Counting Your Chickens

Hi there keepers, I have truly found out the meaning of  ‘ Do not count your chickens before the eggs have hatched ‘ . We bought eight fertile eggs from our regular breeder, she said at the time she was having about an 80% hatching rate, good we thought, we’ll have six new chicks, which would bring us to capacity for our urban chicken run,  maximum allowed in our city 12 hens, no roosters.

So three weeks ago we popped the eggs under our broody hens and waited with excitement, we discussed the feed requirements, planned the trip to the rural store some miles away, to buy the special chick feed. This very weekend I made some measurements for extra chick requirements in the coop, anticipating that they would be along at any second.

However yesterday when I looked in on the broody pair, I was so disappointed, it seems they have broken most of the eggs, I’m not sure if it’s just from being clumsy on the nest or if one of them is attacking the foreign eggs, but it appears that only four are left intact, and whether they will hatch now after 24 days seems unlikely, it was very frustrating and annoying after all the efforts I’d made for the arrival of these chicks, so I can now say the saying ‘ Don’t count your chickens before your eggs have hatched’, from first hand experience. Good luck with your hatchings.

4 Responses

  1. Oh man, I know about that particular saying!

    I put 42 eggs in my incubator recently (including a dozen Australorp eggs I bought for $20), and ended up with just 5 surviving chicks (3 Australorps). Admittedly the losses were due to an incubator mishap, but I was looking forward to having a lot of chickens to sell and/or eat!

    I’ve since bought another dozen and put them under one of our broody hens, and I have another hen sitting on 15 of our eggs. Hopefully we’ll get a better success rate with those ones!

  2. Fingers crossed Darren, I don’t think any of our 8 eggs will hatch. Thanks for your comments.

  3. bummer…..maybe next time you could put fake eggs under her – and then switch them out with some babies as a surprise. I don’t know if that would work or not.

  4. I thought I might report back:

    The hen sitting on our own eggs ended up hatching 5 chicks. She started with 15 eggs, broke a few, kicked a few out of the nest, and a few went bad. An OK result, but I was hoping for more.

    The hen sitting on 12 Australorp eggs hatched 10 chicks. Two eggs got broken (I think by other hens trying to lay in the same box!). I’m extremely pleased with this result, obviously.

    How did yours go?

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