We have chicks! (see pg3)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JusticeFamilyFarm, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2011
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    Hello all. A little background on my hatch... this is my first time attempting a hatch under my young broody hen (her first time, too). First of all- is it possible for a hen to eat an egg and leave no trace of the egg? I mean, I didn't even see anything in the straw- no yolk, yucky mess, shell, nothing. So, in the very beginning 1 of my eggs went missing from under my broody. I thought maybe in the shuffle of my other hens trying to lay in the same box she's in it may have been pushed out and broke on the coop floor, then been eaten. There were no traces of an egg anywhere. Then about a week later another went missing- same thing, no trace. I guess I was trying to hope that I didn't have a hen eating eggs in the nest box, so I *hoped* that another had just been knocked out of the box in the shuffle. Now, yes, I have realized that it was a horrible dumb mistake to leave my broody in her original nest box where she is open to the coop and the other hens. If you saw my post in coop construction, I have now built a "Broody Condo" section in my coop that I will use next time, but it was too late for this time and I didn't want to move her at day 15 or so. Now we're up to today, I just went down to collect the eggs (obviously I had marked the eggs I left her with so I can tell the fresh laid eggs from the set ones). Under my broody I found a dead chick, still curled up like it was in the egg. It makes me so sad because it looked developed, probably to day 19- which is today. Now I'm thinking I have an egg eater for sure...? I think maybe my egg eater got in there and tried to eat that one but found the chick inside and just ate the shell from around it and left the chick. I feel so bad that I messed up by leaving her in with the others and now this happened. I'm going to try to keep an eye on them as much as I can and hope that for 2 more days we'll be ok and maybe I can still get 1 or 2 to hatch (of the 4 eggs I have left under her, since I've lost 3). Is this what you think happened? Do you think it could be the broody, or do you think it was another hen? Should I try to move her today instead of waiting? Ugh. I'm so sad about this. Thanks for reading my long, rambling post and thanks even more for any advice you have for me. I'm sorry to post these, but I wanted you all to see so you could try to judge for yourself what may have happened to this poor chick. Here it is (the egg next to it is just for size comparison):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  2. Silkie-lover33

    Silkie-lover33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm sorry about you chick. That is probably what happened to it (crazy egg eating hen). I would get her away from other chickens! I'd never let a hen who is "expecting" near other chickens. Hens that aren't broody just don't get it with babies, and will kill them on the spot. Full sized hens have a habit of pecking eggs open if they eat one once. Sometimes people will fill a hollow egg with mustard or some other unappetizing thing and when it gets pecked, well, the chickens will sure have a surprise! Hope a couple eggs hatch!

    Silke
     
  3. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't want to be too gross but the egg eater probably would have eaten the chick too. It's not too surprising to find no evidence of egg eating. Not sure what is going on.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Broody hens often eat "bad" eggs - they know which ones aren't gonna hatch. It's broody behavior with some hens, and they don't eat eggs at other times.

    Not to say that's what happened with yours, but it could have happened. Not out of the realm of possibility.

    Also, hens steal eggs from each other. Especially if more than one hen is broody at a time.

    I can't definitively answer your question, but I thought I'd throw out a coup,e possibilities.

    And many actual egg eaters leave absolutely NO trace of the eaten egg. Not in the nest, not on their faces.
     
  5. AAJ

    AAJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't move her, but you can if you want to. If you don't separate the other chickens from her. I am so sorry for that poor little chick. Better luck next time . It is a learning experience.
     
  6. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2011
    Southern California
    Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate it! Today is day 20 and I have the 4 eggs left. I just went down to check on them and 2 have pipped!!! And I can hear the 2 pipped and one other peeping!!! I am SO EXCITED! [​IMG] I'm letting all the others out to free range for the day so they'll leave my broody girl alone with her hatching eggs, and hoping I don't have to put them back in for the night before the chicks are hatched and I can move them & their mama to the Broody Condo. [​IMG]

    So, maybe it was just my broody eating what she felt were "bad eggs"? That would be better, obviously, than if I have an egg eater. If there's an egg eater and they don't leave a trace... how will I know? I won't even know eggs are being eaten, never mind knowing who is eating them! Ugh... we'll just have to wait and see, I guess.

    Again... thank you thank you thank you!
     
  7. JusticeFamilyFarm

    JusticeFamilyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2011
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    Ok, I was just reading up again and I guess I will probably have to put the others back in the coop for the night with my broody and her eggs, because from pipping it can be 24-48 hours before hatch, right? Maybe I should move her to the broody condo now... but then I worry that she'll stop sitting on the eggs. When I tried to move her with her first batch of eggs, she got off them for the first day- so I scrapped them and started over with these. But, I know now that I should have moved her before I gave her the eggs to give her time to acclimate to the new space and then be broody in the new nest. This was before I had built my broody condo, though, so I had moved her to a whole new area. Now the move is much smaller, into another nest box in the coop that is sectioned off from the rest of the coop. Ugh... any thoughts? Move her or leave her? I feel like I'm the nervous new mama, not her! [​IMG]
     
  8. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah for you, that is totally exciting, I remember when my first broody hatched chicks [​IMG] MIne stayed in the coop and no one bug them. I did however, when they hatched I moved her and chicks to a large dog cage in the coop so they could have their own food and water. I can't wait to have a broody again. yeah [​IMG]



    edit; I can't spell
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  9. littlelady

    littlelady Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh girl, I have been there. Just 2 weeks ago to be exact. I had 2 hens go broody and I let them set on the eggs in the chicken coop for a week. I then moved each hen with her eggs, picking up the entire nest box, into their own coop.
    One hen stayed on her eggs just fine. The other I found the next morning walking the coop. I let her out and she went straight to the old nest box site. So I moved her eggs back with her.
    That was a mistake. I should have left her in the coop. Other hens came on her nest and broke 2 eggs the very next day.
    The hen that stayed in her coop starting hatching eggs on day 20 and the one that went back to the main henhouse only had 3 eggs left. I took them and put them under the hen that was isolated in a coop.
    They all hatched. So now momma has 9 chicks.
     
  10. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh I'm sorry to here that. I had a Spitzenhauben that looked like Cruella Devilla, she never let anyone near her eggs, I don't think she left the whole time. I'm glad you had a good out come [​IMG]
     

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