Help for Chickens with Problems

Hatching eggs, missing feathers, crowing roosters. Many problems faced by chickens are answered in this advice column.


Hello I am a mother hen, or at least I want to be a mother hen. My eggs just do not hatch, what am I doing wrong?

Signed Mom To Be Maybe


Dear Maybe Mom

There are many reasons why hen’s eggs do not hatch. If you are new to laying that could be the issue, your first few eggs are not fully developed. If there is no rooster present, or you have not mated, your eggs will not be fertile and will not hatch. You must be broody, this means you must sit on your eggs to keep them warm, as if you do not the chicks inside will not develop. The eggs must be turned regularly also to allow the chick to develop properly. Even with all things done right there are other things that can go wrong such as a bacterial infection.

Hopefully the problem with hatching your eggs is minor, also you should note that it takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch, so maybe you have not been sitting on them long enough.  You might want to read this – Why my Chicken Eggs Wont Hatch.

Help I am freezing here. I have no feathers on my neck and its chilly. I have never had feathers on my neck and I feel silly, what can I do to grow feathers?

Signed Naked

Dear Naked

Very likely you are of the breed called Naked Neck chickens. It is normal for you not to have feathers on your neck. This breed originate in Transylvania, oddly enough, home of the vampires. It is best for you to have a shelter on colder days when the temperatures are below freezing, but otherwise have no worries. The lack of feathers on your neck is totally normal.


Hello, I am a rooster and apparently I am disliked. People seem to be mad at me for making so much noise, but I cannot help it crowing is so natural. What can I do to help people to like me better?

Signed Big Mike

Dear Mike

Roosters are very valuable to some people. It is impossible to get new chicks without a rooster to fertilize the eggs. Chances are your owner knows this and that is why they have you around. Roosters are also very good at protecting their hens. If a predator is small enough the rooster can often scare it away, and will even try to fight larger predators such as foxes! Ideally the noise will alert the keeper who can act quickly to secure the safety of all the chickens.

The toughest thing for a rooster is to be friendly, some get mean and chase even people away from the hens. Additionally your crowing is probably annoying but natural. People need to understand that you crow, not with the intent of waking everyone up, but rather to state “I am here!”. This serves to warn off intruders in the area.

Photo of authors hens.

Other Reading on Chickens as Pets

Keeping Pet Chickens

Pet Chickens – what Breeds are Best

Easter Chicks are not for Pets

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User Comments

    On April 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Interesting about chicken problems I knew there were issues like this it often ignored

  2. Starpisces

    On April 14, 2011 at 11:27 am

    very fun read, interesting!
    well done, Brenda.

  3. Val Mills

    On April 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Brilliant! When I saw your title I was hoping it would be one of your humorous ones. Info really comes across well presented like this. Love it!

  4. Anuradha Ramkumar

    On April 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I’m truly learning a lot about animals from you.

  5. Ruby Hawk

    On April 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Brenda, I believe you solved those chicken problems. Good information.

  6. papaleng

    On April 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Another good answers to some chicken problems.

  7. PR Mace

    On April 18, 2011 at 6:57 am

    This was a fun and interesting read.

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