HELP! hen killing hatching chicks!


10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
One of my Silkie hens has been setting eggs since early May, and i knew the eggs should be hatching soon. I looked under her today and found an egg completely destroyed, with a hatchling still covered in membrane. I removed the egg, suspecting the hen had done it, since I had a Buff Orpington a couple of years ago that killed all of her chicks--then readily adopted some day-old chicks that I put under her.

Tonight I went out to check again, and sure enough, another egg had been destroyed and the chick was still enfolded in membrane and very dead. At that point I took the eggs into the house, being careful not to turn them, put them on a towel in a box with a hooded light over them and a digital thermometer lead on top of the eggs. The temperature is at 97.7 degrees right now, and I'm not sure I can get it any higher. I also put a wet sponge in there to provide humidity.

What are the chances I can get a hatch out of these eggs?

I have another Silkie that hatched out three chicks last week, then abandoned the rest of the eggs. What are the chances of her adopting any new hatchlings if I put them under her at night?

If there's anything I haven't thought of to ensure these eggs hatch, please feel free to tell me, too.
You've done all that you can do. Your temp is fine...actually a degree or so lower than 99.5 is advised for hatching, just keep an eye on the humidity.

Good luck!
Two days now and nothing. The heat has fluctuated between 100 and 101.8. I opened the lid on the box a bit and now it's around 99. I'm beginning to think there aren't any more eggs going to hatch. Bummer.

So now I find myself wondering if it's possible to put more eggs under this hen, or if it's too late, that maybe she'll stop setting before times. How long will a hen, particularly a Silkie, set?
i would give it another day or so. i had an incubater break down on me and i wet a towel with hot water and put them in a cooler with a lamp. I did get them into a incubater within 12 hours and i dont know how long the incubater was cold before we found it. the tem was down to 70 and almost all the chcks hatched. A few didnt make it but i wasnt planning on any of them making it. Good luck
What I had in mind was monitoring her and as hatching day approaches, remove the eggs to an incubator for the hatch.

I had a buff orpington that did the same thing once. When presented with live chicks, she took really good care of them.
But hasn't this hen already been sitting 3 weeks??? If you start her with new eggs, she'll have been sitting 6 weeks...tough on their little bodies.
Doesn't look like these eggs are going to hatch. I suspect the humidity wasn't right. Today I went out and bought some chicks and stuck them under the hen. She's fluffing up for them, accepted them right off. Maybe it's just the hatching bit she doesn't get.

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