Update....the chick was killed before it hatched :( #8


Can't Decide
11 Years
Mar 5, 2008
Okay, my broody has been setting on random eggs for (apparently) 21 days. She started out with 8, and due to cracks and my own mistakes ended up with 3. She steals all the other hens' eggs, so today I went out there to get the un-set eggs from her. I lifted her off the nest and was planning on candling the three she's setting so I took those, too. Keep in mind I didn't know it had already been 21 days. Sure enough, as I was putting one of her eggs in the egg basket I felt a crack, and upon closer inspection realized the shell was broken in a square shape, and I heard faint chirping. I put it back, realized the broken area had probably been on the side/top of how it was laying, and moved it again. On second thought, now I'm kicking myself because I know it's important for the egg to not get turned so the chick can orient itself. I really didn't know they had survived, much less that it was hatch day!!! All three eggs got left out from under her at some point while she was cramming the other hens' eggs under her, so I really didn't think they'd make it!

Did I totally screw up??????
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don't worry you did nothing wrong do you really think that a hen doesn't move for 3 days till the chicks hatch, I've moved hatching egg that were hatching without any problems. chickens can't count
I guess you're right, it's different though with human intervention....the hen could move like a billion times during the day and the egg would hatch just fine, but I go in there and move it 1/4 inch and it doesn't hatch....everyone say a prayer for my three little eggies!!!!!
Only for what it's worth. I have 2 nests, with 6 hens setting. Yes, the ratio varies from 5/1 to 4/2, but never 3/3! They are all banties, so they kind of fit. Anyway, so far they have hatched 18 eggs of approximately 32 total with the loss of only 1 chick. As soon as one hatches, they play "rotate nests" and everyone is in/out, tucking eggs, etc. Only one loss so far. If they can survive the roller coaster ride my hens are giving them, you are probably fine doing that
Good luck though.
Don't think that eggs aren't developing because the hen gets off of them for periods of time. My broodies (at least one of them) gets off whenever I go out there, and will even go free range for about 5 minutes or so then go back to her eggs. They do just fine. Eggs can cool a bit and be fine, we just get overly cautious when we incubate. I'm sure the chicks will be fine.
I checked them this morning and the little chick was sticking her beak out, and tonight I find the eggs torn open and empty.....I'm so sad!!!
I hate broody hens that are designed for egg laying, they have bred the mothering instinct out of them and will kill their own chicks sometimes if they feel like it. Silkies and bantams are usually great mothers and will usually not eat thier young. because they were not bred as egglayers or meat breeds, but for show and the mother instinct doesn't really mess up the breeders intentions.

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