I am baffled....

djhowe69

Chirping
7 Years
May 8, 2014
15
15
87
Okay, so last year I purchased 6 Cornish chicks and 12 black Asian chicks from The Tractor Supply store. Three of the Cornish chicks died over the first couple months and four of the black Asians died as well. Not a shocked at all by the loss of any chicks, winter was long and cold and took a few toes but everyone made it. When the springtime came everyone loved it when the chicken run was open for business. I built an 8 foot high chicken wire enclosure around a 15 by 20 chicken run. The Cornish birds were too heavy to flap up to the top, but the Asians were light enough to spring up there without any problem. So let's just say they became yard birds this summer, which carried the consequence of predatory creatures which culled my flock down to one Cornish rooster and 3 black Asian hens.
The story doesn't end there. I became so frustrated at the loss of so many birds I stopped collecting the eggs that the 3 hens were laying. After about a month I threw out 2 dozen eggs which were very rotten. One morning I entered the coop and one of the hens was brooding. She fluffed up and softly clucked at me to leave her clutch alone while pecking at my fingers as I attempted to view what she was up to. I threw my hands up and decided to just leave it alone. Maybe she would have chicks, maybe not, but she was totally committed to her new job. I would bring food in to her and give her water and for a month and a half there was nothing. My wife and I took the kids camping for a few days and when I went in to see how she was she was gone. I found her out in the thicket grazing with the rest of the yard birds. I shrugged my shoulders and figured she finally gave up. Two days later I enter the coop because I hadn't seen her in the yard at all and was concerned the fox had returned and there she was in the middle of the coop fluffed up and playing goalie between me and two baby chicks they were at least two days old. What a shock to say the least! I looked in the nest boxes and saw a dozen eggs in one unattended and the box had one of the other hens brooding over a clutch of about a dozen eggs! I figured the eggs had to rotted but I figured I'd let her have her mission either way, so I ground some corn up for the new arrivals and put it down for them. Two and a half weeks passed and I enter the coop this morning to hear a huge ruckus. There were eighteen brand new baby chicks in the nest boxes with the other hen! EIGHTEEN! Now I know it take 21 days to hatch a chick. How in the heck is it possible that 3 hens laid these fertilized eggs over time and they all hatched on the same day?
 

flgardengirl

Crowing
11 Years
Dec 2, 2009
4,641
550
372
Sunny side up :)
It was a group effort lol.Hens can lay eggs without incubating them for a week or so. So if they are all doing it then the numbers make sense. The eggs dont normally start developing until the hens is sitting solidly on them overnight and all day except when they briefly get up to poo and eat/drink which is usually only once per day. I have some hens that wont start "setting" on the eggs solidly overnight until they reach a specific # of eggs laid. Once they hit that #, bam they set on them lol. I guess they can count.:lau
 

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