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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by FarmerBoy24, May 1, 2011.
Sad day today, this is my 2nd batch of eggs ever ( non from out first batch last month hatched) and I have 2 eggs that I believe are going to make it out of the 8. Well I went out today and one was crushed and had a thick yolk hanging from it. I took it out after moving mommas (2 hens are sharing this broody job and finished pulling the rest of the shell off and there was a dead fully developed baby. I think it would have had only a day left. I can't figure out what would have crushed it unless maybe a guinea did ( my guinea for some reason thinks she had to lay her egg in that nesting box. I hope my other egg makes it. I'm so disappointed that would have been our first baby!
I thought about moving the nest box with mammas on it to a different coop without anyone but some 2 month olds in a pen in it, but afraid the change may make mammas abandon the eggs and potential baby that may have a day or two left. Suggestions?
I'm so sorry, that is just so horrible for you....
Mama hens usually don't leave the nest on the final day or two... you could fashion a temporary fence out of chicken wire or hardware cloth the block off the nest from further intrusions by the guinea.
With the season you may be able to find a source for day old chicks and get a few more for the mamas to share. If you decide to go that route do a search of this thread and maybe the 'old fashioned broody hatchalong' thread for some posts by Lady of McCamley for her advice on grafting adoptees. I followed her advice and added 3 store babies to one of my broody's hatches a few weeks ago.
I thought about that. I thought maybe sticking a couple tiny store bought ones under them. Half of why I was so sad what how had they have tried. This is the ones second round now in a row. So you think that would be ok?
There is always a risk that the broody will reject the chick, or visa-versa... but you can minimize the risk by making sure that chick is as young as possible when you slip them under the broody. Don't even show them the babies first, just cup them in your hand and slide them under with as little drama as possible... but be ready to spend some time in the coop afterwards because you will absolutely have to keep an eye on what is going on. When I did this with my broody she was fine with the babies, but the babies were clueless on what a broody is.... they had spent their short life thinking a bright light was the source of heat, so suddenly being under a dark broody was totally foreign to them, when they popped out from under Frannie to look around they didn't understand the concept of going back under her to get warm and toasty again. So for the first few hours I babysat by sitting by the nest and each time they came out to explore I gently guided them back under her after a few minutes. It took a few times each before they started realizing what it was all about and by that evening they had it down pat... but it takes a lot of time out of your day to make sure it goes smoothly. You may be able to just give them too her without there being any trouble, but in cool weather with new broodies it is a pretty high risk to try it without supervision.
If for some reason you absolutely can't be there to supervise you may want to provide a secondary source of heat right close to the broody so if the chick doesn't go back to her at least it won't freeze before you find it is having trouble.
I should have added in my above post... I totally understand what you mean about feeling bad that they were so dedicated and are missing out on the reward, so to speak. I know folks say to not project human emotions onto animals... but it is hard to not do it.
Ok, I used chicken wire and went out at dark and first took the hens off for them to stretch and get a snack then after a couple minutes they got back on and I chicken wired the front so the others don't get back in the box. Then tomorrow morning I will go out and put them out for a couple minutes and do the same again and do it later in the day. This time the rooster was on the front of the nesting box when I went out. I candled and it looks like 2 are fully dark except the air sac so fingers crossed and prayers hopefully we will have babies make it in the next couple of days.
This is our first flock, so we are learning the ropes as we go, I really appreciate all the help I get on this forum from people who have personal experience with these issues. Thank you!
I don't know who says not to have emotions towards animals, I love these guys as much as my cat and dog. In fact I went in a few days ago and one of my chickens is limping and pulling its leg behind ( don't know what happened) and I asked a couple of people including my husband what to do for an injured chicken and I said who do I take it to. They were like, um most people would just eat it. I guess I'm not most people bc I am going to call my vet tomorrow and see if she would look at my chicken! There is no way I would eat her! If she goes down hill I would understand having to put her down so she wouldn't suffer but she still looks the same except the bummed leg and poop on her behind, but eyes and comb and appetite are all the same. Fingers crossed for her too, can you put a wheel on a chicken for a mini wheelchair
I think you misunderstood, and I probably phrased it poorly.... I didn't mean at all not to have emotional attachments with your animals... trust me... I am totally attached to my critters... dogs, cats, chickens, even the DH! LOL...
I mean that although humans understand disappointment as an emotion we are often reminded to not expect that an animal has the same emotional response. While we are disappointed for them when they have a failed hatch they probably don't have the same feelings. They just go along with whatever is happening at the moment.... they are happy with one chick or with 6, I don't think they understand the 'what might have been' thing. Animals can and do grieve, but I have only seen that when they have lost something they already had, not an idea of something which might have been.
I too would do everything I could to reduce stresses or distress for any of my animals... so taking them to the vet or intervening to whatever extent can benefit the animal is good for me too!