Hi from South Australia

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by handihoes, May 16, 2016.

  1. handihoes

    handihoes Just Hatched

    May 16, 2016
    Hi everyone. I'm from Adelaide, South Australia and recently acquired a broody hen, an incubator and some fertile eggs as part of a science project for my son at high school. Even though the project only last a couple of months, I have wanted to raise chickens again for a while (haven't had chickens since I was a teen) so we will be keeping all chicken involved. Its only been 10 days since getting our chicken (newly named Rosey) but wow, what a learning curve! The idea of the project was to have 7 eggs under a broody hen and 7 in our incubator to determine how each egg/chick developed differently or similarly. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse and the hen no longer is sitting on eggs. Firstly, when we picked her up, we were told she was a silkie. I didn't really know much about chickens, so I didn't know differently then, but I now know that she is probably only part silkie and she is not fluffy like silkie, nor does she have a poofy head - she has regular white chicken feathers. But she does have black skin, blueish beak and ears, and 5 toes so I think she is a silkie cross. Anyway, she was sitting on fertile eggs when we got her and we transported her in the dark to her new makeshift home (a converted dog crate of sorts) where she seemed quite happy. The only thing was, my son carried her and afterwards noticed some little bugs on his arms. I didn't see any on the nest, (but I didn't want to poke around and disturb her) so I let it be, but I guessed the bugs were mites. I read DE was good for treating that so I ordered some but couldn't get it locally so had to wait a week. I didn't realise what a rapid infestation would occur or how much of a pain mites are. I now know. Unfortunately, after a week of being a very patient broody mum, the chicken left her nest and wouldn't return. All day the eggs sat cold. I noticed she was shaking and scratching ALOT, so I looked at her and she was covered in millions of red mites...and so was her nest, the eggs, the crate, etc. I went to the vet and got some spray with perithrim (?) and sprayed her well. I gently wiped the eggs. I then steam cleaned every little crevice of her nest and crate and sprayed it all with coopex. I tried to put her back on the eggs but she wouldn't stay :( I took them inside and desperately tried to keep them warm on an electric blanket in a box with water so I could try again. The next day, the eggs were cold again as the blanket had stopped working. So I candled them and found at least two still alive. So I took another electric blanket and put them in it and thought Id try and put her on them later that night. Unfortunately, that blanket short circuited too (probably because it was folded) and went cold so by evening there was no signs of life in the eggs anymore. Very disappointing. On a happier note, Rosey and her home now appear to be mite free. Of the 7 eggs in the incubator, on day 10 we saw that 4 were moving around, 2 appear to be infertile and 1 is unclear. Although the unclear egg seems hotter than the other eggs as its in the middle where the heat must be directing rather than round the edge, so I'm not holding my breath on that one). I'm just not sure what to do now but I'll head over to the Raising Chickens thread to ask for advice. I just wanted to thank everyone for all the great advice given and the great discussions as I've used SO much information from this site over the past week in helping me to build my own coop (still ongoing), how to treat the mites, how to care for the abandoned eggs, etc, etc. Looking forward to chatting more :)
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    What a shame, she was surely infested with mites before you got her - mites can be quite debilitating - you may want to up her protein to help restore her to proper health. Broodies often will abandon eggs if their nest or box is moved. But, I don't think the best broody in the world could be blamed when mites were consuming her. Best that she didn't have chicks - they would have quickly deteriorated from the blood suckers.
  4. handihoes

    handihoes Just Hatched

    May 16, 2016
    Thanks CT and drumstick diva. I will check out the Australian threads. I don't think she abandoned her nest due to being moved as she stayed on it for a week after being moved and only got off to drink but always went straight back. I'm sure it was the mites. Yes she must have been infected when we got her. On reflection, I don't think the place we got her from is the most scrupulous. Poor thing must have been driven crazy and i don't blame her for abandoning the eggs at all. I hope she stays mite free now, though it seems they are a common pest.
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

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