chick, chicken, chickens, egg, eggs, farm, Farmer´s market, hatching, hobbies, homestead, homesteading,, Keeping Chickens, killed, loss, mother, sustainability

Sad and Crushed.

My mamma nerves are raw tonight.

A little over 3 weeks ago I went to the farmers market to pick up some eggs. When using set eggs I saw that they were fertile eggs. So on a whim I put 2 of them in my small little incubator. I thought since they had been refrigerated that there would be nothing of the eggs and from my reading on the web it said that they would most likely not hatch but I was wanting to give it a try.

Ten days later I candle the eggs and see that one had started developing. I thought this very cool and had this great blog post brewing in my head about how you can hatch out eggs from the farmers market at only pennies on the chick where they would be good layers since they come from stock used for laying.

Anyhow, fast forward to today, day 23 of the chick being in the egg and the normal cycle 21 days to hatch day and I thought the worst, that the baby chicken had died. Crack open the top where the air sack was and to my surprise I see movement. I instantly feel horrible. Baby was still in there and alive and clearly just behind because, duh… I put COLD eggs into the incubator and it took a few days for the temp to get just right.

I hurry up and put the egg back in the incubator and go online to look for guidance. With the information I had given of baby being on day 23 someone told me to pip the egg (making a hole in the membrane) so that the baby could breath. I try and it starts bleeding! I’m horrified! I feel so guilty and dumb. Poor baby I should have just left it alone to do its natural thing like I believe in for all healthy births! I watch until I notice that baby is not moving anymore. My heart sinks. I leave the egg in the incubator until the boys go to bed to investigate. I poke at it and no movement. I watch for anything but the color now is off too. Finally, I come to terms that the baby is no longer alive in the egg and I crack it open to find a beautiful baby that died because I could not wait longer.

Perfectly formed. All the toes and nails and everything there. Just me being a bad, ignorant mother hen. Had I given the baby a couple of more days to finish absorbing the yoke and pip itself then I would have been welcoming a new member to my flock of chickens instead of feeling loss and guilt tonight.

8 thoughts on “Sad and Crushed.”

  1. Well, you learned something. But i can tell you, it's going to be heartbreaking to some degree no matter what…they will never all make it. The ones you nurture along ending succumbing to something or other pretty soon.

    Father of many special needs poultry.

  2. I did debate if I wanted to post this. I thought the dead chick would be a bit too much for a lot of my knitting readers but I did feel like if someone could learn from it then maybe I could save another baby chick from the same fate.

  3. Lost my favorite hen once and grabbed some of her eggs out of the refrig and they hatched. Every time I read that it won't work I think of Helen 🙂

  4. Oh honey I did something similar and felt horrible afterwards!! One of our hens FINALLY had a chick that was hatching, it poked a tiny hole but did nothing else, I didn't realize it needed TWO more days to be ready to break out the rest of the way! I broke it open more to find it wasn't ready yet and didn't understand what happened til months later when I was reading an article about it (I'd looked that day before messing with it and couldn't find anything aside from vids of them all hatching right away it seemed) anyways, I read that and was like WHAT? Oh I was so heart broken, the baby died cause I was too impatient and thought that *I* knew better than the natural way of things. 🙁

Leave a Reply