Help! Two dead chicks, not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SaraAmish, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. SaraAmish

    SaraAmish In the Brooder

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    Hi everyone, this is our first time we've had a hen go broody completely and since we have a rooster we figured we would let her sit on them.

    However, we have had two chicks hatch out about a day apart and both have died. We just found them under Mama dead. I am worried the broody is homicidal (it's her first time after all and it could just be confusing?) and I want to monitor and then take the chicks away as they hatch. Or maybe she is smothering them by accident or something?

    However, my mother (they are her chickens really) wants to leave it and see what happens.

    I was wondering if anyone here has any insights about what to do?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    I usually break a first time broody but not always.
    I doubt she is homicidal. It could be they just failed to thrive.
    Sounds like one of the problems was that it was a staggered hatch. Other hens volunteered eggs to the nest after she started sitting.
    It is important to mark all eggs under a hen when she starts sitting so others can be removed. Then they'll all hatch at the same time. Staggered hatches under a broody never end well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  3. SaraAmish

    SaraAmish In the Brooder

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    Yeah, we are learning as we go for sure!

    Any suggestions to make the current situation go smoother?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    When it happens to me, all I can do is remove the dead chicks and shells and hope for the best.
    The less you mess with her, the better it will go.
    If you have an incubator, try to grab any eggs still in the nest when she abandons them.
     
  5. SaraAmish

    SaraAmish In the Brooder

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    Okay, thanks!

    It's so hard not to mess with her or try and help some way!
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    I get that but try to remember that gallus gallus (chickens) have been hatching eggs without human intervention for millions of years.
    Gallus gallus domesticus (domestic chickens) have been doing so for centuries without our help.
    Other than providing food and water, I ignore setting hens for 3 weeks or so and then just count chicks when they bring them out to forage.
     
  7. A failure to thrive is often the result of the hen and rooster being fed an insufficiently nutritious ration. The chick is able to form properly but a dietary deficiency that is manifested in the egg results in a weak chick that is unable to live after the struggle to pip and hatch leaves the chick physically exhausted..
     
  8. SaraAmish

    SaraAmish In the Brooder

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    Update: We checked underneath the hen today and there was one egg that had a developed egg that was crushed and then a hatched chick that had been pushed to the very edge of the nest. Is that normal?

    The hatched chick is alive but not really making any noise. should we pull her out from under the mom? I am really concerned that she pushed the chick to the edge of the nest. If so, what is the protocol for taking the chick away and then reintroducing it to the mom?
     

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