Urgent hatching question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by KirstenJL, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Hi all. I have 9 eggs under a broody at day 21 today. This is the first time for both of us. They started hatching last night (I could hear a chick), and now this morning, I still hear at least one chick cheeping (quietly) underneath the hen, but from the smell of things, she has a dead one under her too (smells like something dead, not a rotten egg). She's at the back of her crate and I can't move her without disrupting things. Should I wait until she comes off the nest to deal with the dead one, or move her and remove it now? Thanks for any advice!
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    I would go ahead and remove it now. She won't abandon the nest while the chicks are hatching.
  3. Nestled Chickens

    Nestled Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    In my (limited) experience, I lose more chicks under hens than if I just take them out as they emerge...
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Maybe it's broody poop smell? I ask only because I think it would take more that overnight for a decaying flesh smell to appear, unless one hatched and died a couple days ago?

    If you're right handed, put a glove on your left hand. Using the back of the gloved hand, lift her up for a quick peek. You may have to pull her nest out and replace it, just be sure you get the remaining good eggs back under her and that they aren't weeping. Chances are she will just fuss at you a lot.

    Rotten eggs smell a lot like something dead to me, except worse. Either way, the nest is contaminated and needs to be cleaned or replaced.

    Hope that is of some help, and that you have lots of chicks racing around soon!
  5. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Thanks for your replies. I did try to check under her, but she's back in the crate beyond my easy reach (I'm spending my day building a better broody box for next time). I didn't see any dead chicks, but maybe one died inside the egg recently, and no obvious messes in the nest. She's got two nice fluffy chicks and one just-hatched, and she seems to be doing all the right things--clucking to her babies and sitting up to give them space, so I think I'll bide my time for now and try to fix her a new nest later this afternoon. Thanks again!

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