1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Could a missing chick be inside the hens feathers??!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Forest Cantina, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Forest Cantina

    Forest Cantina In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2013
    Hi there everyone

    My Auraucana just hatched 6 Silver Laced Wynadottes - in a rabbit hutch (fully enclosed)

    I counted 6 healthy fluffy chicks this morning eating and walking around and this avo i went to feed them again there were only 4!!! One was SO tangled in her soft inner feathers, it was trying so hard to get free and she was trying really hard to get it free too, i tried with my hands to help but it was really stuck. A couple of long soft feathers were knotted into the chick it was fully tied to her, i had to very very carefully cut it free with scissors. I successfully managed to do so without hurting Mumma or chick. It was pretty scary to do it! But one chick is still missing. Mumma is up walking in the run with the other 5 chicks and the 6th one is nowhere to be seen. The run is fully enclosed - i cant think of what else happened to it!

    Should i take her out and do a full inspection to make sure the other isnt tangled inside her like the other one was. I had a feel round as much as she would let me and could feel anything.

    Dont know what to do, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  2. Bodee

    Bodee In the Brooder

    Sep 3, 2013
    That is not very good for the chick .
  3. goldfinches

    goldfinches Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I've never experienced that, but obviously, since it happened to you this morning, it happens! I say check her well for the missing chick. After that, look for predators. My main chick predator is the neighbor's cat.
  4. Forest Cantina

    Forest Cantina In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2013
    I just spoke to the president of my Poultry Club and he said that that has happened before with his Silkies, chicks getting tangled in their long inner feathers. I have to remove her, hold her on my lap by the feet and have a good feel around. Ill get my husband to hold her so i can look. If there is a tangled chick in there and its dead, i have to remove it for obvious reasons. Or, it maybe alive!

    I dont think it could be a cat. Only because the hutch is fully enclosed and its INSIDE the chicken area which has 8-9 foot high fences all around. But if it's not inside her feathers, it MAY have been a predator...but i heard no noise at all from the other hens.

    Fingers crossed its inside her feathers and alive. Just ahve to wait another hal hour before hubby is home from work
  5. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Songster

    Mar 1, 2013
    If your fence does not have a top cover most predators can still get in. What size wire is the rabbit hutch made of?
  6. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

    Jul 11, 2009
    Did you find the baby?
  7. LeviS

    LeviS Songster

    May 22, 2012
    North Dakota

  8. Forest Cantina

    Forest Cantina In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2013
    Thanks everyone! Yes, it was tucked up INSIDE the hen's feathers, also tangled like its sibling was. I would have never thought that would happen!!! I have 6 week old Barnevelders with an Orpington mum, and nothing like that ever happened. Im such an amateur at this, have only been keeping chickens for just over a year, so its all a little scary! Fingers crossed they are all good now. As you can imagine, I was checking them every hour today

    Thank you everyone for your comments and concern, appreciate it :)
  9. Katt66

    Katt66 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2013
    Barnesville, PA
    I can imagine! I'd have been harassing that poor hen constantly after that just to make sure the babies were all there and not stuck again.

    Hopefully in a few days they should be big enough and get around well enough that it won't happen again.

    Glad it turned out okay for you.
  10. knightie

    knightie Chirping

    Mar 1, 2012
    I just lost a chick to that... It was dead... Couldn't tell if it was strangled or broken neck but dead none the less. I also had one to missing before that... Totally disappeared. (And to top it off a couple days before they were due to hatch an egg got crushed.) so I went from 4 chicks to one. It so sucks!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by