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New silky moms, can they hurt chicks?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi. My 3 silkies hatched their first chicks yesterday. There may be 5 chicks to the 3 hens. Is that too big of a crowd? Can they hurt the chicks? Should I remove two of the hens from that part of the coop and leave just one mom to keep the 5 chicks warm?
post #2 of 5

I've had two hens brood and hatch just one chick - they took care of it equally.  If all three were broody and co-hatched the chicks, they should do fine together...  There are always exceptions of course, but I would just keep a close eye on them for a day or two - I imagine they'll do great together.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
My chick died. There were actually 7 eggs. 1 hatched. The chick was 4 days old and was chirping this morning. My husband just found it dead under the hen. Is it possuble that it didn't get any water? There are just 2 hens brooding on the other eggs and the one chick was staying close to mama. It hopped out when the hens came out to eat and drink. Wondering if I should have separated it from the hens and put it under a lamp with food and water? There are 6 more eggs and I imagine they will hatch any day now. What should I do?
post #4 of 5

It should not have starved to death or died of thirst in two days, since newly hatched mail order chicks are often in the mail for 2-3 days... 

 

I'm sorry, but I don't know what to tell you - of all the chicks we've hatched here, we've only had one die, and I never knew why it died.  It was fine in the a.m. and then dead in the bedding when I got home (it was only a day old).  There are just so many "maybes and whys and what-ifs"...  The chick could have gotten pecked.  It could have ingested a large piece of bedding.  It could have had a congenital defect.  The list goes on and on...

 

If you're home most of the time, then I would just do frequent checks and take time to observe to make sure the moms are being motherly (make sure the food/water dish is super close to the brooding moms).  Sprinkle bits of crumble around the mom/chicks and see if one of them begins calling the chick to eat (that is a good sign).  But if you work outside the home, and are worried, then take them as they hatch and brood them yourself. 

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

Reply

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks. This was really helpful. I took one hen out thinking there were too many sitting in the 6 eggs and chick. The other eggs haven't hatched yet. Thinking back, maybe I should have dipped the chick's mouth in the water dish. It looked healthy. We moved the hens out of the beating box since maybe the chick couldn't get out to drink. I'm surprised the other eggs haven't hatched yet. Maybe since we disturbed them? The 2 hens sat right in the eggs after we moved them so I don't think we did anything wrong. Ugh!!
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