Chickens killing the baby chicks


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 15, 2010
Help! Im having a problem with my hens killing and obiviously eating the other hens baby chicks. At first i was noticing a few missing and then none at all, one day i had a hen to hatch a nest of eggs and later i saw a hen with one of the chicks in its mouth, i removed her from the flock but the next day no chicks could be found, no feathers, no blood, nothing.. please help me they never done this and they just started doing this .....

I think they have well enough space..
You always need to separate broody hens and newly hatched chicks from the flock so that they won't be killed by the other hens. It will continue to be a problem until you separate them. A small chicken tractor should work for this.

Good luck hope you can save them,
You know i was thinking i needed to get her out but when i went back it was too late
I usualy set up a sep area for broody hen's.Depend's on the bird's.My Jersey Giant's 3 of my hen's were broody along with 6 other hen's and 2 giant roo's and I didn't lose any chicks'.Then again I had cochin or frizzle hen's in common nest area that have killed other hen's chick's before.My serama hen hatched 6 babie's sucessfully after 3 years of on and off brooding and 4 were not even her's and I caged her and she brooded her chick's in basement.Probably best if you keep them Sep.
I had three hens hatch chicks in the coop. A mix of hens. As the chicks hatched and jumped out they were found in the run and we gathered them up and put them in the brooder. One hen lost two chick by stepping on one but this was her first time. Finally as they wound down one hen had 3 the other had 1. I'm not sure who the mothers were. I had a BO who hatched a few and finally she ended up with two.
I had taken all the other chicks as they had a staggered hatch.
None of the other birds hurt the chicks and they seem fine.

I think the rule is.....there are no rules.

Seems that different hens, even of the same type, behave differently. All introductions need to be careful and very supervised,

There are risks both ways, whether you isolate a broody and her chicks or let her raise them with the flock. Hens have been raising chicks with flocks for thousands of years, usually successfully but sometimes it is a disaster, as you have seen. Some hens are just too wimpy to be good mothers and protect their babies. To me, the advantages of Mama taking care of the integration issues is worth the risk, but since there is something about your flock where that does not work, you obviously need to isolate the broody and her brood. I doubt very much it is anything you did. You are just unlucky to have a wimpy mama hen and an aggressive dangerous hen that may have taught the others to eat chicks. I'm really sorry it did not work out better for you.
OMG you all have me so nervous now ! My hen is in the main coop with her little ones - and there have been no issues at all though - I've stood for HOURS - Literally - everyday for the past 4 days just watching them for any sign of agression (They had been kept separate, but in the coop - maybe the see no touch helped? Momma was getting really really agitated and wanted to get out of jail - so I figured I'd give it a go with lots of supervision ). The big girls just kinda look at them and keep going about their own business. Even eating next to each other - the big girls seem to like the chick food "treat" that is on a big flat lid on the floor for the chicks to reach and scratch in.
Now See what you made me do ???!!! I made my son walk out to the coop - while staying on the phone - to check on them. All are accounted for and wandering around hapily in the coop with momma hen. Whew ! I've had chickens from the time I was little (and that was a LOOOOONG time ago) - but this is my first time with letting a broody raise her own. I figured as long as I supervised for a while - that since it's been 4 days with no sign of agression that all is good in the coop. I also don't have much choice - don't have another coop - don't have room to build another (especially since i'm in a gray area with town zoaning laws and chickens I don't want to push it - long story short I can have up to 20 chickens, (hens or roos) but need 100 feet from the coop to all property lines which I don't quite make on two sides shhhhh!) ...and don't have time to deal with integration issues later during the summer. Lets hope that all continues to go well !

I feel badly for those who lose chicks
It's soo sad ! I'd be devistated !

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