Vanishing Eggs and Drama with Ms Whitey (Welsummer)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by debluvachook, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. debluvachook

    debluvachook Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, I like to share my current chicken drama with you, my Welsummer 'Ms Whitey' had been broody for about 10 days before I gave her the Marans eggs that I wanted to hatch. I put the posted eggs under her immediately on the 13th Dec. midday and counted the next day as day 1. Today is day 18. There were 12 eggs in total, 1 vanished within 2 days I didn't know why. Another 2 days ago thanks to a rat - I found a dead chick for proof and now she has a mouse proof cage over her at night. There were 10 eggs this morning but this afternoon there is only 8. There was only some dampness in the bottom of the nest - no chick or shell. It wasn't a rat because they only come during the night here so what happened? Is this part of Ms Whitey being fed up from sitting so long? Could she have broken them because they were infertile? I didn't bother candling because the were too dark in colour. Could Ms Whitey have actually eaten her own well developed chicks? The eggs apparently have an excellent fertility rate. She's still on the nest but I don't want to look in case more are gone. My best Mothers the 3 SL Wyandottes have also been broody for a week (all in the same nest as usual, can't stop them I've tried). I could put the eggs under them and I'll know they will be in good care but poor Ms Whitey has been so dedicated to sit for so long and I don't think I could do it to her. Plus last time Ms Whitey had chicks (her first brood) I saw her call them and when they came she pecked them. I put it down to confusion because there was 4 mother hens fighting over 6 chicks. I wanted to give her a second chance and so she's by herself now. I can't believe its day 18! just 3 days to go. Can Ms Whitey hang in there? will there be any eggs left day 21? what happened to the 2 eggs today? will she end up being a bad mother again anyway? If anyone has had any similar dramas or has advice I'd love to hear from you, I'm a nervous wreck regards Deb[​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    They will definitely eat an egg now and then, shell and all, presumably because it has some sort of problem. I have watched a broody do this [​IMG] and hatch the rest of the clutch.

    I hope the rest hatch for you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  3. debluvachook

    debluvachook Out Of The Brooder

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    I hope the eggs had a problem because the alternative is horrible!

    Ooooh!! My faith and sympathy for Ms Whitey is slowly evaporating! I just checked and she was doing 'something' that looked like more than egg rolling. When I looked 1 of her eggs has a small crack in it exposing the membrane! My darkest egg too, sigh. The membrane is not broken and the egg feels heavy and doesn't make a slurpy sound when given a gentle shake. I can't trust her and have put the egg under my SL wyandottes (3 broody on one nest). I'll have to try and separate them now because if this egg survives (its day 19) and hatches then the 6 Welsummer eggs they are sitting on will be eventually be deserted as they have only been incubated for about a week. I know I should probably just take all of the eggs and put them under the 3 SL sisters but I feel so guilty because Ms Whitey has been so dedicated to this nest for well past 21 days. I took her last chicks off her due to bad mothering (that was hard she was nutty for a couple of days) but it could have been confusion and inexperience as previously mentioned. I just wanted to give her a chance to be a mother. I'll watch her closely today without annoying her - if thats possible and try to make a decision (hard for me I'm an indecisive Librian). Would a chicken eat her own egg if it had an almostl fully developed chick in it does anyone know? Deb.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Unfortunately, yes. However, it may have died inside the egg and she could sense it.
     
  5. debluvachook

    debluvachook Out Of The Brooder

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    Refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.. lol... thats great! I'm sooo going to use that!

    A dead chick I can understand but I can't help having that niggly thought that they're alive and Ms Whitey might be some kind of ... CANNIBAL!!
     
  6. alaskapalo

    alaskapalo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would revisit the rat problem again they will invade a coop during the day too. I hate to think that Ms Whitey is a cannibal.

    Good luck
     
  7. debluvachook

    debluvachook Out Of The Brooder

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    OMG!! I just checked Ms Whitey she's okay with seven eggs but I can't help noticing this is the first day in a while that she hasn't got off her nest for a quick dust bath. Then I checked the cracked egg that I put under the SL Wyandottes sisters and I think its hatching! The membrane is torn, the crack is a lot bigger and I can see a huge big chick alive in it! Maybe Ms Whitey was just checking it out because it was hatching! The chick is huge! it seems to occupy the whole shell! Its only day 19 and I thought that if it was a big egg it would take longer to incubate not shorter. I've put the egg back under Ms Whitey and I'll keep a close eye on her (without disturbing her - if possible). I hope the little (big - the egg is massive about 70grams at least) chick is okay, it's a black copper marans chick, a breed many will tell you doesn't exist in Australia! I was so lucky to find someone that had them! Oooh so exciting! this chick is from the darkest egg! if it dies I'll be devastated! Deb.
     
  8. farmgirl44

    farmgirl44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] praying for you and ms whitney!!
     
  9. debluvachook

    debluvachook Out Of The Brooder

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    Well I guess I've been avoiding this because it was such a disaster! I checked the cracked egg after two hours and Ms Whitey had her foot on it crushing it so I moved it under her, the chick was still alive. Another two hours later and the chick was dead, all squashed looking and all the shell was gone, presumably eaten. That was the final straw so I moved the remaining eggs to my good mother SL Wyandotte. She hatched one chick that evening which she crushed to death as well! (first loss from her) Before I left them for the evening there was six eggs left and three of them had chicks peeping. When I saw the characteristic little triangle shaped hole right next to their little beaks I knew I'd been kidding myself about the other egg it hadn't been the chick hatching it had been Ms Whitey breaking it. The next day (day 21) I had three beautiful fluffy little chicks and three eggs remaining. I eventually (the following day) broke these, 1 rotten, 1 unfertilised yolk and 1 beautiful dead chick who was facing away from his air sack. So on the whole, my first disaster! and with the eggs I really wanted too! - sigh. Ms Whitey - the CANNIBAL, has lost her mothering privileges for good now as my experience is officially 'once a bad mother - always a bad mother'. The three little chicks are thriving one wheaten and two black coppers. The BC chicks have no feathers on their shanks though and the two dead little BC ones did...sigh. Now I have to send an email to the lovely lady I bought the eggs from and explain to her somehow, she probably won't send me any more after results like that...sigh, Deb.
     
  10. farmgirl44

    farmgirl44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so sorry, i hope the 3 little chickies are some consolation...

    [​IMG]
     

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