My hen died on day 13 of sitting on eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tbeshaw, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. tbeshaw

    tbeshaw New Egg

    Mar 22, 2015
    Please help, I have only been keeping chickens for 6 months, and have learnt so much in this time, but still have a lot to learn! This is a long story but please read as I would like advice from people more experienced than me, because I feel that my lack of knowledge has resulted in the death of one of my beautiful girls.

    About two and a half weeks ago I thought one of my hens was sick as she did not come out of the coop for a few days and was quite aggressive when I was collecting eggs, after some research I discovered she was clucky and I got some fertile eggs for her to sit on.

    She was happy sitting on the eggs, but twice a day I had to remove her from the nest as my other girls were laying in her box, they would just squish in next to her, then she would tuck their eggs under herself. On about day 3 I accidently cracked one of the fertile eggs as it was tucked under her wing when I was lifting her off the nest. I was very upset about breaking the egg, so I did some research and found some people have had success repairing cracked eggs with wax or nail polish, so I decided to try and repair it with wax. The next morning there was no trace of the egg anywhere, so I did more research and found they consume the entire egg if its broken, not a trace left, wax and all!

    After this incident I decided that although its not ideal, she needed to be separated from the other girls as she was quite aggressive and would peck at my hands and arms (even though I had covered them in a towel, it still hurt!), whenever I tried to retrieve the other girls eggs.

    On about day 5 I discovered the coop was infested with mites after lifting her off the nest and I was crawling with them, disgusting! The weather had just warmed up quite dramatically and we have lots of wild birds around. Anyway, we treated the mite infestation, emptied and disposed of all bedding, dusted all the girls down, dusted the coop, laid new bedding and dusted the coop again.

    By day 8 her new coop was ready, I put in fresh bedding, gave her another dusting with lice powder, dusted her new coop and put her eggs in the nest, then put her in the nest. She stayed there until the next day, then she went out into the attached run and started flapping and squawking and trying to escape, after about half an hour I had to put her back on the nest as I thought she was a bit confused. Again she stayed there until the next day, this time she came out, had a stretch, had some food and water and went back in. She now seemed happy and settled, this was day 10. I did notice her comb was very pale and floppy for about a week, but I thought this was due to not eating or drinking as much, and not free ranging and doing all of her usual activities.

    So today is day 13, as normal her gate into the run was opened at 5am, then I did my usual morning check at about 7.30am and she was sitting on her eggs, she looked at me when I talked to her, she seemed ok but her eyes were a bit droopy, like she was really tired (I noticed this yesterday too). I went to check her at midday and she had died, without being too gruesome I think it had been a few hours as her body was quite stiff.

    She was only 10 months old and very healthy before she went clucky, she was also mother hen to my other 3 girls [​IMG]

    I don't have an incubator and I have put her eggs under a lamp, turning them every couple of hours and making sure the temp stays around 40 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit). It may be too late as I don't know how long she was off the eggs, but I want to give it my best shot to let the eggs hatch. I have candled them and they all seem to have been developing, is there any way to know if they are alive, or is it just wait and see for the next 8 days?
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Sorry to hear about your loss. Eggs need humidity regulation, as well as warmth. You may be swimming against the tide somewhat, in trying to hatch them without an incubator. Maybe try doing some research on how to go about hatching without an incubator?

    Good luck and let us know how it goes

    1 person likes this.
  3. Mak24456

    Mak24456 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2016
    Really sorry to hear that. [​IMG]

    You may want to be very careful because 40 degrees celsius is not 100 degrees fahrenheit. It is 104, which is too high for incubation.
    1 person likes this.

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