sad - think i lost a clutch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by amberscave, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. amberscave

    amberscave Out Of The Brooder

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    My Cochin bantam went broody two weeks ago. She has been very diligent for two weeks. I checked her a few days ago and she had 10 eggs. Every so often, I'd find her in the wrong nesting box and I'd move her. Yesterday she was off her nest and I assumed she would do her business and go back, like she has been. I checked her all day in case she got on the wrong nest. By dusk, she hadn't returned to her nest. She then roosted with the rest of the flock. I moved her nest (I now counted 11 eggs) and her to separate coop thinking that privacy would help. She went right to her nest. This morning she was acting like she wanted out and not interested in her nest. I checked the temperature of the eggs (77*). I guess she gave up so I let her out and put her eggs in the incubator. I hate to throw eggs out after they have been sat on for two weeks. I candled them and they all look like they are viable (dark, defined air pocket), but I am not sure that yesterday's neglect killed them. It's August in Florida so it was a hot day (88*). Is there any hope? I still won't throw them out for another 10 days or so to make sure, but I was hoping for some encouragement or at least some sympathy.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  2. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    you are probably fine. the hen can be off the nest up to 12 hrs. maybe get some dummy eggs and try to get her broody again. if not when the eggs start to peep she may become interested again, or you may have a house box of chicks.[​IMG]
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Odd that she gave up after siting so long? The embryos should be o.k. if the temperatures were that warm. I've read of members' experiences here, incubators getting turned off accidentally, power failures etc, one for 24 hours and the chicks survived the cool down period and hatched. Depending on how long they were chilled and how cold they got they may hatch a little later than expected, but I reckon they'll be fine. Good luck with the hatch and keep us posted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  4. amberscave

    amberscave Out Of The Brooder

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    Her "sister", another red cochin bantam, went broody last Tuesday. I moved her and her clutch to a separate coop this morning to avoid her doing the same thing. We have had weird weather (high temps and near flood conditions) and I wonder about critters (opposums, cats, etc) around the barn. After the ones now in the incubator hatch, I am hoping when (IF) her little (she has 15!) brood hatches, I can slip all the babies in with her and avoid having to raise them myself.
    I know it's silly to be so obsessed with the chicks when I have plenty of birds (flock of 25), but.... they are so fun. And they are natural horse manure cleaners ;)
     
  5. amberscave

    amberscave Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2013
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    I've got some movement going on YAY![​IMG]

    At least two eggs are clearly wiggling. I know that doesn't mean they will hatch successfully but at least I made the right decision to try to save them.

    If you want me, I'll be glued to the incubator window for the next week ;)

    Thank you for your support btw!

    I'll keep you posted :)
     
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Fingers crossed on your wiggling eggs![​IMG]

    Several times, I've had eggs get chilled for several hours and survive (even at temps much lower than you're experiencing), so I'm thinking you may still get good results from this hatch.

    There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to hens and chicks, of course, but if these were my birds, I don't think I'd put the chicks from the incubator with the second hen. (I agree with sumi that it's odd that the first hen quit; my bantam Cochins have been almost as broody as Silkies!) My hens have almost always had better hatch rates than I get with an incubator. While 15 eggs is a lot for a bantam hen to cover, it wouldn't surprise me if she manages to hatch 10 or 12, anyway. That's quite a few to snuggle into a small hen's feathers, as it is. I have managed to switch chicks around on hens with no problems, but they all were the same age. Hen #1's clutch will be, what, at least a week older? They will be a lot bigger, and will have a very different activity level from newly hatched chicks. The hen may or may not take them, and even if she does, I'm concerned that their being bigger and stronger may lead to the loss of some of the second lot of chicks.

    Good luck with this, however it works out for you. BTW, we are all obsessed with the little fuzzy cheepy things - hadn't you noticed?[​IMG]
     
  7. amberscave

    amberscave Out Of The Brooder

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    What are "good results"? I am telling myself to expect half, but even that... there are sooo many variables....

    My hens are 26 weeks old so I think that may be why she gave up, her general inexperience. She was on the wrong nest a lot of times and I would have to move her. She is completely with the flock not acting broody at all, although she hasn't laid another egg since.

    My second hen seems to be quite content in her new coop with her nest. I think the other hens took advantage every time she got off the nest and put more in her nest, so I am thinking of trying to incubate whatever is left after her hatch for an extra week to see.

    Yeah, I suspect I am going to have a couple different sets of chicks in different brooders... Fortunately we have the space and equipment, its just my time and diligence and I am afraid I might be hooked [​IMG]
     
  8. chickencrazy999

    chickencrazy999 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck with your hatch keep us all updated :)
     
  9. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Careful! Now we're getting into the "counting chickens before they're hatched" territory, and you know what they say about that![​IMG]

    With first-time rabbit mothers, I figure that anything that get raised from a first litter is "gravy," since they usually royally mess up the first time around (and sometimes a time or two after that!) So I figure that, considering what has happened, any chicks that hatch are bonuses, right?

    But as an example of a "good hatch," I had 5 hens go broody over the course of about a week a few years ago. They were setting on mixed-breed eggs that I didn't really want to hatch, but I figured to take advantage of the situation and ordered a bunch of hatching eggs. Dumb things happened and there were delays; I pulled the eggs out from under the hens and let them "cool" for about 18 hours, since I didn't have any infertile eggs to put under the hens (yeah, sounds mean, I know, but I really didn't want those chicks). By the time the shipped eggs got here, about 24 of the 28 original eggs had hatched, and 21 of them turned out to be roosters.[​IMG] Fortunately for me, the hens went right on brooding the second set of eggs, so some wound up sitting for 7 to 8 weeks. Some hens can be amazingly determined!
     
  10. amberscave

    amberscave Out Of The Brooder

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    LOL That sounds like my luck! I figure I am going to get all roosters from whatever I saved. Murphy's law and all that. You'd think they'd be grateful I saved them and turn out to be all hens, but if they do turn out to be all hens, I am going to buy a lotto ticket immediately!

    Just hoping I dont have ONE chick survive. I hope there are at least two or three so they can keep each other company and heat, etc. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

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