Help! My broody hen finally hatched her first egg and abandoned it

Rustybelle Farms

Hatching
Jul 20, 2021
5
10
4
the second the first egg started pipping she got off the nest and hasn't returned since. WTH!? she has been broody for literally 2 MONTHS. I kept trying to break her of it and finally gave in and let her hatch, she finally started to hatch and then decides she's done with them?? Is this normal? I have one other broody who just hatched 3 chicks a week ago and is such a great mama. But this hen just decided its not for her all of a sudden at the finish line? I placed the hatching chick in the incubator and its doing just fine, completely free from shell and starting to dry. Placing the other hatching eggs in there as well... I'll try introducing to the current mama hen and see if she'll adopt tomorrow...any advice?? How could she be so determined for months and then quit like this. Do they know when its not their chick? The first to hatch was another hens egg..
 

Rustybelle Farms

Hatching
Jul 20, 2021
5
10
4
:welcome 60+ days is excessive for a hen to be setting. She may very well be debilitated to the point where she had to either quit or die. Also have you checked the nest site for a mite infestation?
I hand feed her daily, she gets lots of water and I change bedding every other week, also use DE in all bedding/nesting boxes. There are no signs of parasites within my flock at all. I have her in her own area where she can get up/eat/drink anytime she wants and ensure she does at least once a day. she's been great so far, she's very sweet and lets me check on the eggs whenever. I was checking on them this morning and noticed we had a pip and was very excited for her to FINALLY be a mom. went back a few hours later to see how she was and she was off the nest running around in her run while the chick was almost halfway out of the egg. I Didn't intervene right away, stayed close and watched but after about 10 minutes I realized June (mama hen) had no intentions of returning. Not any time soon anyway. So I carried the egg to the incubator. I already had it up and running just incase (thank god) chick hatched just fine, was dried and everything so I took her back to mom to see what she'd do. She immediately accepted it and went back to sitting on the nest with her new chick under her. I thought I would take out one more of her eggs that was due to hatch today and place it next to her, she rolled it under her no problem, then about ten minutes later pecked it and cracked it! I can hear chirping in the egg and a little blood coming out:( I've had it back in the incubator now and its slowly trying to come out of shell.

Is she just not a great mom or what?!
 

yakitori

Crowing
Jun 22, 2020
2,066
4,512
351
New York
I hand feed her daily, she gets lots of water and I change bedding every other week, also use DE in all bedding/nesting boxes. There are no signs of parasites within my flock at all. I have her in her own area where she can get up/eat/drink anytime she wants and ensure she does at least once a day. she's been great so far, she's very sweet and lets me check on the eggs whenever. I was checking on them this morning and noticed we had a pip and was very excited for her to FINALLY be a mom. went back a few hours later to see how she was and she was off the nest running around in her run while the chick was almost halfway out of the egg. I Didn't intervene right away, stayed close and watched but after about 10 minutes I realized June (mama hen) had no intentions of returning. Not any time soon anyway. So I carried the egg to the incubator. I already had it up and running just incase (thank god) chick hatched just fine, was dried and everything so I took her back to mom to see what she'd do. She immediately accepted it and went back to sitting on the nest with her new chick under her. I thought I would take out one more of her eggs that was due to hatch today and place it next to her, she rolled it under her no problem, then about ten minutes later pecked it and cracked it! I can hear chirping in the egg and a little blood coming out:( I've had it back in the incubator now and its slowly trying to come out of shell.

Is she just not a great mom or what?!
it sounds like she’s not suited for brooding...You can watch her a bit longer and maybe she’ll do better from now, but personally I wouldn’t take the risk and raise the chicks myself
 

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Free Ranging
Feb 10, 2020
1,455
5,134
531
Far north texas
After two months of being broody, it is possible her broody hormones fully dissipated even though her eggs were beginning to hatch. I would give her one more future chance to know for sure if she is a "bad mom, " or was simply on the nest too many weeks to see the process through. Next time you want her to hatch chicks, give her eggs within a few days of her going broody, then you will know for sure.

Also, it's highly unlikely that your other broody with the week-old chicks will adopt the current hatchlings. You can try giving them to her at night, but she knows which chicks are hers & will likely see the new chicks as intruders. Some broodys will even kill chicks they know are not theirs. I agree you are unfortunately probably "stuck" raising the new chicks yourself. But again, i would give your "quitter" another future chance before you write her off as a bad mom.
 

Rustybelle Farms

Hatching
Jul 20, 2021
5
10
4
Thank you all for your help! I was able to hatch the 2 in the incubator and keep them over night with me, then introduced her to them and she took them without hesitation. She's doing great and seems to be very attentive to them. I'm still keeping a VERY close eye on them but so far so good.

Probably won't let her hatch in the future to avoid this mess again. She ended up stepping on hatch #2 hours after its first external pip and it was bleeding pretty bad inside the shell. I removed it as well and placed in the incubator with very little hope of it surviving, but wouldn't you know it! Its doing great! its running around in the yard with its sibling and mama as we speak.
 

Karm

Songster
Apr 20, 2021
229
1,084
211
Northern California
Thank you all for your help! I was able to hatch the 2 in the incubator and keep them over night with me, then introduced her to them and she took them without hesitation. She's doing great and seems to be very attentive to them. I'm still keeping a VERY close eye on them but so far so good.

Probably won't let her hatch in the future to avoid this mess again. She ended up stepping on hatch #2 hours after its first external pip and it was bleeding pretty bad inside the shell. I removed it as well and placed in the incubator with very little hope of it surviving, but wouldn't you know it! Its doing great! its running around in the yard with its sibling and mama as we speak.
That's great news! :)
 

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Free Ranging
Feb 10, 2020
1,455
5,134
531
Far north texas
So shes a Great mom after all!! So glad to hear it!

I have a 3 year- old black australorp similiar to yours. She's an exceptionally sweet hen, & obviously wanted so bad to have babies. I'll spare the details, but it was almost as if she tried Too hard. Through several attempts, she somehow kept crushing her eggs until all were broken and gone. Last year i finally gave her some eggs from another broody that were only a couple days from hatch. She hatched them with no problems and was indeed a fantastic mom. The second time she went broody last year, i gave her feedstore chicks, including some that were on sale cause they were 2 weeks old. She happily accepted them all immediately. Over time ive learned which of my broodies will adopt outside chicks, & which are only good moms if they hatch their own. Since your broody willingly accepted "adoptee" chicks, you can feel pretty certain she always will. So glad your story has a happy ending!
 

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