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Hatched too early?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by shamn, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. shamn

    shamn In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Wondering if anyone else has had this experience. I had 6 eggs under a hen, today was day 17. Before going to work, about 1:30 I checked on her and found there was a completely hatched, fully formed, egg sac absorbed-but dead chick under her. And one of the other eggs had pipped a huge hole in its shell so I could completely see the head and part of the wing. Nothing in the other 4 eggs. I had someone check on the chick/eggs while I was at work and they said there was no pipping in the other 4 eggs, but they couldn't find the egg with the chick partially hatched. When I came home tonight (about midnight), I could hear chirping in 1 of the 4 eggs, but no pips. I found the other chick, kind of buried in the hay under the hen, one side wet, one side fluffed up, egg sac absorbed but eyes not opened, not able to stand or hold its head up. It is still alive and chirping. Also, on the side lying in the hay, there are tiny little bugs crawling all over it. At first gland they look like pieces of sand. I tried to clean it up the best I could and put fresh bedding under the hen. Placed the chick back under the hen and hoping for the best, but not optimistic at this time.

    Why would 2 of the eggs hatch so early? And is that why the chick died and the other is not doing well? Also, anyone have any idea what the little bugs were? This is my 2nd hatching under a hen and the 1st went very well. Would the weather have anything to do with it? I live in upstate NY and we keep alternating between hot/humid then cold/rainy.
  2. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    Aug 10, 2013
    I have had them hatch on day 18, so day 17 wouldn't be beyond belief... It could also be the hen pecking the eggs, no way to truly tell unless you see it hatching/her pecking...

    As for the bugs, you would know if they were ants so I am going to take a stab and suggest its either mites, lice or fleas in which case I believe it could kill the chicks, I am not 100% sure if you could/should do it now but you can dust your hen and her nest, likely she may be the cause of the infestation?? I have heard DE is safe for poultry but deadly for the creepy crawly creatures.
  3. shamn

    shamn In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2013
    Upstate NY
    After doing more reading last night on the internet, I wondered about lice, also. So, back out to the coop at 1 in the morning to check for bugs. I checked all the roosting chickens and no crawly things I could see (looked at vents and around neck). I looked at the mama hen and saw that the bugs were where the chick had been laying and there was broken egg shells with some dried blood in it. Didn't notice any on the hen. Hope its not lice :( When I checked this morning, chick was dead and squashed. The other 4 eggs are beginning to hatch.
  4. WthrLady

    WthrLady Songster

    Jul 24, 2014
    WestOak, Nebraska
    Sounds like mites

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