eggs under boody not hatching--what can I do?

claraserena(4)May 7, 2008

My broody is on five eggs; the first couple were due to hatch yesterday (Tuesday). I had added a couple so I think the youngest one is at 20-21 days. I have heard peeping since Sunday night. Then nothing then peeping then nothing. I am sure one(s) peeping Sunday and Monday didn't make it out. Until last night, none of the shells had been penetrated. Last night I saw that one egg has a hole the size of very small pea. The hole was the same size this morning. This evening the fifth egg has a very small hole. I do hear faint peeping. So it seems the chicks are not able to break out, just dying in the shell perhaps because the shells are too thick? IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN DO TO HELP THE LAST ONE? I am reluctant to check more than twice a day as I know that might change humidity/temperature. But it's awfully hard to do nothing. I do want her to have at least one chick.

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We have one healthy looking little chick and one pround mama!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 11:17PM
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Whew! Glad the chick is healthy! I was just going to tell you it's not a good idea to help chicks that can't break out, because they usually are messed up and wouldn't survive anyway.

Congrats!! :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 11:51PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Yay! Congrats on the chick! If you have any eggs that have yet to hatch, you might leave them an extra day or so, to catch any late bloomers. But mersiepoo is right, if there is some reason the chick doesn't make it out, it's usually best. :(

I've only had to assist one chick out, and that was Bear, who is now our Head Hen. She was a very large chick in a very large egg, and we just picked a few pieces of shell from around her head once she'd pipped and it was clear she was in a bad position to hatch and couldn't turn in the egg like she needed to--then we returned the egg to the incubator and she finished up herself. But I'll never forget that little beak poking through the pipped shell and YELLING, then retracting and having a curious little eyeball appear at the hole.

My husband was the first thing she saw and she's STILL bonded to him. :)

Yesterday, Bear went broody, and picked a fight with our Beta Roo, Scott, who is a banty. She tussled with him so bad that he knocked one of the ends off one of his spurs, then he stood over it and looked at it, VERY confused. :) No real injuries, though, and today Bear is setting nicely on a nest. We haven't decided if we are going to give her some eggs to hatch or maybe some of the chicks from the incubator in 2 weeks.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 1:48AM
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I did find directions for how to help a chick hatch on the internet--it had been on backyard chickens. I had decided to try that when I saw the one chick had removed a patch about 1/2"+ but except for a tiny piece was still under membrane. The beak was by that opening but the chick had died.
Se we have an only child. I think I'll leave the couple eggs under until later today--no sign of anything from them. The chick just stays under her but I did get it to drink. Any special advice on a chick with no siblings?
Velvet--Bear sounds like a hen who calls the shots. Hope Scott's ego recovers. Does he typically mate with the standard chickens? We have 2 Mille Fleur roosters and one MF hen. There is a pair that is mated for life--but the extra roo does try and occasionally succeeds at mating a full sized hen. ItÂs pretty comical

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:16AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

The chick should be just fine on it's own with mama. It's when you have a incubator chick with no mama that is alone that you need to worry. :) Mama will teach the chick to eat and drink, baby chicks are pretty savvy when it comes to that, so try not to worry. It will mostly stay under mama when she's sitting.

Yeah, Bear is Head Hen, no question about it! Scott mates any of the hens he can sweet talk into it, and since our Head Roo, Phoenix goes to roost first, Scott just stays out a bit later and gets most of his roosterly duties done then, then sees all of the girls to roost before he goes in. I think the boys have a 'Gentlemen's Agreement' in that respect! It seems to work out that Phoenix gets the larger hens and Scott gets the banties,'s a problem of things not meshing too well with big boys an little girls, and vice versa. :) Nature gets things to work out that way.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:12PM
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This is very helpful! I just noticed our banty, Soldier (my husband named him--he was raised in a barn with other bantams--a mink or weasel killed all of them but Soldier) out with a hen after the others were in--that explains that. He does have a special girl, Lucy, who injured her foot last summer. An odd couple indeed. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about our bantam Henrietta (not as small as a MF) whom I found dead of a broken neck. She was next to a wheelbarrow and I wonder if one of our full sized roosters pushed her aginst the wheelbarrow while mating her. I miss her!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 7:38AM
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