Emergency!! Crushed egg about to hatch!

chippy99th

Chirping
Dec 17, 2016
161
55
97
Arizona
So my last chick in a completely unexpected clutch is finally about to hatch, and this happens:

crushed egg.jpg


This is the third egg this hen has crushed by accident, the other two chicks were killed and I frankly do not trust her with this one. About half the shell is gone, along with part of the outer membrane. The chick is alive and well, the tip of the beak is right beside my thumb and it is breathing, moving and chirping occasionally.

I'd rather interfere the least amount possible but I don't have an incubator I can stick the egg in. Any advice on keeping the conditions right so that the chick can make it? There was a tiny hole in the inner membrane that bled a little, so I don't think it's ready to hatch, but I am concerned about shrink wrapping. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,646
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
I haven't got any real advice other than I would go ahead and at least start helping it out because I'm pretty certain it will shrink wrap now that the shell is gone.

Can I ask, is the broody in a pen on her own? If not then I would not be so quick to blame her. Brooding in communal nest boxes is often responsible for these sort of problems, although not exclusively of course. In a less confined (more free range) situation, a broody will often find herself a nest away from the communal nest boxes and lay her own eggs into it with no intrusion from other hens and then brood them. Pens and coops with limited nesting options mean that broodies can only utilize communal nests where other hens clamber in and out on top of them etc. whi risks breakage and injury to hatching/newly hatched chicks. I'm always loath to let anyone blame a broody until I know there are no extenuating circumstances. I'm a bit of a devil's advocate in that sense.
 

Herdcutter

Songster
5 Years
Apr 8, 2014
104
85
142
Northern Michigan
@Ravynscroft
I haven't got any real advice other than I would go ahead and at least start helping it out because I'm pretty certain it will shrink wrap now that the shell is gone.

Can I ask, is the broody in a pen on her own? If not then I would not be so quick to blame her. Brooding in communal nest boxes is often responsible for these sort of problems, although not exclusively of course. In a less confined (more free range) situation, a broody will often find herself a nest away from the communal nest boxes and lay her own eggs into it with no intrusion from other hens and then brood them. Pens and coops with limited nesting options mean that broodies can only utilize communal nests where other hens clamber in and out on top of them etc. whi risks breakage and injury to hatching/newly hatched chicks. I'm always loath to let anyone blame a broody until I know there are no extenuating circumstances. I'm a bit of a devil's advocate in that sense.
 

Ravynscroft

For the Love of Duck
Premium member
5 Years
Nov 30, 2014
34,686
33,222
1,166
Middle Tennessee
So my last chick in a completely unexpected clutch is finally about to hatch, and this happens:

View attachment 1037753

This is the third egg this hen has crushed by accident, the other two chicks were killed and I frankly do not trust her with this one. About half the shell is gone, along with part of the outer membrane. The chick is alive and well, the tip of the beak is right beside my thumb and it is breathing, moving and chirping occasionally.

I'd rather interfere the least amount possible but I don't have an incubator I can stick the egg in. Any advice on keeping the conditions right so that the chick can make it? There was a tiny hole in the inner membrane that bled a little, so I don't think it's ready to hatch, but I am concerned about shrink wrapping. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Got a heating pad and a box? Or a heat lamp? Set up a box using a thermometer and adjust until a spot is 98-100°... coat the membrane with coconut oil, antibiotic ointment or vaseline to keep it from shrinkwrapping... if there was blood, then it's definitely not ready yet and opening it up now could cause it to bleed out very fast...
 

chippy99th

Chirping
Dec 17, 2016
161
55
97
Arizona
Thanks for responding. I peeled the membrane back a little (no bleeding), used coconut oil to soften, had it under a heat lamp and it was actually working on hatching by itself when it stopped breathing. :( Not sure why, it was a perfectly formed little baby with yolk fully absorbed. Maybe it had internal injuries of some kind.

Yes, the hen's in a communal box. I'm not blaming the hen per se, actually I'm really grateful to her, because she's not the actual mum! The original mum had 17 eggs (in an old tire, sneaky girl), but got up after 7 hatched. Two were non-viable, I gave the other 8 to this one, who happened to be broody, and aside from the three that were smushed she actually managed to hatch them safely. Most chaotic hatching I've ever had by far. I'm sad to lose this one, but more of them made it than I expected, what with the hens playing musical chairs...
 

Ravynscroft

For the Love of Duck
Premium member
5 Years
Nov 30, 2014
34,686
33,222
1,166
Middle Tennessee
Thanks for responding. I peeled the membrane back a little (no bleeding), used coconut oil to soften, had it under a heat lamp and it was actually working on hatching by itself when it stopped breathing. :( Not sure why, it was a perfectly formed little baby with yolk fully absorbed. Maybe it had internal injuries of some kind.

Yes, the hen's in a communal box. I'm not blaming the hen per se, actually I'm really grateful to her, because she's not the actual mum! The original mum had 17 eggs (in an old tire, sneaky girl), but got up after 7 hatched. Two were non-viable, I gave the other 8 to this one, who happened to be broody, and aside from the three that were smushed she actually managed to hatch them safely. Most chaotic hatching I've ever had by far. I'm sad to lose this one, but more of them made it than I expected, what with the hens playing musical chairs...
So sorry for the loss, but you are most likely right... for next time, I would block off the broody so others can't climb in with her... could have been another that caused the smooshing... :(
 
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