Squashed and pecked eggs at hatching time, what to do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by KaylaW, May 28, 2016.

  1. KaylaW

    KaylaW New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2015
    My broody Buff Orp had 10 eggs in her clutch, setting since May 4. Two hatched on Wed May 25. Yesterday (26th) I took a look at remaining eggs and saw one that looked squashed as though sat on by something heavy. Late this afternoon I quickly float-tested most of the remaining eggs and most looked viable. (Did them individually in warm water, quickly dried them and back under the hen.) Checked on hen this evening, no additional chicks but there was another squashed-looking egg with some shell pecked off and the chick dead inside.

    What's going on? Last year this same hen hatched 5 eggs then pecked a late-hatching chick to death while it was hatching. Does it sound like she's "murdering" these eggs?

    Should I bring the remaining eggs that passed the float test inside, put them under a warm lamp at 100 degrees, try to hatch them then sneak the chicks under her that night? If yes, do I need to do something about humidity for the eggs to hatch right?

    Or should I give up on these eggs, go buy a couple of 2-day-old chicks, and try to sneak chicks under the hen hoping she'll adopt them?

    Any advice appreciated!
     
  2. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2014
    Idaho
    Hatching out with BOs is tricky. Hatching with real hens is tricky period.
    Sometimes, in nature, a mother hen will only set for a period of time. What hatches will hatch and if anything hatches later, she will either get rid of it or leave it, because she can't sit around and wait.
    You can try to incubate them on your own using a heat lamp, incubator, or your bra, but that is up to you.

    Trying to sneak chicks in under mama can sometimes work and sometimes not, so it's a 50-50. I have done it before with a BO and not had any issues. Your choice though and what you're willing to invest time wise. I wouldn't go buy chicks though, because they won't smell like her and it's a higher chance she won't accept them.
     
  3. KaylaW

    KaylaW New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2015
    Thanks very much for this info! I am new to chickens and had visions of a hen happily hatching a dozen eggs (perhaps with a dud or two, no abandoned or pecked-and squashed eggs). And two or three people at the farm supply store told me I could buy day-old chicks and put them under the hen at bedtime, and most of the time they'd be accepted. Nice to have a better picture of reality!
     

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