Why are my broody hens' eggs hatching too early?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kuntrygirl, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I have noticed that 2 of my broody hens’ eggs are hatching too early. One of my hens hatched 4 baby chicks that were 4 days too early and all of them died. Two eggs hatched 3 days too early and the 2 baby chicks lived. I am noticing that the bodies are developed but smaller in weight and their heads are EXTREMELY small. A chick hatched yesterday and its eyes were closed shut and she can’t open her eyes. Has anyone ever experienced a hen whose eggs hatched too early? Why is this happening? Did your baby chicks that were hatched early survive?

    So far this year, I have had about 16 broody hens and all of them have had successful hatches. It’s just these 2 broody hens are having trouble. I have a total of 6 broody hens sitting on eggs as we speak and I’m getting worried that their eggs will hatch early. All of them are in individual private brooders that are closed and locked shut, so there is no type of interference or other activity in the brooders. The only activity is when I check on them to make sure that they have food and water and when I have to add food and change out the water, they get nervous and defensive and want to attack me and scatter their eggs. Could the eggs be breaking, thus making the eggs hatch too early? I’m so confused and worried. [​IMG]
     
  2. dragonchick

    dragonchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a single chick hatch who looked just as you describe. While it wasn't early, it was odd looking. It didn't look like the pictures of day old chicks, and never fluffed out. It looked like it was still wet, though it was dry to the touch. Its abdomen never closed up and the yolk sac came out and burst. Its been rather warm and stormy here which makes the humidity rise. Its my speculation that the combination makes the chick develop slow at times and fast at times instead of an even development. Your broody may be having the same problem and is unable to keep things within normal limits.
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    Quote:WOW! That makes so much sense. It has been sooooo hot and humid here. So, with that combination, I can imagine what the temperature is under the hen. One day the humidity was 98 degrees. On the days that it rains, it makes it even hotter on the next day. When I go outside to do chores and come back inside, i'm soaking wet, so it's VERY hot and humid. The time that it began getting hot was when the eggs started hatching too early. That is scary. I wonder if a fan at a low temperature will help or will that hurt as far as the hen keeping the eggs warm?

    Great observation on your part. I'm glad that you recognized that and put 2 and 2 together. Thanks so much for your input.
     
  4. dragonchick

    dragonchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't put a fan in with the broody as it might cause the eggs to dry out and shrink wrap the baby chicks.
     
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    yes, ur right. i guess i have to just let nature take it's course. it's sad though and i feed so bad for the chicks.
     
  6. macmama

    macmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking the same thing... my last broody hatched hers at 19 days (it was over 100 degrees here pretty much the whole time) but luckily hers were all strong and well-formed. Now I have a second one due in 2 weeks and it has been near 110 here... hopefully our hatch isn't too early. We have low humidity so maybe that will save them. [​IMG]
     
  7. Peep Talk

    Peep Talk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fort Loudon, PA
    I haven't had a problem with my chicks being under-developed or any of them dying, however, this month has been absolutely humid with temperatures of 97-99 and a heat index as high as 113 with the humidity. My first broody was due the evening of June 4th but hatched the evening of March 31st/morning of June 1st. My second broody wasn't due until the evening of June 12th, but eggs started hatching yesterday evening and are continuing to hatch throughout today. Out of the first broody, I started with 12 eggs, I had 10 survive. With this broody, I went into "broody lockdown" with 12 eggs, and so far 8 are fully hatched with the remaining 4 zipping.

    So, they could be hatching early because of the weather...why they are under-developed or dying, I'm unsure of the reason. [​IMG] Wish I could help out and wish you luck with these girls in the future!
     
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I had another early hatcher on yesterday. It was 3 days too early. It was VERY small in size but otherwise healthy and happy. Our humidity was 108 degress yesterday. HOT HOT HOT!
     
  9. Mandalina

    Mandalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2009
    Savannah,MO
    I brought my broody indoors where the climate and humidity is pretty stable.She is in a dog crate in my living room being spoiled by the kids LOL.
     
  10. rosawoodsii

    rosawoodsii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GM corn has been known to cause birth defects and sterility problems in cattle. The pollen also kills Monarch butterflies. Perhaps it causes a problem with chick development as well.
     

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