dead chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Grandmajean, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Grandmajean

    Grandmajean In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2008
    I've been watching and waiting for my little Henny Penny to hatch an egg. 21 days went by and she got off the nest. The egg had hatched, but the little yellow chick was dead. There was another egg in the nest, but she did not go back. What might have caused the death of my first chick? I am so disappointed.
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    It is difficult to know why the chick was strong enough to hatch, but then died. Are there other hens that have access to the area? The broody should stay on the newly hatched chick for a day or so until all eggs that are going to hatch do hatch, then she will lead them from the nest. She keeps them warm, they dry out and fluff up under her, and she protects them from other hens. If she left the newly hatched chick right after it hatched (or was driven away by another hen) the chick would die rapidly from cold exposure. If she is a first time broody- sometimes they just do not know what to do. The other egg that didn't hatch may have been infertile, or if it got too cold because the broody left- the chick inside would not be strong enough to hatch and die as well. Hens sometimes will kill chicks too. Especially if another not broody hen discovers a hatching chick or newly hatched chick. If someone else killed the chick, the broody would leave it. If the chick looks perfectly normal, just dead- it may have died from cold exposure. Henny Penny may just not have been experienced enough, she may do better next time. I have a few good broodies, and several that brood, but are not good mothers- so they no longer get to hatch any eggs. If you have several hens and they have access to your broodier, set her up in a private place next time- and you may have better luck.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    We don't like to think of it but a large number of chicks that hatch are often not strong enough to live. Some have internal disorders that do them in quickly and their lives are very short.

    Hens have an instinct that we don't. They know when something is wrong and will cull their own. They will also leave eggs they know won't hatch or something is wrong with the chick inside. The chicken world is a very cold cruel world to us humans looking in.

    Once her chick died she was finished.

    Nature doesn't preprogram chickens to be 'maternal' in the way we think mothers should be. They are very utilitarian in their lives.

    Sorry for your loss.
  4. Grandmajean

    Grandmajean In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2008
    Thanks for the information. I will give her privacy next time. Maybe I will have better luck.

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