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Moms ate shell w/ chick alive inside, Pics & vid of helping chick

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MarylandChick, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. MarylandChick

    MarylandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    A.A. County MD
    I have two hens sitting on 5 eggs (and eachother) in my coop of 7 hens and two roosters. I have no idea what breed chicks these eggs are because I have bantam and full size chickens.

    When two of my hens went broody I let them keep 5 eggs the dates if which vary between around the 7/28. Then my hens started laying their eggs in front of the two hens on their nest and the broody gals started scooting the abandoned eggs under themselves. Collecting eggs has been quite an ordeal ever since (today is 8/8/08.)

    Today I heard chirping and I saw under my hen a chick in 1/2 an egg. 1/2 the egg was gone (like is was sliced long ways) and the chick was inside the clearish/white inside rubbery coat which has dried and was quite thick. Just the chicks mouth was free of the inner sak of whatever it's called. The egg looks like it's labeled 7/21/08 which means this is a early hatching (18 days!). Surely this is too soon unless I errored in labeling the egg but to screw up by a week seems unlikely.

    I don't know if it was wrong of me but I took the egg/chick out from the coop to examine it. And helped the chick threw the dried inner membraine over the course of many hours. Then I put the hatchling and empty remaining egg back under the hens who were very ticked at me for bothering them. When I went back and looked minutes later the entire egg was gone (eaten by the hens I assume.) The chick looks like my big black Jersey Giant rooster. The chick looks fluffy and okay now. I'll post a link the the video tomarrow.

    The other eggs shouldn't hatch till this Sunday at the soonest. These are young hens who have never done this before. Should I fret? Can the hens manage a prematurely hatched baby among their eggs for days? Should I lock all the other chickens out of the coop so the hens and babies can have some peace and quiet? Will the roosters harm the babies? Will the mother hens eat the baby like the did the egg? Can mother hens "share" chicks or will they fight and maybe harm the chicks?

    Also I have squirrels who keep coming in the chainlink run and eating the corn. Do they pose a threat to the chicks? Should I just move the broody hens, eggs and the chick to a smaller spare chicken cage I have?

    I have no idea what I am doing and the temptation to run in a and grab the baby chick and set up a heat light is aweful.

    Video:

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:This is one good reason why you should separate broody hens from the rest of the flock. Also, when the broody gets out of the nest for her break, some eggs could get broken and contaminate the rest of the clutch.

    Quote:You may find when you clean out the broody nest that the egg shell is still there, but in little pieces in the bedding.

    Quote:Yes, separate the broody hens and their eggs away from the rest of the flock. Some roosters and hens are very nasty towards chicks; you never can tell how they will react. Better, in my opinion, to be safe than sorry.

    A good mama hen will usually sit on the eggs until all the eggs have hatched or until she has decided the last of the eggs aren't going to hatch. Some hens share nicely while others are greedy and want all the chicks for themselves. If they are greedy about owning the chicks, there could be fights. Since you already have a chick hatched, try to keep an eye on the group to see how they do. It is really hard to say how a first time broody will react to chicks and other broodies.

    Quote:DEFINITELY put them in a safer place - or your chicks may not stand a chance against a predator.
     
  3. MarylandChick

    MarylandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jul 23, 2007
    A.A. County MD
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  4. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

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    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Glad to hear it is doing okay. One question: Does your Jersey Giant mate with the banties? If so, that must be scary! :eek:
     
  5. whitecra

    whitecra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Oklahoma
    My last hatch I had some out on day 18 and most one day 19. Day 18 is only 3 days early.
    Chris
     
  6. MarylandChick

    MarylandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    A.A. County MD
    ok I just closed the door into the coop so now the rest of the chickens are in the run (there's plenty of places to sit, climb, lay, eat, etc. out there.) And the two moms and the eggs/chick are in the nest. I'm setting up the other chicken cage right now. 's about 3 wide X 5 feet long and 2 feet tall with a screen floor. It stands on 4 foot high stilts. Should I position it alongside the main chicken coop and put a tarp on top or put in the in garage and keep the car outside?

    Is straw an okay bedding or is it too rough for a newly hatched baby?
     
  7. MarylandChick

    MarylandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Jul 23, 2007
    A.A. County MD
    The Jersery Giant mates only 1 of the bantam females the rest he has no interest in. I got her and all the other hens little saddle/aprons to protect their backs. The bantam rooster only mates hens WHILE the giant mates, he kind of jumps on in between them. The giant ignores him but they work as a team to protect the hens when they are in the yard.

    So far the broody hens have worked well as a team. They are never both up at the same time. but they do compete to be on top of one another.

    The two hens who happen to be broody are the two hens who dislike me a great deal. I got them more recently, not as chicks like the rest of the chickens. I wonder if that means their chicks will always fear me too.
     
  8. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    I'm glad you started this thread...I have 3 broodies with 19 eggs under them and they are due to hatch Sunday and Tuesday and was wondering the same thing about whether the hen would abandon the eggs once a few chicks hatch out.
    I have mine in a side room on straw, also. Is a creep area a good idea? I was going to take an old box and put their feed and water inside with a heat lamp over it. The entrance would be large enough for the chicks to enter but not the hens.
     
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Can you lower it to ground level? A 4 foot drop can kill a chicklette...... And mama will want the chicks to follow her when she goes out.

    Put the cage where it can be protected from all weather extremes and predators.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  10. MarylandChick

    MarylandChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    A.A. County MD
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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008

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