5 week old chick pecked to death


9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
Merritt Island
Today I came home to find my little marans chick pecked to death in the middle of my coop.
Here's the situation:
I have a flock of 5 girls. Gesine went broody and hatched 3 eggs in a brooder cage in the garage. Around 3 weeks old, Mommy decided it was time to take the babes to bed in the big coop. I was a nervous wreck for the first week, but everything seemed okay- everybody getting along alright. Two of the big girls seemed to show extra interest in the chicks, but mommy would warn them off. I put up a piece of plywood so they could hide behind it if needed. Two nights ago, Gesine flew up to roost instead of sleeping in the nest with the babies, and she has started laying again.
So I'm guessing that since mom "retired" the chicks were fare game? The one who was the victim was the only cockerel, and was a little more "forward"

I'm not sure what to do now...I think I've got a setup. What do y'all think?
I have my broody cage inside the coop, and the chicks are in there. I put mom in there tonight, since she went to the nest to sleep instead of roosting. I'll put her out with her buds tomorrow, but I think I've got to leave the chicks in the broody cage. I'm scared for the babies. Now I don't know when to re-integrate them. Should I completely take them out of the coop? Help!
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Definitely keep them in the brooder, at this point I would possibly even bring them inside in a brooder and then try to return them when they are big enough to hold their own. Maybe you could bring them out for "supervised" visits with the adults but I definitely would not leave them on their own for any length of time.
If you have them safe in a crate they cannot escape from, I see no reason to remove the crate from the coop. Just wait until they are a little bigger to let them out amongst the big girls again.
Thanks gritty. They cannot get out of the crate. I was just afraid they would be scared to death by the big girls staring at them. I would prefer to keep them in the coop, so I'll try this for a while. maybe in a couple weeks they will be big enough to mingle
Good luck!

I have eight 4 week olds and three 9 week olds in the coop. They've learned to be tough and stay out of the way of those adults that aren't as chick friendly as the rest.

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