Help!!! chicks hatching & need advice


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 5, 2012
South Georgia, USA
Ok so this is my 1st time with a broody hen hatching. 2 chicks were hatched Monday a black & yellow. Black doing great, yellow passed monday night. Another black chick hatched yesterday & one yellow chick partially hatched & died in shell. ??????? I caught my buffs in the box before I moved the broody so I know that the eggs could be a few days apart . She still has 9 eggs under her. However I see no cracked shells or peeps from any of them. I candeled last night & they all seem to be developed & within days of hatching. Just a few minutes ago I checked & still no peeping. They also do not feel as warm as I think they should be. She keeps lifting up for the 2 babies running around.

I DO NOT have an incubator & do not want to loose the other chicks if I can give them a chance. Should I remove the eggs & try to make an emergency incubator? I really believe that by candling they are very close to hatching.

Any advice????? & why the yellow ones would have passed?

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i had this problem and i put my eggs in a little box and a lamp light bulb really close to the eggs and mine hatched they were killed by birds outside but they did great for hatching ... chicks can just die randomly .. the hen wont want to stay on the eggs if she has chicks running around already so she wont stay on them .... and the hen will do the rest with taking care of them
I had that problem last year when my hens went broody for the first time. She hatched out 4, and left the rest of the eggs, I did not check to see if there were any chicks in the other eggs (did not want to get depressed).
So this year, as soon as day 21 came around, and we heard peeps, I lifted Mama's backside & removed the chick, next day did the same. Had to help two chicks out of their shells yesterday & the day before, they were starting to shrink wrap. So all 4 babies are inside, eating drinking, fluffy and running around under the heat lamp. I check Mama a couple times a day, and listen for peeps, she still has about 7 eggs under her & some still have a week to go.
I forgot to lock the door so the other hens could not get in, and when they laid their eggs, Mama snatched them before I could get them. So as of now, Mama is sitting, looks 3 times her size, and because she does not have chicks to worry about, is content on sitting on her remaining eggs. Keep her fresh food & water next to her, pet her back & give her words of encouragement when I go out to check on her during the day.
I did remove three eggs in the last week, they were ice cold, and I tapped, but heard no peeps.

It was fun to see the Mama & babies together, and watch how she taught them where the food was & how they would climb all over her as she sat in the nest box. But after 2 1/2 - 3 weeks after hatching, Mama left them & went back to the main coop & the chicks were on their own. So I would rather just hand rear them this year.
I suggest next time that you gather all the eggs you want a broody to hatch and start them at the same time. It really simplifies the process. Just mark the eggs you want her to hatch and check under her toward the end of each day and remove any new eggs. As long as you remove them daily they are still good to use.

The eggs spread out like that is called a staggered hatch. That’s rough in an incubator and rougher under a broody. With a broody you normally have three options when that happens. 1) Let the hen abandon the nest when she is ready to take care of the chicks that have hatched. Not a good one at all. 2) Take the chicks as they hatch and hope she remains on the nest to hatch the others. Depending on how far apart they are you may wind up raising a bunch in a brooder. 3) Take the unhatched eggs and try to finish them yourself.

Since she has abandoned the nest you are stuck with options 1 or 3. Sounds like you chose number 3. You are doing the best you can in a less than perfect situation. That’s all you can do. I wish you luck.
Thanks Mommy to Wee Ones! Nice idea. I will keep this in mind for next time. Learning as I go & will do alot of things different next time. :)

I see you live in North Texas. I live in South Georgia but my only sister is in Amarillo & I have visited on occasion & love Texas! :)

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