Disappearing week old chicks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Phoenix Farms, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Phoenix Farms

    Phoenix Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two broody hens that are raising chicks outside in a pen. They sleep in a dog house together and sometimes my three banties sleep there too. We have lost 3 chicks. They just disappeared and there are no feathers or anything.
     
  2. Bulldogma

    Bulldogma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they enclosed in a run with predator-proof fencing (hardware cloth, etc)?? If not, the neighborhood critters will see your yard as an open buffet.
     
  3. Bulldogma

    Bulldogma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Duplicate post - Deleted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Well they could have died and the hens might have eaten them, which they will do, sometimes. If I were you I would take the mothers and chicks and put them in a secure pen, where it's just moms and babies, until they are about five weeks old, and then they are mobile and fast enough to stay up with the others and stay out of trouble, too. When we have broodies hatching eggs, that's a matter of course for us..they go in their own pen with just mom and each other, til they're five weeks old. Then we monitor them for a while, when they join the flock, to make sure momma doesn't need any help in protecting them from the others.
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    And when I say secure pen I mean an elevated pen, small, and very predator proof.
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The broodies will do a good job of protecting them from cats, and each other, but they're going to think twice about risking their own necks to protect babies from a weasel or something that might get in. Idk how old your chicks are, but sometmes they wander, and if they slip thru the fence, there's nothing mom can do to help them besides call them.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Is there a top on your pen? Coopers and sharpshin hawks readily target chicks and smaller chickens.
     
  8. Phoenix Farms

    Phoenix Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have chicken mesh fence and cattle panel surrounding the pen. The bantams are nice to the chicks and rarely go near the mommas and babies. They are around 1-2 weeks old right now and very fast. We think that the mommas are eating them since we have electric around the fence and there are no holes were a predator has been getting in. It seems as though the disappear over night.
     
  9. Phoenix Farms

    Phoenix Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No there is no top and we live pretty much out in the middle of no where so I doubt neighborhood pets are coming up. We do have cats that enjoy killing birds but we've now seen any bodies (our cats don't eat their kills).
     
  10. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ravens and crows will take chicks, too, and right thru a fence if the holes are too big.
     

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