Broody hen killing baby chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Aboddy2u, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Aboddy2u

    Aboddy2u In the Brooder

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    Hi, this is my first time having a bad momma chicken. 3 chicks dead, one badly injured. I got 6 eggs I just checked on and they are all peeping! I don't have another Boody hen nor a incubator. I'm going out and checking on the eggs every hour. My question is..... As soon as the chick hatches can I take it from the hen immediately? I don't want her hurting anymore baby chicks.
     
  2. 2 many chickens

    2 many chickens Songster

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    Yes, remove them once they hatch.
    I had a broody kill 2 of her chicks, she pecked them in the heads. I removed the other 5 she had and brooded them myself. Wasn't taking anymore chances. They aren't all good mothers. Some are just nuts.
     
  3. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    I'm going to get in to trouble for this but............
    Walk away. Let her do what she feels she has to. Finish off the job if she doesn't quite kill them all and never let her sit again. Thousands of chicks get killed every day. They die in the post, get thrown into mincing machines at hatcheries, get eaten by predators, killed by human mismanagement.
    I'm sorry, I know it's extremely distressing. I've had two baby killers here. If you 'rescue' the chicks that you believe have no obvious damage, then what? The hen will not accept them at some later stage. Next, if she has been attacking the chicks even those that look to be okay may well have injuries that will not become apparent until later.
     
  4. homeschoolin momma

    homeschoolin momma Songster

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    I would if she has been killing her own chicks. Its not difficult to make a brooder box. A clear sterlite or rubbermaid tote works beautifully. But think on the larger size as chicks grow rapidly. My first one was actually a recycle box bin. I still have that one for an emergency babies or sickly ones that need extra help.A heat lamp with a black ceramic bulb will clamp onto the side. Or a red heat bulb will work too. A friend of mine made a heat pad with a wire frame and heating pad they could go under.
     
  5. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

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    Absolutely take those chicks away as soon as they hatch.

    Do not understand this attitude at all? These aren't wild animals. The OP let the chicken sit on the eggs, therefore he or she is responsible for their lives. Letting his/her pet chicken kill chicks is cruel and unnecessary. These chicks are not the property of the chicken anymore than human babies are the property of their parents. A life is a life. Now if these were wild animals and the rescued babies were to be left to fend for themselves, surely to suffer and die anyway, then saving them would be pointless. But the OP can care for them as well as the hen should have. And if OP can't, they can be rehomed.
     
  6. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    I'll try to explain. I know it seems a bit barbaric but it's not due to being irresponsible, or heartless, or neglectful.
    If we can put aside any moral or ethical discussion for this and look at the realities of incubation and hatching instead it would be helpful.
    In the last three days of incubation the eggs need to be set in a particular orientation in order for the chicks to pip and hatch properly. Studies show that and I've had some experience of this here that eggs that are disturbed and left in the incorrect orientation during these last three days are likely to produce deformities, neurological problems and other health issues.
    Chicks in eggs communicate with each other and their mother. Science suggest that one of the reasons they can do this is so the hatch is coordinated between the eggs and mother. The ideal hatch is completed in less than 12 hours. This means the mother spens the minimum amount of time virtually defenseless on the nest and all the chicks, being of approximately the same stage in development have and equal chance.
    Apparently some chicks have already hatched and instead of mum sitting there quietly making mothering noises to those that have hatched and those that are still in the egg, she's pecking her newborn chicks to death. The distress calls from the chicks she's killing are being heard by the chicks in the eggs and all the chicks that may have hatched. In effect you have chicks being born into a horror movie and not some warm and comforting environment.
    Next, while the mother is killing the chicks she's not concentrating on keeping the unhatched eggs in the correct position and the likelihood is the dying hatched chicks are thrashing about among the unhatched eggs causing them to tip and roll. This means that any further hatchings are not going to hatch in the right position and the consequences of this are mentioned above.
    Next, how does one assess the health of a newly hatched chick. It may look alright but say blunt trauma to the head or other parts of the body are not going to be apparent until later in the chicks development. You could easily with the best of intentions care for chicks that are already too damaged to function properly in later life.
    The there is the problem of care and integration later. Mother is very unlikely to accept these chicks at any stage.
    Finally, it is simplest just to assume that the mother hen is unbalanced or a homicidal maniac. It is quite possible that the mother knows there is something wrong with these chicks.
     
    Trux likes this.
  7. Aboddy2u

    Aboddy2u In the Brooder

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    Thank you everyone. So far I got one baby chick I think just in time. Momma pecked the side of her head pretty good. But I have chicken ointment I put on it. Gave her a couple of drops of water with probiotics from my finger. She seems to be coming around. I have her next to my bed with a heat lamp to check on her. I just returned back with a second baby chick wet and unharmed. Looks like another will be hatching within the hour as well. IMG_20190627_040314161.jpg
     
  8. Aboddy2u

    Aboddy2u In the Brooder

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    I appreciate your response. But don't you think your getting to technical? These are chickens and like everyone said. I just have a bad mamma. And I've gotta agree with keeperofmunckins. It is my responsibility to make sure these baby chicks are unharmed. As if it were a litter of puppies or kittens. It's my responsibility to become the mama. And I will do my best to make sure of it.
     
  9. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    I can only point out the realities. It seems you already have rescued a chick with possible head trauma.
    You are never going to be the chicks mama.
    However, I wish you the very best of luck.:hugs
     
    Keeperofmunchkins likes this.
  10. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

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    I am not sure what you mean by particular orientation? Yea the temp and humidity needs to be in range for a great hatch.

    I agree, the ideal hatch should be in the 12 hour or so range from start to finish. I do not bother my hens at all while they are hatching but I do know that all the chicks do hatch in less than 1 day. I never had a "bad" Broody and have set a few hundred in the years----152 in just 3 seasons. With all 152--all the chicks hatched in less than a day from start to finish. But there is one thing I do that many others do not do(not that this is the case with this poster)----I set my hens with the eggs I want them to hatch and those eggs are properly gathered and set all at the same minute---none added afterwards--so they all hatch within hours of each other. I feel if a person just lets the broody gather/set her own eggs---that can cause a lot of problems, more stress on the broody and/or a lot more work for the owner.
     
    mkeawsh and WVduckchick like this.

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