Hatching Day Disaster

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Bunnylady, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    It's been one of those days. [​IMG]

    My mama Serama had been sitting on five eggs for nearly three weeks in a cage in the workshop. Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that she had one cheepy under her. I debated bringing it in the house, but I really wanted to let her raise this clutch, so I left it with her. I checked on her again about 7:30 this morning, and she had three little fuzzy butts with her then. Some time between then, and about noon, when I checked again, something went horribly wrong. I found yesterday's chick expiring, one from this morning cold, barely moving or breathing, and the two remaining eggs very cold to the touch. Believing that "they ain't dead until they're warm and dead," I rushed the chicks and the eggs into my incubator. Sadly, I was too late to save the first chick. [​IMG] The other two warmed up, and are cheeping and lively and full of themselves. [​IMG] The eggs had both pipped; one has since hatched. [​IMG] Still waiting on the last egg, which is cheeping. [​IMG]

    I put the hen in a tote in the living room while I tried to save her family. She is still there, and seems a bit put out by this whole business. We put one chick in with her for a while, though he tried to burrow into her feathers, the hen seemed totally disinterested. I have noticed that she doesn't seem to deal well with being "messed about" (she abandoned some eggs when I moved her once before). After she worked so hard brooding them, I'd like to give her the chance to mother these chicks, but now I'm not so sure. On the one hand, I feel like, this is just a dumb cluck that has messed up by letting her clutch get cold. On the other hand, she was such a faithful broody; she has earned a chance at motherhood. Is she even likely to take them back after all this?
     
  2. cariwood

    cariwood Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2010
    Golden, CO
    Oh no, well maybe she will come around when there is more then one with her.
     
  3. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    I wouldn't risk it. Chickens are just like any other animal, some just aren't cut out to be mommas.
     
  4. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    Because this all happened right at hatching time, she may well have decided she doesn't like being moved and she may think you are trying to put 'aliens' under her. If she's not interested in them and you keep trying to put them with her she may turn on them and kill them. [​IMG]

    Time to put them in a brooder. It's not worth the risk.
     
  5. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Wilmington, NC
    I finally gave in to the pressure and helped the last chick out of the egg. It was ready; the membranes didn't bleed at all. Matter of fact, it was stuck. The membrane had dried onto one wing, I don't think it would have gotten out on its own.

    The hen seems to have relaxed a bit. She'd been eating and drinking, and acting a lot less shell-shocked, so my daughter decided to try her with a chick again. The hen made appropriate clucking noises, and even showed the chick where the food was, but took quite a while to get herself positioned so that the chick could get snuggled into her feathers. It was a persistent little rascal, and eventually made it under her wing. We left them together for half an hour or so, and they seemed happy, but I was hesitant to leave them unsupervised overnight. The hen growled quite a bit when my daughter retrieved the chick - there may be hope yet! The chicks should all be pretty stable on their legs tomorrow morning, so I'll give them one more chance with Mom then. She's usually a fairly mellow sort of chicken, and being a Saturday, there will be someone around to keep an eye and an ear on them. If things don't go swimmingly, I'll put her back out in the workshop and stop messing around with them.
     
  6. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    bad idea to take the chick away again. never remove all chicks and eggs, at least give her fake eggs to set if she takes the chick leave it with her , not giving and taking. with these temp. best to keep her where its warm. Chicks can get chill quick,
     
  7. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    bad idea to take the chick away again. never remove all chicks and eggs, at least give her fake eggs to set if she takes the chick leave it with her , not giving and taking. with these temp. best to keep her where its warm. Chicks can get chill quick,
     
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Wilmington, NC
    Well, it looks like we have a chicken house guest for the next few weeks. We put all 4 of the chicks in with the hen, and she immediately started fluffing her feathers and doing the mothery clucking thing. Within a couple of minutes, all four were snuggled down in her feathers. Not surprisingly, she grumbles every time we look in the tote. Can't say I blame her - I'd be ready to murder anyone that had messed my family around as much as I have hers!

    I suppose what happened, is that she just got up before the chicks were really ready to follow her, and stayed away a little too long. That wouldn't have been a big deal in the middle of the summer, but in January? I guess a tropical chicken breed can't be blamed for not knowing how fast a tiny chick can lose body heat.
     
  9. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Quote:That's great that she took them back! You got a GOOD momma there!!! [​IMG]
     
  10. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    Congrats! [​IMG] So glad it's all worked out.

    She must be mellow momma, my old game hen broodies would have taken your arm off if you tried to touch their chicks. [​IMG]
     

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