Adults attacking their babies!!!!!!

SamanthaJay

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 26, 2013
22
1
26
So we have Plymouth chickens and a roo. We have two weird turkey hen things that all came together
(They don't lay). In February we took three eggs and hatched them. They were a month old when we put them outside in a metal cage with the older chickens. It was about three weeks before they were let out of the chage to interact with the adults. They sat in a corner for three days huddled together before anything happened to them. I came home from work one day and my mom said that they were all dead. I don't know why this happened, I felt like they were all healthy. Can anyone help? We have 8 chicks inside now but 3-4 are going to a friend. So I need advise for the next time we try to put them together.
 

bj taylor

Songster
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
1,131
45
168
North Central Texas
I think the older chickens will not see them as young ones to adopt into the family - they have to be of similar size as the big ones to avoid being attacked. they will still get some rough treatment, but will be big enough to handle it until they find their place in the flock.

I've merged young ones with big ones once before. when I felt they were big enough, I arranged it so the youngers had plenty of space to run/hide from the others while things were being worked out.

the thing i'm learning is I cannot merge one hen into a pre existing flock. my rooster will not allow it.

good luck with your next babies.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
22,865
32,374
1,102
Colorado Rockies
It's sad that many of us make mistakes while learning how "chicken world" works, and the innocent chickens end up paying for it. I'm so sorry you lost three babies this way.

Even though I learned that baby chicks need to have a safe place to escape the brutality of the adults in the flock, I had one little chick get scalped by a rooster when she stuck her tiny head through the mesh of the chicken wire. Now I'm careful to add extra screening in a smaller mesh around their enclosure so this won't happen.

Also, I learned that when deciding on the minimum number of new chicks to add to the flock, that four was the number. It seems that any less than four have a really hard time standing up to the rest of the flock as a unit, even after they attain full size.

Even though I've made a lot of mistakes, I've had wonderful luck merging small ones with large chickens as long as they have a safe area to run into where the adults can't get to them. I cut small pop holes in any fences where babies can get trapped or boxed in. That's how tragedies occur - when a chick is trapped, it can get pecked to death by several older ones. When chicks have a way to find safety, they manage to outrun the adults, and learn very quickly how to survive.
 

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