Success or Failure?

One chick out of 20 hatched.  If you’re looking at the numbers, it’s a failure, but if you’re looking at the experience and lessons learned, I would call it a success.  One of the hens decided to “set” about 3-1/2 weeks ago.  I had had one do this in the spring, which was a complete fail because she broke all the eggs.  But I thought there’s nothing to lose so we would try again.  I put 20 eggs under her and let her do her thing.  She broke a few but not many.  This past weekend I went out to do chores and was quite surprised to find the hen and a little chick outside of the chicken coop.  She had been setting in the top nest box in the coop, so apparently the chick hatched, fell about 3 feet out of the nest box, made its way to the door and fell another 2 feet out of the coop.  At that point we thought maybe we should move her to a ground level spot isolated from the other chickens, so we moved all her remaining eggs along with her new chick to the new box.  The next day another chick was hatching, but she wasn’t sitting on it.  The little thing peeped and pecked all day long but died before fully hatching because she apparently abandoned it, along with the rest of her eggs.  One chick is enough for her, I guess.  It’s sad because I broke the rest of the eggs and most of them had fully developed chicks inside, so if she would’ve finished her job we would’ve had lots of new chicks.  I have to wonder if the move caused her to abandon the rest.  Next time one of the hens goes broody, we will immediately isolate her.  It’s been interesting watching the hen teach her chick things.  She has a special cluck when I feed her and the little chick scurries out from under her, then she picks up some food and drops it in front of the chick, encouraging it to eat.

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2 thoughts on “Success or Failure?

  1. We have a daschund who gets broody. He actually stole an egg out of my basket recently and placed it gingerly on his soft recliner in the garage. I found him sitting next to it, watching over it very carefully.

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