New momma hen is clueless?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BackyardDove, May 14, 2016.

  1. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2014
    Central Texas
    Okay, so I have this young Silkie hen. I gave her three pheasant eggs. Originally, these eggs were with another broody hen, but I realized that I had put both chicken and pheasant eggs under that broody hen. Pheasants take a day longer to hatch than chickens, which isn't that big of a deal, but I didn't want to cause an issue and I had this Silkie hen anyways. This Silkie hen is young, a little less than 9 months old, and this was her first hatch. I decided that, despite being a new mom, I would give her the more precious pheasant eggs(Since I only have 1 pair of pheasants and they only lay a couple dozen eggs per year) and let the other broody hen incubate the chicken eggs. I decided this because her mom is the best momma hen I've had yet and I figured her daughter would be the same way. Unfortunately, only two of the three eggs hatched, but the two that did hatch were doing great. Now, not that long ago, I raised up the nests a foot off of the ground to keep the hens from roosting in the nests. Once the chicks hatched from their eggs, the momma hens would leave the nest, the chicks would follow, and the momma hen might try to return to the nest, but after realizing her babies can't reach the nest, she'd go back to the ground and everything would be fine. Except for this new hen. She returned to the nest after leaving the nest with the chicks, and despite having no chicks follow her, she stayed in the nest and let her pheasant chicks die on the ground.

    I'm pretty upset about this, since not only were these chicks two of the very few pheasant chicks I'll have until next year, but also because she was stupid enough to completely ignore her chicks, yet she'll attack other chickens as if she still has something to protect. When the other hens had their first few hatches, the nests were on the ground, so I don't know if they learned or 'just knew' to stay with their chicks, despite what may be more comfortable to them. Is this new hen going to learn, and until then I need to keep a close watch on her chicks, or is she just stupid and I should use her purely for incubation and take away her chicks when they hatch?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    It may be worth trying her with some expendable fertile eggs before throwing the towel in with her, but sorry, its a bummer.

    CT
     
  3. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 8, 2014
    Central Texas
    Ah, great.. I'll probably give her one more chance and watch her carefully, but if she screws up then too, I'll just start giving her eggs and taking them away when they hatch, since even if she does get better she won't be as good as my other hens..
     

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