Why did my hen abandon her eggs?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by byc-happy, May 17, 2010.

  1. byc-happy

    byc-happy Hatching

    May 16, 2010
    This is the first time I have ever posted a message online like this so forgive me if a goof....

    ...but I have a question. I have my first chickens (1 year old now) and now my first hen sitting on 10 eggs. 21 days went by and then we found....a beautiful chick and momma hen off the nest and... in the nest, 1 dead chick and 8 cold eggs. Momma hen and the chick are doing well now. I have never seen anything so cute! But I was wondering why the hen abandoned the other eggs. I now have two more broody hens on 8 eggs each and am hoping to find out what I need to do to get the hen to remain on the nest till all have hatched. The hens are housed seperately in small nest boxes, each with a small additional area available to the hen were there is food and water.

    Thanks a bunch for being out there. I am so glad to find this forum.
  2. Tikka

    Tikka In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2009
    I haven't actually had hens raise broods, but I do know that sometimes different breeds have different personalities. As chickens are bred for meat or egg production or appearance, the qualities that affect motherhood might be altered. It is good that your hen is raising the one chick still. I hope all goes well.
  3. Jen4

    Jen4 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    Munfordville, KY
    Maybe the Momma hen knew something was wrong with those eggs... did you crack them open to see what was going on? Good Luck with your other broodies, hope you get lots of chickies...

    * I opened the eggs left by our 1st broody and some were not fertile and some were dead chicks, I guess just not meant to be. Then I've had other hatches with broodies where all the eggs have hatched.
  4. byc-happy

    byc-happy Hatching

    May 16, 2010

    Thanks for your reply.

    I did accidentally crush one of the eggs and there was just green smelly goo inside. I got kind of queezy and could not bring myself to open the other eggs. But, next time I will be braver. It would have been a good to know what was in the eggs.

  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:I've had that happen too, sometimes its because the remaining eggs are no good. I do break open the remaining eggs just to see and have found infertile eggs and sometimes embryos not far enough along to hatch within the normal 24 hour period. I think when broody gets off the nest, another hen will slip one or more in on her. I do remove eggs from the Hen sometimes and slip Guinea eggs under her, and the hen will set for the full 28 days of guineas. If you have other broodys, then just let nature take its course.

    These hatched out last Sunday----Guinea eggs under my "mutt" Chicken
  6. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    It's nature. The hen had to leave the nest with the live chick to lead it to feed and water. The chicks who are first to hatch can only wait so long before they will begin to starve if the hen doesn't leave the nest.

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