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Hens eating baby chicks

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Anybody know why my white cochins are pecking the babies to death as they hatch?  Have 3 hens that are sitting (seperate divided nests), 2 of them keep killing the chicks.  the 3rd I just checked before locking the others up has successfully hatched and caring for her baby.  They are sitting on their eggs and the eggs of my Araucanas.  The ones that have hatched are the araucana eggs (they are green).  The succesful hatch was a cochin (brown egg) I believe because of the chicks coloring.  Do they NOT except others chicks????   They are the ones sitting on them!  HELP!!!  I have an incubator ready if needed to finish hatching.  I hate to keep burying babies!


Edited by jwoodall - 5/5/09 at 8:29am
post #2 of 7

Remove those chicks/eggs immediately.  Not all hens are good broodies, and not all broodies will accept other chicks. 

I would also remove those two broodies from my setting/breeding program permanently.  For me personally, there is no place in my coop for a wicked broody hen.  wink     There are plenty of fantastic mother hens out there waiting to love your chicks!

Sorry for your loss.

Just Bantams Now ~ Buff Silkies, Golden Neck and Self Blue Belgian d'Uccles, BBS Ameraucanas, Quality EEs

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Just Bantams Now ~ Buff Silkies, Golden Neck and Self Blue Belgian d'Uccles, BBS Ameraucanas, Quality EEs

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post #3 of 7

I have a hen like that (only she doesnt peck but she does for  some reason get all antsy as the  chickies are hatching out  and ends up trampling them )> I took them away and gave them back to her after all had hatched and she was a great mom however not all birds are great moms.  Mine are silkies too so it happens with all breeds.
Broodies eat and drink minimally so it is important that you add a supplement to their feed to avoid starvation and deficiencies (this might be a factor in your problem) ... offer a live culture yogurt free choice while they are sitting too.


Edited by dlhunicorn - 5/4/09 at 9:46pm
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhunicorn 

I have a hen like that (only she doesnt peck but she does for  some reason get all antsy as the  chickies are hatching out  and ends up trampling them )> I took them away and gave them back to her after all had hatched and she was a great mom however not all birds are great moms.  Mine are silkies too so it happens with all breeds.
Broodies eat and drink minimally so it is important that you add a supplement to their feed to avoid starvation and deficiencies (this might be a factor in your problem) ... offer a live culture yogurt free choice while they are sitting too.


Ditto.

Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
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Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
Reply
post #5 of 7

Some hens like to crack eggs and eat the yolks. If a hen has this problem, a hatching egg will be difficult for her to resist. And like everyone said, some hens just don't make good mothers. My hens have the same issue. When they lay, I take the eggs and incubate. That's how I resolve it if I want more chicks.

Proud young mommy of over 75 babies! - 13 EEs, 14 Japanese Bantams, OEG bantams - 5 Red Pyles, 16 B. B. Reds, 5 Barreds, 5 Silver Duckwings, 2 Brown Reds, 3 Pearls, 3 Blues, 2 Blacks. Other bantams - 1 Mille Fleur D'uccles, 2 Bantam Black Sumatras, 2 Golden Sebrights, 3 Birchen Cochins, my beloved Courtnix Quail named Renji.

Avatar: Fiddle - Black tailed, White Japanese Hen
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Proud young mommy of over 75 babies! - 13 EEs, 14 Japanese Bantams, OEG bantams - 5 Red Pyles, 16 B. B. Reds, 5 Barreds, 5 Silver Duckwings, 2 Brown Reds, 3 Pearls, 3 Blues, 2 Blacks. Other bantams - 1 Mille Fleur D'uccles, 2 Bantam Black Sumatras, 2 Golden Sebrights, 3 Birchen Cochins, my beloved Courtnix Quail named Renji.

Avatar: Fiddle - Black tailed, White Japanese Hen
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post #6 of 7

I agree with Jenski about not using those two as broody hens in the future.  If I knew which eggs were theirs, I probably would not hatch any of their eggs either unless I had a good reason, such as breeding a show bird.  A good broody will accept any chick she hatches.  Color and size does not matter.  A good broody will raise a guinnea or turkey.

I also think part of your problem is that you had three broody hens on one nest.  I see a lot of bad posts on here when you try multiple broody hens on one nest or multiple broodies raising the same chicks.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes, as you have experienced, chicks die.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the advice!!  I should say that they are all divided and in seperate nests.  I have taken all the eggs from one of the others and put them in the incubator I just bought.  Probably will do the same thing to the 2nd nest.  But since the one hen has a successful hatch thought I would wait to see what hapopens when another hatches. What is the proprer temp for incubator?  I hear from 99 to 103.  This is such a broad range.  I have it set at 101.  OK?????

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