HELP! Hen hatching this weekend, but there is a problem

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Melliewinkle, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Melliewinkle

    Melliewinkle New Egg

    Jul 19, 2009
    I have a hen that has been on her nest for appx 19-20 days. She had her eggs in the laying boxes that we set up for the hens to lay their eggs in, which is high up and not safe for baby chicks to be on. We usually remove the hen and eggs somewhere late in the incubation period to a large 4x4 cage so they can be alone to hatch safely and peacefully.

    The problem is this: when we went to do that today (I know, a little late in the game) it smelled HORRIBLE! like dead animal smell. I noticed a couple of egg shells of eggs that I assume she broke open for not being viable. It seems like at least two dead chicks may have decomposed right under her. The eggs are all filthy and stink very bad.

    We still removed the eggs to the clean cage, to clean hay. We tried to get the momma to follow but she wouldn't go. It's fairly late in the afternoon, and very hot in S TX, so I know once the sun goes down we can catch her and put her in there and the eggs won't cool too much. I could hear tapping inside one that I listened to, so I know there's life in there.

    I was very careful to handle the eggs minimally.

    Is it safe to wash the eggs? Shoul I leave it alone? Should I move them to an incubator if momma is uninterested?

    I realize that we should have done this earlier, but this was our first chance. Anyone have any experience, suggestions, or ideas to share?

    Thank you
  2. perolane

    perolane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    As this was posted last night , you may have already done this.......I'd lock the hen in with the eggs...if she refuses to sit, transfer the eggs to the incubator. My hens absolutely hate to be shuffled around or messed with in any way when brooding. I suggest you lower your nest boxes so in the future, they don't have to be disturbed & stressed. Good luck!

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