Hamburg worst mother ever! What to do with the chick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Auventera, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Auventera

    Auventera Hatching

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    Hi everyone, I am hoping to get some advice on the best thing to do with a baby chick.

    I have a Silver Spangled Hamburg hen who went broody and I have read that they rarely to never go broody. But I let her set on the eggs because she stuck on that nest tight and seemed dedicated. She only hatched out one little chick. Once the chick hatched, she quit the other eggs, they got cold, and she started running around all over the place dragging this tiny chick with her. She would take off FLYING and leave the baby screaming on the ground running around trying to find her.

    So I put the Hamburg and the chick in a cage with food and water (very large dog kennel) and she settled down and started taking care of him. She showed him how to eat and drink and she would sit on the hay and let him get underneath her.

    That lasted for ONE day and then she couldn't tolerate confinement anymore, and started pacing the cage. She was trampling him trying to get out, so I opened the cage, and she ran out into the outdoor run, and started dusting and flying and didn't come back for a whole hour!

    I had the chick in my shirt this whole time to keep him warm.

    In the meantime I heard ANOTHER chick screaming its head off from somewhere but I couldn't figure out who this other chick was or where the noise was coming from?? My husband said the noise is coming from the eggs that you threw away yesterday! The Hamburgs remaining eggs I tossed out because they were totally cold were still laying there in the wheelbarrow ready for disposal but one of the eggs was screaming it's head off! I picked at the egg and got the chick out - good thing because the membrane was completely dry and stuck on him.

    So he's healthy, dried off, fluffy, and now I have 2 chicks and a Hamburg mother running wild.

    BUT I have a Dark Cornish hen who is an excellent mother and has raised orphans for me in the past. I put her in the cage with the chicks and she instantly started clucking and fluffed up and sat down so they could crawl under her. I've been watching her like crazy and she's caring for them beautifully! She's showing them how to eat and drink and is keeping them warm. She has even started growling and screeching ferociously at the other chickens who come near her.

    But this stupid Hamburg hen every so often comes tearing inside clucking and chirping and the one baby who was with her for a copule of days comes running out from under the Dark Cornish and goes to the Hamburg and the Hamburg takes off running with the chick chasing. So I keep putting the chick back in with the DArk Cornish. He's cold and tired and hungry and that stupid Hamburg will run him to death.

    Every now and then the one chick comes out from under the Dark Cornish and starts screaming his head off for his mother and runs around the cage frantic.

    SO WHAT DO I DO ABOUT HIM??? He's bonded to the Hamburg but the Hamburg is going to kill him. Do I just lock him up with the Dark Cornish and make him get over it and re-bond to the DC? Will he? Sorry this is long. Raising chicks is NOT something I enjoy :( I always seem to have problems.
     

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'd separate the Hamburg from the flock, let the Cornish mother the babies and let them bond to her. Bummer for the Hamburg if she doesn't like being confined somewhere else, you're the boss and decide what's best. Keep her in a dark place if you need to, that should help quiet her down. Give it a week or so then try letting her back with the flock.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

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    If you would just isolate the hamburg for a couple of days I think she will forget about the baby chick, and he will probably forget about her. I had the same experience with 2 broodies at the same time, but 1 decided to attack her chick, so she got it taken away. Within a day or 2 she had forgotten about it.
     
  4. CowGrrrl

    CowGrrrl Songster

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    Agreed.
     

  5. tmfineg

    tmfineg Songster

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    Sounds like your typical southern family if you ask me...lol
     
  6. Auventera

    Auventera Hatching

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    LOL southern family! Well yeah last night I told my husband - she's like a 17 year old meth addict mother....it's terrible!

    I did separate her all day yesterday and left the chick with the Cornish hen. But last night when I let the Hamburg go to roost with the others, the baby saw her and jumped through the cage wires of the dog kennel and ran to her. Then she started clucking and fluffing up but then she flew all the way to the top roost pole and roosted with the chick running around screaming his head off on the ground. I kept putting the chick in with the Cornish but he would have NO part of it whatsoever. So finally the Hamburg flew down and went into a nestbox on the floor, where the chick jumped in and that's where they sat last night.

    Separation is very difficult because we have 4 Red Tails that patrol the yard all day long. So they pretty much have to be locked up constantly. But I can try to see what I can do. The baby is so confused.
     
  7. CowGrrrl

    CowGrrrl Songster

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    [​IMG]
     

  8. Auventera

    Auventera Hatching

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    Well, the unfit mother insists on claiming her baby, and the baby insists that the Cornish is NOT her mamma! So the Hamburg is netted in a large area with bird netting, thoroughly secured, with food, water, and chick. She seems to be more comfortable with a larger area and is doing pretty good with him now.

    And meanwhile, wheelbarrow chick #2 has just hatched out! These are eggs I threw away because the hen quit the nest. They were laying in a wheelbarrow for at least 2 days with no heat on them. There were 3 eggs total, so 2 have hatched and #3 is under the Dark Cornish and hopefully will also hatch. It wasn't that warm out either - it was only in the 70s so I don't know HOW they didn't die.
     
  9. Auventera

    Auventera Hatching

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    Wheelbarrow Chick #3 hatched out last night! So all 3 eggs I discarded ended up hatching. Wow that is wild. The derelict Hamburg hen is actually doing well with the baby now. She's still enclosed in the large netted portion of the chicken house and is caring for the baby quite well. But if I let her loose from there, she takes off running without him and doesn't come back for at least 30 minutes when she "remembers" she has a baby. So since the baby wanted NOTHING to do with the Cornish hen, I guess being confined for the next 4-6 weeks is the only answer. I've been letting her out a couple times a day to go fly and dust bathe and do her thing, and then she does eventually come back. Not ideal but we'll get through it.
     

  10. tmfineg

    tmfineg Songster

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    Sounds like you have a good rehab system worked out...good luck! What a miracle about the other chicks that hatched!
     

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