PLEASE help! I've lost two chicks today...

MichelleLee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
18
0
22
Today has been my first experience with letting a hen sit on eggs..it is also the hen's first shot at motherhood too.

So far it's been a big let down.

I had two eggs hatching this morning.

While I was giving her water another hen jumped up on a perch beside me and there was a tussle, resulting in one of the hatching eggs being smushed. Sadly the chick died.

The other hatching egg was peeping loudly and seemed to be doing well.

I just did a final check before nightfall and found the second hatching egg smushed and the chick dead as well.

The first one I can understand...but the second, now I am very worried about my hen's ability to hatch these eggs without killing them.

What should I do? And is this normal for a first time hen to has such accidents?
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I do not own an incubator...otherwise I would have moved them already..
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I'm really disappointed and sad over this...I've been on the edge of my seat waiting for these babies to hatch:hit
 

pdsavage

Sussex Monarch
11 Years
Mar 27, 2008
4,286
16
241
NW,Missouri
Is she isolated away from the other hens so they cantget into her nest?
they will fight over a nesting box, it is best to move her to place like a pet carrier or even a turned over launder basket....
 

MichelleLee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
18
0
22
She has the coop all to herself today...I shut the coop door behind the rest of them as they went out to free range this morning (the loss of the first chick taught me a painful lesson real quick) and have given them the garden shed for the night.

But now that this has happened again, with no real reason other than she must just be clumsy and inexperienced...I'm very worried for the whole nest.

She not a very big hen, pretty small really and has sat diligently and been very good to the eggs...up until the important part it seems.
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MichelleLee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
18
0
22
Well, I just went out and thinking that maybe her nest wasn't cushioned enough on the bottom, I put down a bed of pine shavings a few inches thick beneath her nest. She went right back on it without batting an eye...good thing she trusts me so much.

My mind is racing with worry.

I have noticed that the shells of my eggs are very thick, and the membranes as well. The second chick had chipped a hole early this morning...but made very little progress from there on out (At least 6 hours). How long should hatching take?

None of the other eggs have started to hatch, but I swear I heard peeping from one of them while I was changing the nest.

I guess I'm going to just have to cross my fingers and ride it out....hopefully better luck tomorrow.
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skeeter9

Songster
12 Years
Apr 10, 2007
2,104
3
201
Foothills of Central CA
Hi Michelle,
Sorry to hear you're having a hard time with your hatch. Sometimes they just don't go so well, but maybe your luck will change with the ones that are left. I know how you feel - I'm using a maiden broody with a few eggs that are due to hatch any day now, so I'm not sure what to expect . . .

Once a chick has pipped, they usually take a nice long break while they are finishing absorbing the yolk, etc. , so it can take quite a while from pip to hatch. I don't know why they can't just hatch on our schedule so we wouldn't have to worry so much!!

Let us know how the other eggs do!
 

bloomnbeauty

Delux Cluxs
11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
449
0
129
N Florida
I had three hens go broody at one time. In a double nest box there were two hens in one side and one hen in the other. After isolating them from the rest of the hens I gave each box 6 eggs. The lone hen hatched 5 of 6. The two hens together hatched only 2 of 6 and killed one of them. Hard lesson learned but I won't ever do that again.
 

MichelleLee

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
18
0
22
Thanks for the well wishes guys. Today has been much better.
I had two chicks hatch on their own successfully this morning, and one just an hour ago:D

Mom seems very happy and at ease. I think the shavings may have helped, as she had no problems with crushed eggs today. She still has quite a few eggs to go. Keeping my fingers crossed:)
 

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