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Super slow development???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dhansen, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. dhansen

    dhansen Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2007
    I'm so confused! We candled the 10 or so eggs left under our momma. (She began with 20+ eggs from all our hens. She continues to sit even though she has 2 week old chicks running around her) One egg we were sure was dead as it looked like about the seven day mark. At the latest, it should hatch within the week. We cracked it open and were so incredibly sad to see a tiny LIVING chick probably with at least a 1 1/2 weeks left. :(How can this be? Is it possible that the momma couldn't keep all the eggs warm and some are developing super slowly????? Does it work that way? I've read that if an incubator is cooler than the recommended temp the chicks develop slower. Anyone got any ideas of what's up?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If your hen had too many eggs, it is very well possible that the eggs kept getting warmed and chilled. If she has eggs though that are more than a week apart... I say somebody is sneaking in to lay eggs. In the future, it is best to mark the eggs she starts to set on and remove any new ones.
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    I'm so confused! We candled the 10 or so eggs left under our momma. (She began with 20+ eggs from all our hens. She continues to sit even though she has 2 week old chicks running around her) One egg we were sure was dead as it looked like about the seven day mark. At the latest, it should hatch within the week. We cracked it open and were so incredibly sad to see a tiny LIVING chick probably with at least a 1 1/2 weeks left. :(How can this be? Is it possible that the momma couldn't keep all the eggs warm and some are developing super slowly????? Does it work that way? I've read that if an incubator is cooler than the recommended temp the chicks develop slower. Anyone got any ideas of what's up?

    Broody hens are about as unreliable as you can get. They wander off to eat and poo, and can be very cavalier about their matronly duties. They stomp around in the nest or others do while they are out goofing off. Depending on them for benchmark results could be your first mistake.

    Having so many eggs under her for so long strikes me as next. Most broodies dont have an unlimited sitting time and they go off the sit at the most inopportune moments. I had one old BR hen that never left the nest - she was the brood queen! But she was an exception to the rule.

    A hen with chicks is going to tend to her brood, as a rule, and only go back to the eggs after. Strike three.

    If there were a fourth strike rule, it would be assuming too much. I dont know how many eggs I culled in the beginning, sure they were "duds." After all, you're supposed to cull such duds, right.? Wrong. In many cases, I thought I was being dutiful at removing the clears, only to find live embryo's in there. Well, dying embryos once the egg was breached. The rule of thumb here now is, if it aint stinkin', oozin' or broken - leave it alone.

    None of this is to say that you are beyond redemption. Are you an expert at poultry? Probably not. You learn as you go. To answer your question: yes, the eggs have probably run cool under a crowded hen and will give you a reduced and staggered hatch. So be it.

    Make the best of it, make the needed changes and try again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2007
  4. dhansen

    dhansen Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Thank you for your speedy responses! I will definitely mark the eggs much better next time. I sure don't like cracking open an egg and seeing a live chick that will very quickly die. I've learned a lot and unfortunately have made plenty of mistakes too. Thanks to you all for answering many questions!
    Thank you again,
    Debbie
     
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Date marking is a good idea. Great idea, actually.
     
  6. dhansen

    dhansen Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2007
    UPDATE:Here's an update... WE decided that our momma was just ridiculous. She sat on her extra eggs for 2 more weeks after the first chicks hatched. We took the eggs and decided to give them one last chance. We did the float thing and tossed all, but 3 which were still moving in the water. We put them in the incubator. By that evening one had pipped and it hatched the next day. :jumpyThe other two are still moving in the water, but who knows when/if they will hatch. (We had a few chickens laying eggs in the momma's nest for two weeks until we got smart and labeled them) I'm still amazed that there could be any live chicks in those eggs still.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007

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