Out of curiosity, what were the relative ranks of the hens? Was the cannibal hen higher than the mother hen in the pecking order?
Chickens killing the baby chicks - Page 2
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Yes they were higer rank hens, but this is still shocking as stated in the earlier post i have never had this problem until now, and ive always heard once the hen starts to sit on the eggs you dont need to move her, because it will make her not sit the eggs no more, so whats the best way to do this because its really hard to move all the others away from her...
yes they got them all she hatched about 6 i think, but there were no feathers or blood or anything, and none of the other chickens beaks were bloody or anything, its like they vanished...??
Since there is no evidence left behind - have you actually seen the other hens being aggressive toward the chicks at any time ? Maybe it's a snake getting them ? or another small predator like a rat ? Just trying to do some troubleshooting ....
I sure hope you can figure it out ! I think to be on the safe side - I would risk moving the broody if I could - especially with a known history of missing chicks.
My hen is in the middle of the line up. I do have one white rock who is about equal with her - and she's a nasty one. The other "senior" girls are give and take - depending on their mood at the time I guess. The only aggression I saw was this white rock bullying the momma hen a bit, but completely ignoring the chicks - the momma hen held her ground for a while, but this white rock is HUGE and the momma is a tiny silkie - so unfortunately just didn't have the weight to throw around like the rock and eventually cowered to her - but the chicks were fine even if a bit scattered from the scuffle....
I'm sooo worried now about mine
I would hope that if there were going to be any problems - they would have shown up by now ....
We had one hen who attacked and killed (but didn't eat) a few chicks from other hens. She had chicks of her own at the time but her chicks were three or four weeks old and the others were just days maybe a week old. I can't quite remember exactly now.
Anyways, we didn't know what was killing the chicks (we are free range - and so are the chickens!) until I saw it with my own eyes, she pecked one chick on the head, it ran away, she chased it until she caught it and then repeatedly pecked it until it was dead.
She was sent to the 'home for bad chickens' (aka the barbeque) the next morning.
The odd thing was, when her chicks got to about three months they all started to peck other small chicks, whether she had taught them to do it or it was just a 'nasty chicken gene' thing going on I don't know, so they too were quickly dispatched.
The only chick to survive the onslaught lost an eye and has a concave lump ( a dent?) on her head. She has had three broods of her own and she has never attacked any chicks but she is far and away the most aggressive hen we have. But we have never had another chick killer since.
If you find the culprit - get the BBQ ready. I don't think you'll be able to reason with them.
Moving them with eggs is not a problem, we do it all the time - they lay all over the place here so when they start to sit, we just take them up the coop with their eggs and they don't have any problems. Watch them for a couple of days to make sure they go back to where they are supposed to be after getting off for food and water - sometimes they forget.
I had another hen to start sitting today, it was the hen whose chicks were first to fall victim to these canibal hens that i now have...
so what do i do, do i move her now or wait. im scared they will attack her eggs now?
I would put a video camera in the coop and have a monitor on in the house,that way you'll know for sure.