Chick left to die in the cold

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FarmersJandJ, May 11, 2012.

  1. FarmersJandJ

    FarmersJandJ Hatching

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    May 11, 2012
    Center Barnstead, NH
    When we bought our house in November 2011, 10 chickens came with it. The previous owner said she let the hens brood once but never got chicks. We let them brood and because of what the previous owner said, thought we wouldn't get chicks either. Our rooster did seem a little awkward!

    Well, last night I found a chick, still half in her shell, pushed away from Mom. It was really cold, and Mom didn't seem to be doing anything about it, so I took it in the house and cupped it in my warm hands until it came out of its shell. It didn't take me long to realize it had a bum leg, and it actually looks like one of the hens pecked the leg and damaged it.

    Has anyone else ever heard of this? I can't find anything online or in my chicken books.

    Another thing, 3 hens take turns sitting on those eggs. Is that unusual?
     
  2. Habibs Hens

    Habibs Hens Cream Legbar Keeper

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    Mar 31, 2012
    London, UK
    My Coop
    the shared incubation is quite normal

    as for the bum leg and hens not caring i not had hens long enough to know of it

    but i kept rabbits for 25 years and they tend to abandon babies for a number of reason

    sopefully if the leg is a injury it will heal with a bit of care

    if its a deformaty then you may need to decide what in teh chicks best interest
     
  3. FarmersJandJ

    FarmersJandJ Hatching

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    May 11, 2012
    Center Barnstead, NH
    So they do share the eggs. But I have 2 sometimes 3 hens sitting on these eggs at the same time. Could one of them want to eat the babies?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Tipperary, Ireland
    I had 3 broodies share a nest once. I can't remember, but I think I gave them 7 eggs. I managed to get one chick. Never saw the others... I raised the lone chick myself as all 3 moms tried to kill it.
    Sadly I have seen hens sitting so lost in thought on their eggs they don't notice a hatching egg that's not under them anymore. I do quite a bit of interfering when my hen's chicks hatch, just to make sure all goes well. But I've read the how-to on the Incubating and Hatching section on this forum first!
    I'd suggest you check on her frequently and make sure the chicks stay warm and safe. Also keep an eye on the rest of the flock. They may hurt the new chicks.
     
  5. FarmersJandJ

    FarmersJandJ Hatching

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    May 11, 2012
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Thanks for the advise. I've been going out to the coop all morning checking on my hens.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Any more chicks hatching? What you can do, which is really fun, is hold the eggs, one by one, by your ear. You should hear those little ones wriggling and pecking the shell. If you give them any sign that you're listening in, they'll stop and listen... and carry on pecking again. Too cute! How's the little one's leg?
     
  7. FarmersJandJ

    FarmersJandJ Hatching

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    May 11, 2012
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Hi Sumi,

    I've been checking on my chickens and haven't seen any more hatchlings. I'll have to try to listen to the eggs. Anyway, little baby Bummy is holding her own. She actually straightened out her leg and is standing on it now. But she can't really walk on it yet, she just falls over. I'm still not sure if she's going to make it. One eye hasn't opened yet, and the other she only cracks open.
     
  8. FarmersJandJ

    FarmersJandJ Hatching

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    May 11, 2012
    Center Barnstead, NH
    I've prevented the rooster and 4 hens from going into the coop where my broody hens are. My little chick is doing wonderful. Her leg is healed and she is very strong now. She even jumped out of her box. She really is going to make it through her little ordeal!
     
  9. FarmersJandJ

    FarmersJandJ Hatching

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    May 11, 2012
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Here is an update on my little "chick-chick" as I call her. She grows by the minute I think and she is very attached to me. All the other eggs didn't hatch, so she is the only one! Poor baby. She is now in her 3rd week and I've added a perch to her box. She likes it.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. HI... Just came on this thread. I so wish I had seen it earlier...

    Anyway. I have had my hen hatch out successfully in the winter months. HOWEVER, I am going to give you a tip so you'll get those chicks...

    1) When a hen goes broody, clearly mark the eggs your are going to let her hatch. Mark them with a sharpie marker on one END, not on the side of the eggs... it'll wear off otherwise. Take out any added eggs daily. Don't worry, your broody will get used to it. Don't jerk back when you get pecked... Thats when it hurts.
    2) Mark the date they've been started on your calender, and then the day you expect them to hatch.
    3) Candle at 7-10 days, throw out any undeveloped eggs.
    4) Give your hens plenty of treats while they sit in their nest box... cut grapes, peas, meal worms, noodle, thawed corn... Helps keep the weight up, and some hens will not get out of the box for days... so, grapes, watermelon chunks provide water and sugar...
    5) about day 18, gets some chicken wire and section off her nest box so none of the other hens can get in. Make sure you can though. Put a CHICK sized water-er and a chick feeder with chick feed, (MOM CAN EAT THE CHICK FEED, she'll need the extra protien as she's lost weight) inside her sectioned off area. AND now, leave her alone for a few days.
    6) On day 21, check once, remove any egg shells... on day 22, remove egg shells... And check over the chicks. The mother is going to be EXTREMELY aggressive to you. BUT she'll figure out you aren't going to hurt her babies. If other hens have access to the nest box during hatching, you will lose chicks. Chickens are canibals. They will see/smell that fresh hatched chick and peck it, and then next thing you know, they are eating it. I have had it happen when I wasn't fast enough to section off... Last hatch happened that way. Mama started hatching 3 days earlier, and had one chick get snatch right as it was hatching. SO, make sure she is in a protected area before hatch day. If you can build a broody box where mom can safely hatch her babies, that will be better. I use an old dog coop with a hinge lid and a door over the opening. They stay in there for at least a week after hatching and then I will open the door during the day, and mom can take her chicks in and out. She'll be able to protect them then. Its harder to do when other chickens get in while they are hatching.

    Good luck with future hatches.

    OH, if you have more than one broody at a time, don't let them share eggs when it comes close to hatching... give them each their own eggs close to that time and their own private area to hatch and rear for a few days.
     

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