Y didn't she return to the nest?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newchickens2009, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. newchickens2009

    newchickens2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2009
    BAHAMAS
    I have a hen that was sitting on some eggs do to hatch in 3 more days. I saw her running around this morning but thought she was just getting her daily food and water and then going to return to her nest of eggs. Well, when I went out this evening just before dark to feed and gather eggs I peeked in on her and she wasn't there. After an intense search I finally found her squatted on the ground away from the nest. I picked her up quickly to return her to the nest and in doing so found 1 chick under her all fluffed and dry. I checked the rest of the eggs and they were cold as temps here today were high 70s. I have no idea how long she was off the nest but i put her back on the nest with the chick and eggs hoping for the best but don't think the others have a chance because of the low temps.
    What I don't understand is why didn't she return to the nest? I know because of the early hatched chick she had to leave to take it to get food and water, but why did she just go sit on the ground with the 1 chick and not return to the nest?


    P.s. out of curiosity I broke open one of the eggs left in the nest and it had a totally formed but cold dead chick inside.
     
  2. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    It's hard to know why animals do what they do. In all of my experience of hatching chicks, I've never had a hen leave the nest and never come back. Is she a first time mom?

    ~AnnElise
     
  3. newchickens2009

    newchickens2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2009
    BAHAMAS
    She as been broody a few times before but this is the first time that I've let her hatch some eggs
     

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