First broody hen with eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TonyaNB, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. TonyaNB

    TonyaNB New Egg

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    Oct 26, 2014
    My husband and I have had chickens for a couple of years. We had our first hen go broody Oct 3rd. The hen is 8 months old. She began sitting on 4 eggs then a couple of days later she moved nesting boxes. So we moved the original eggs into the nest with her.

    At around 10 days we candled the eggs and took out the ones that were not developing and removed 3 that were not developing. that left her with 19 eggs. She has been very dedicated to the eggs.

    It has now been 23 days. Yesterday day 22 we had a chick externally pip. I kept checking on the chick during the day. it was making slow progress through out the day and into the night. It was around 11am yesterday that it externally pipped. I heard him peeping each time I would check on the mom.
    When I first found the chick with the external pip there was another egg in the nest that it looked like mom had cracked it was not very developed. mom ate the egg. a few hours later when I checked on them there was another egg that the shell was very cracked. the chick was moving but the membrane appeared dry. I saw the hen peck at the egg shell. Could she have cracked the egg?

    I went out to check on the pipped egg this morning and it was crushed and the chick had died.

    I have read every article and watched hours of videos about hatching eggs.
    It does not appear that any of the other eggs have externally pipped yet.
    Any suggestions? I need to know if there is any chance the other eggs will hatch? will she kill the chicks?
    I appreciate any advice as this is all new to us.
     
  2. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Texas
    You said she had started with 4 but when you candled and removed some she had 19 left. So have new eggs been being added all along? This is not a great situation. When the eggs don't have a hatch date within 2-3 days of one another, then the mother will have to choose between sitting on the later eggs and abandoning the chicks or go off to take care of the chicks but abandon the remaining eggs. You said it has been 23 days. But has it been 23 days for all of the eggs, or just the first 4?

    It is possible that she is breaking the eggs. I had an australorp go broody repeatedly and I finally gave in and gave her eggs. She broke one about a week in. It could have been a dud, I'm not sure. Then she crushed 2 chicks as they were zipping. But she did manage to have 5 live healthy chicks. She didn't smash them on purpose, but she was very clumsy and I think couldn't fully get the hang of sitting delicately.

    If she is cracking and eating eggs and pecking at the pipping eggs, I would suggest keeping a close eye on her if you can. She could just be trying to help it out, or she could be trying to kill it. I've had both scenarios happen with mine. The ones who tried to kill the hatching babes, were ejected from the nest and culled at the first opportunity. That isn't a trait I want in my flock. Anyway, she could just be clumsy and uncertain, being a first timer. So keep a watch on her and see how she seems to be treating the remaining eggs.
     
  3. TonyaNB

    TonyaNB New Egg

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    Oct 26, 2014
    the new eggs were added within the first 2 days. We marked all of the eggs so we could make sure that no new ones were added after the initial ones that the other hens laid with the first 4.
    how long should we wait for the remaining eggs to hatch? If my timing is correct the added eggs should be at 21 days today. I do not expect all of the eggs to hatch for our first batch. My husband said he did not expect more than 6-8 to hatch. I just want to give them the best chance to hatch.
    Thank you for your help
     
  4. Aphrael

    Aphrael Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Texas
    Ok, that is great that they are not badly staggered. I would give them till day 25 or so. If you don't see any more pips at the moment, you can candle them again and look for internal pips and remove any obvious quitters. If you still have no more hatching after day 22 or 23, you can do the float test on any that have no external pipping. I hope you get some live babies soon! [​IMG]
     

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