Dead Chick, Why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by riskeyhatching, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. riskeyhatching

    riskeyhatching Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a hen that has been brooding,and 5 days ago she hatched one egg and that chick looks healthy and very active! Then 3 days ago she hatched another chick, this chick is healthy and active as well. Then last night she had one chick pip and this morning it hatched. I went out to check out things and found that the brooding hen pushed that new chick out of the nest. It was weak cold and alive. I brought it in and checked its temp and it was only 60 degrees. I then put in the incubator and set the temp at 75 degrees then checked on it in an hour it was moving around and chirping. I checked the chicks temp again and it was at 80 degrees so I then left it alone and check it 3 hours later. When I checked it the chicks temp once more it was at 95 degrees and the incubator was still at 75 degrees. Then just an hour ago the chick died. It appeared to look normal, there was nothing physically wrong that I could see and the chicks temp was at 95 degrees.

    Was this caused by the low temp after the chick hatched?
    -The outside temp here this morning was 49 degrees and now its 64 degrees so kinda cold.
    -Should I take the rest of eggs and put them in the incubator?

    Did it have a weak immune system?

    Weak heart?

    Did the mother know that the chick was going to die so that's why she pushed it out of the nest?

    This is the first time this hen has brood.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    That's a long time between eggs hatching, generally a hen will get off the nest after the second day after the first egg hatches. Was she still setting? Sometimes young chicks wander away and get chilled. The mom won't go get them, they need to return to her. How were you checking it's temperature? I have had a few in the past that have wandered and gotten chilled enough to appear dead, but survived after being warmed up and thrived, so it didn't die merely because it was chilled, but not warming it up enough could have been a problem, 75 degrees isn't warm enough, it could have gotten chronically chilled. A temperature of 85-90 would have helped.
     
  3. riskeyhatching

    riskeyhatching Out Of The Brooder

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    She's still sitting on the remaining eggs. I have a infrared temperature gun that I check the chicks temps with and a regular thermometer for the incubator. So should I take the eggs that are left and candle them?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  4. riskeyhatching

    riskeyhatching Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh one more thing when I checked its temp before it died it was severely shaking. When I found it dead it was lying on its side with the legs completely stretched out and stiff as a board. I held it for a bit to see if it was just sleeping but no movement or breathing.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I would check the remaining eggs, was it a staggered hatch with different set dates on the eggs. I still think it got too chilled, if there's a next time, get it a bit warmer, the chicks body temperature should be around 105 degrees, so it was too chilled at that temperature.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Did you put fresh fertile eggs under her all at once.... then make sure no other birds laid in her nest??

    Probably best to remove all other eggs from nest and finish them in the incubator if they're viable via candling......
    ....you'll probably have to brood them yourself as I doubt the hen will adopt them.
     
  7. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same question here. Best to mark all the eggs in a clutch with a pencil from day 1 so you can quickly check to see if another hen deposits an egg after she starts to set.
     
  8. riskeyhatching

    riskeyhatching Out Of The Brooder

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    I would like to take out the rest of the eggs and try to incubate them, but my husband wants to leave them alone. He thinks she knows what she's doing. As to when they should be hatching I haven't a clue as to when she laid each egg or when she started brooding I don't know. She is in what I'm calling the maternity ward a small chicken coop by herself with the two chicks and her eggs. No other chickens can lay in her nest. I'm going to give her a few more days, as of right now I counted 11 unhatched eggs, she refuses to leave her eggs. I don't know what the right thing to do is.

    How long would she sit on these unhatched eggs before giving up?

    She has two healthy chicks at least.
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Tell you husband that it's a fact that chickens can't count or do math, they have no clue what day it is during the incubation period... They have no real sense of how long they are sitting on a nest, thus the reason you can literally use a good broody bird to hatch multiple clutches of eggs just like an incubator as long are you remove the almost hatched eggs and finish them in an incubator and replace them with new ones so they don't hatch under her telling her she is done sitting... The only reason a hen knows it's time to stop sitting on the eggs is because they hatch into chicks, and as soon as the chicks get bold and start exploring in a few days time she will abandon sitting on any unhatched eggs at that point...

    Generally only a few days after the first chick hatches or until she gets tired of doing it... If none hatch she could theoretically sit on them for months on end... I have a golf ball in each of my nesting boxes and for this reason my Sumatra hens (and a few of my bantams) have been sitting on eggs since spring, I remove the eggs from their nesting box every day but since they believe the golf ball is an egg they continue to sit on the golf ball waiting for it to hatch, and that has been over 7 months now, pretty much proof positive they can't count off 21 days ;)
     
  10. riskeyhatching

    riskeyhatching Out Of The Brooder

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    That is sooooo helpful! I went out and candled her eggs out of the 11 only 4 are possibility viable. So I put them in the incubator a hour ago. I marked the air sack, I guess if there isn't any change within 5 days with the air sacks I'll have to assume that their not viable either.
     

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