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Dying Embryo

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kadam, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Kadam

    Kadam New Egg

    May 21, 2014
    I have two hens who have decided to use the same nesting box (12"x12"x14"). Between the two of them they have laid 20 eggs in the box and were both sitting on them. I candled the eggs and saw the beginning stages of development, but then for some reason the embryos keep dying. Two chicks hatched last week and one hen is taking ownership of them. The other was sitting on the 4 remaining eggs. Expecting that they should hatch any time, I just candled them again tonight and found that two more were rotten. It seems that they've not really gotten past the second week of development before dying. Any idea why this is happening? I can understand if I'm incubating them that the temp and humidity play major factors in this, but with the hen sitting on them, I'd think they'd be okay. Is it possibly getting too hot with two hens sitting in the same box?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Multiple hens setting on the same clutch has generally resulted in lower % hatches for me. They tend to shuffle eggs around, crack them, some get chilled - I no longer allow hens to co brood.
  3. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2016
    Yes, sourland is right. More than likely the eggs were getting chilled too much. This is because the hens, not while you're looking, will fight over who gets to sit on the most eggs. I have put a camera in my coop and watched this happen, so what I did was remove one of the hens and put her in a different nest box. You may have to lock her in, but it worked for me. If you are thinking about doing this, it may be wise to do it at night.
  4. Kadam

    Kadam New Egg

    May 21, 2014
    Thank you and Sourland for that information. I'll keep it in mind for the next time they start laying eggs. Just candled the last 4 eggs and hey were all bad. Hopefully now that the eggs are all gone, she'll get together with the rooster again and lay some more.

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