One chick hatched, hen left the eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Stonerowfarm, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
    My mille fleur hen went broody so I let her keep her eggs and hatch them out herself. She had a clutch of about six eggs. The first one hatched on the 5th, and as soon as it did, she became super mom. Keeping the baby warm, bringing it to food/water and keeping the chick out of trouble. I initially thought that the other eggs were duds. However, I looked into the floor of the coop last night and one of the other eggs had gotten broken (either by the hen or roo) and there was a fully formed baby chick, complete with fuzz. I have a feeling that the others were probably viable, although a couple days behind the one she hatched. It seems that as soon as the first hatched, she figured her job was done and left the eggs to die.

    Is this normal for a first timer? She is about 14-15 months old and it was her first clutch to brood out. I feel horrible that I didn't pull the eggs when she got off them and stick them in an incubator. I have a feeling at least two or possible more would have hatched out.
  2. perolane

    perolane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    Just as you mentioned, she probably thought her job was done OR the other eggs were not going to hatch for whatever reason & she knew it. Guessing is all that we can do at this point.
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I have had one do this also. It was very helpful that i had her in a separate enclosed area, so i was able to focus her back on her eggs for a while. But after a couple more hatched, that was it.

    Thankfully i had another broody at the time, and she finished up for me.

    It's really helpful if they are collected and given back to the broody hen so that they all start hatching at about the same time, instead of being more staggered as they will be if we let the hen keep her eggs.
  4. crazy chook

    crazy chook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2010
    Langwarrin, Victoria
    I had a broody sitting on eggs in the big pen, before I could move her a couple of the other chooks got in with her and laid eggs. So when it came time to hatch, I let her hatch and keep all that hatched in the first 4 days. Then removed the rest of the eggs and stuck them in the incubator. They hatched one or two a day for the next week. Mummy chicken is looking after 12 and i have 7. YES she ended up sitting on 19 eggs!

    The reason I did this is that you run the risk of mummy chicken either getting off the eggs that have not hatched to look after her chicks that have.
    she may even chuck out the new chicks to keep sitting on the eggs in her nest.

    Chickens normally wait till they have laid the amount they want, then sit on them. So all of them are due to hatch at the same time.

    I hope this helps and we would love to see a photo of mum and baby.[​IMG]
  5. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
    Well, I looked in a bit closer last night and there are four more eggs that she or roo have been pecking at. They all have full grown chicks in them. She is in a chicken tractor which I had to separate out when my two mille roos started trying to kill each other. Half the tractor has one roo and one hen and the other half has the other hen and roo (and now one baby). So no one could knock her off her eggs and she had her food and water within close reach. I just think she got so excited to be a mama for the first time that she didn't realize that she could hatch out more and gave up. Next time I'll know to pull the eggs and put them in a bator if she walks away.

    Just curious though, in the Northeast, is it too late to let the other hen hatch a clutch?

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