Chicks getting stuck to hen and dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DoubletakeFarm, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. DoubletakeFarm

    DoubletakeFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all,

    Time for me to stop lurking and post a question because in ten years of raising chickens I've never had this problem. Hopefully someone can help.

    I live in NE Ohio. I got some silkie chicks last summer. They matured and started laying in December (that's a first for me). Went broody in January (really girls?) I figured I'd let them try and hatch them and see what happened. They hatched out 9 chicks. I lost one at 2 days, then another the next day. I don't think it was because of the cold, what I thought was the roosters were crushing them by accident. So I brought the chicks in the house with a hen. I prefer to raise chicks with a hen because they do such a darn good job at it.

    Checked on them one day and when I picked the hen up one of the chicks was stuck to her feathers and couldn't get loose. I very carefully pulled it off. Don't know why it was stuck; didn't see any poop or blood making it stick to her. My husband checked the next day and found one stuck to her and it was dead. He checked again later and found another stuck to her and saved it.

    Needless to say, I put her back in the barn and put a brooder lamp in the house with the chicks. I only have 5 left now.

    Has anyone else ever had this problem? I don't know what is causing it and I don't know what to do other than separate the chicks from their mamas, which I really hate doing.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Nature doesn't always prevent losses like those. Perhaps the hen came in contact with something sticky and got it on the feathers. Perhaps you could clip off the sticky feathers on the hen while keeping an eye on the droppings. I once let a hen hatch out chicks and the late hatch was left to die in the nest while she was out with the others. I took the chick inside and raised it myself. Within a few months all of them died from Mareks symptoms.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    are they really stuck like sticky, or is there a chance they get caught up in her feathers. That does sound bizarre. I hope the remainder do well.
     
  4. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a d'Unccle bantam chick that was being raised by my bantam cochin hen. One morning I found the chick stuck to the hens breast feathers. It seemed that the chicks leg feathers got stuck to the hens feathers. I gently separated the chick from the hen and checked on them often. It never happened again. Millie my d"unccle bantam has grown into a happy healthy hen.
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I used to raise show dogs- Cockers with very long feathering(the hair kind). I had a very flighty brood matron and when she was allowed out to relieve herself, she would jump out forcefully and sometimes had a puppy or two entangled in her hair. They would get a good knock again the whelping pen, or a thump to the floor. Thankfully they survived but, I learned to cut the hair down on the mommas stomach before they whelped.
     
  6. DoubletakeFarm

    DoubletakeFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were stuck as in sticky stuck-not tangled in her feathers but stuck to her feathers. Or maybe her feathers were tangled in their feathers. Like I said, I couldn't find any foreign matter causing it (blood or poo or whatever). What had me really concerned is that it wasn't just one chick, it was happening over and over and I suspect that's what happened to the two that died before I brought them in the house. I've been thinking really hard on this because I've had chickens for years and I've never seen this.

    I'm asking myself "what is different from all the other chicks you've had over the years?" It's winter. I've never had chicks hatch out in the winter. So maybe it's because the hens have a different feathering in the winter to stay warmer. Maybe the feathers on her underside are finer to keep her warm and this has something to do with it. Or maybe she's sweating underneath and then the sweat is drying and making the chicks stick. I don't know, that's all I can think of.
     
  7. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG]ANOTHER PERSOM FROM NE OHIO!!!
     
  8. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't hatched out chicks yet so no idea but maybe you could check on a silkie thread. There is a forum on BYC called "Breeds, Genetics & Showing" most all chicken breeds are there. If you speak to breeders maybe they will be able to help you out.

    [​IMG]
     

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