Hens killing chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rosawoodsii, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    I bought 9 Welsummer eggs in April, and my Buff Orpington hen sat on them and sat on them and sat on them. Around three weeks nothing was happening, but shortly thereafter, a smell began to eminate. Finally, at 28 days, the smell was overpowering. I bought her a few chicks locally to care for and whooshed her out of the nest to clean it. There were the remains of THREE (instead of the 9 Welsummer and 3 additional Americauna eggs), and the bodies of two or three chicks. It was hard to tell whether they'd hatched normally or were naked, because they were pretty far gone. Can anyone explain this? Could she have killed them? She was a first time brooder, and I did read in another thread that first timers may do this. Then what happened to the rest of the eggs and shells? Will she do this again? How common is it?

    The hen is very happy caring for her last minute brood and is a good mother, but instead of Welsummers, she's raising some heritage meat birds. I sure would have liked those Welsummers and Easter Eggers, though.

    In a similar vein, my broody bantam hatched out 2 of about a dozen eggs. Some of the eggs just never hatched, but there were only three left in the next, and two hatched. That makes a bunch unaccounted for. She's taking very good care of those two, btw.
     
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    You read correctly Rosa. Sometimes it just happens. First time broodies are apt to do anything. Best to not trust them with anything valuable. Guess you found out the hard way. Kinda impressive that she is being good to the foster chicks, though. She will be a better mom next time................Pop
     
  3. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2009
    I watched her like a hawk for the first few hours. As soon as I put the chicks under her, she started crooning and clucking. She wouldn't get out of the next until I removed the disgusting detritus, though.

    But what happened to all the eggs? I only found the remains of out of a dozen.
     

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