Don't throw the last cold egg out.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by pgpoultry, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    So....broody Brahma has 3 eggs (6 broody hens, so limiting the number any hen has). One egg has been mainly out in front of her for the last 2 days, the one that looked dubious on candling. Day 20 comes and a chick hatches, 'cold egg' out in front (ambient temp 70 ish by day 55 ish by night). Day 21 comes and a second chick hatches, 'cold egg' still out in front.

    I think that I will save her from sitting for a few more days and crawl in the pen.....'cold egg' feels very cold, but has a pip. I pick up the egg, it feels VERY cold, shake it (as I am convinced it is dead)......absolutely nothing, and mutter something along the lines of "Poor little bugger, it tried to hatch in spite of being kicked out", but decide to push it back under broody hen with a view to removing it in 12 hours. No real logic, but it felt like the right thing to do.

    12 hours later I crawl in the broody pen and lift the hen (very tame and unconcerned by the intervention) and see a squashed egg.... poor little mite has been sat on I plan to pull out the mess and realise that that what I have is an empty shell. So I raise broody a bit higher to see.. 3 lovely fully fluffed up chicks with the last being ever so tiny and yellow and absolutely fine. Rookie mum is delighted with her hatch.

    So,I didn't think that the chick was even alive, left out for 2 days to get cold at the time it should have needed heat and high humidity....and it hatched. It's not a Brahma, it's a mutt, no doubt about that, but a very determined mutt. Tiny, bright yellow,minute orange legs, and determined to survive, and that's enough for me to keep it.

    So, don't throw out the egg you think is too may be alive still, and if it is THAT determined to live, it deserves to do so.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  2. FrizzlesRule

    FrizzlesRule Songster

    Dec 22, 2009
    Definitely don't throw it out. I had one of those 'cold eggs' back in 2003. Ready to chuck it over the fence. It was the 10th day and the two hens were sitting by it not on it, so I thought this will never hatch, but for some reason put it back under one of the hens and 10 days later a beautiful little black mixed breed bantam chick hatched and I still have her.[​IMG]
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Great reminder that low temps just slow down the incubation. Many people forget, or don't know, that mutts are hardier than purebreds. Most livestock in the world are cross breds just for that reason.
  4. hcppam

    hcppam Songster

    Cool, good to know.
  5. juliaaa

    juliaaa Chirping

    Jul 15, 2011
    Syracuse, New York
    Awe! Glad you didn't toss it [​IMG]
  6. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Songster

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    A similar thing happened to me on my last hatch. One egg hatched on exactly Day 21. I waited until Day 25, and bought a chick to stick under the other mama (I had 2 broodies and each had an egg). As I was just about to do the 'Ol Switcheroo, I noticed the little pip. So, thank goodness I did not toss that egg any earlier, like I was going to, as I didn't think it was going to go.....but it DID!
  7. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    There do seem to be some very determined little souls.....and I agree, usually the mutts have the true 'hybrid vigour". Little Yellow Mutt is looking lively and perky and bears an uncanny resemblance to the huge yellow mutt of a rooster that I have which hatched from some scammer on eBay who sold me some "Naked Neck" eggs which weren't.

    I posted about my successful hatch from eggs which had had the power off on the incubator for at least 12 hours in VERY cool temperatures (only discovered after between 12 and 24 hours and in temperatures around 50 degrees at best). Maybe we should write an article on 'cold and late hatches'!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

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