When is it humane to cull developing eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tofupup, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. tofupup

    tofupup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2012
    I had a game hen run off about 10 days ago, right before a big freeze. I thought she was dead, as it was below freezing for about 8 days and nights in a row, but suddenly, what do you know-- she showed up back in the yard today at the feeder, puffed up and obviously broody.

    I followed her back to her nest hidden in the neighbor's yard and found her sitting on 11 eggs. Tonight I candled them, and all but one are showing signs of development -- veining, moving blob, and a black spot that I guess is the eye.

    I am horrified. I absolutely cannot have any more chickens, and certainly not game cocks, which half of these will undoubtedly develop into (or all of them, knowing my luck).

    I believe these eggs are on day 10 or 11 of their development, and I want to remove them all from the hen (maybe let her keep one or two) but I do not want to be a baby-chicken killer. If I remove them now, will the developing chicks die slowly and painfully? They are moving around in there, so it's freaking me out.

    Is there a cut-off date for what is considered humane in stopping an egg's development? I want to know from the chick's perspective.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  2. oinkpiggieoink

    oinkpiggieoink Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 11, 2013
    I would say let them hatch, and see if your local feed store wants them. I know that our local store would always be happy to take the lil guys off your hands. you can always rehome the baby chicks, maybe even end up making a couple bucks off it if you find someone willing to pay for chickies, but as I said if you cant find someone to pay then you can give them to the feed store. I personally could not bring myself to getting rid of the cuties.
  3. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    I sell mine on craigslist and get rid of them real fast at 3 to 5 dollars
    each it is surprising how fast they go and if you take her off the egg's
    right now she will most likely start again soon let her finish and it will
    be a wile before she goes broody again ........ Good luck .......

    gander007 [​IMG]
  4. tofupup

    tofupup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2012
    Thank you for your thoughts, but.... half of these 10 eggs are likely to be roosters, which no one wants. This means anyone who takes them on CL is going to kill them and eat them. I appreciate this is the fate of most roosters, but in my little world, I will not send an animal off to be killed.

    So, anyway, in case anyone's wondering, I answered my own question after I posted this. When people are oiling/addling geese eggs as population control of wild Canada geese populations, the cut-off date is considered at around 14 days, or when the eggs start to float. Only one of my crazy hen's eggs floats, so I think I am still good to remove them and let them cool. Maybe I will let her keep 2 or 3 (all of which will undoubtedly develop into full-on gamecocks, not cutie baby hens) so she isn't too upset.

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