DOA chicks not able to make it out of the egg.

    Your first time broody is as inexperienced as you are. I've read here on these boards out broodys such as yours do splendidly their next time around.

    Throw those unhatched eggs out, and your broody will leave the nest soon after.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you all for the input. I think I'll give her another chance next time and see what happens. Maybe by then I'll have a rooster who does his part so I don't have to buy fertilized eggs. And I hope the new mother hen with the two chicks that I bought yesterday will also be ready to brood again in spring.
  6. kwon

    kwon Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 6, 2016
    give her another chance
    1 person likes this.

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