Help! Dead chick!!! I don't want another one :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rachey62, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Rachey62

    Rachey62 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2012
    I'm hoping someone can offer us some advice. Our Partridge Orpington went broody so we got 10 hatching eggs for her, she kicked 2 out in the week they were due to hatch and we found one dead chick a few days before they were due (assuming she stood on it) 2 chicks hatched on Sunday and she abandoned the other eggs (She's in a converted rabbit hutch with 2 separate nest boxes attached) Last night (Monday) we added 5 more 3 day old chicks at night and she seemed to accept them quite happily. Then, this afternoon we heard a bit of commotion in the coop and went to investigate, she was in the main area of the coop sctratching around as if she was looking for food (there's plenty of food and water available to her and the chicks) there was one dead chick, still warm, poor thing, another looking a bit weak and the others getting thrown around by her scratching.

    So... We collected all the chicks, popped them in a box under a heat lamp, in the mean time screwed a narrow peice of wood infront of the opening to the next box so she is essentially trapped but can get her head out for food and waters and the chicks can get away from her if they need to, we popped the chicks back in with her and she seemend to settle. we did this in about 10/15mins so they weren't away from her for too long. Can anyone tell me if we've done the right/wrong thing? or can you suggest what we should do. At what point should we let them all back together? I very much feel like we've done something wrong and we've been a bit naive about how easy it would be to just let her do her thing and raise them, she seems as confused as us to be honest.

    Thanks in advance, hoping someone can help

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You haven't done anything wrong. You might have a hen who is just not a good mama. Usually, letting a broody hatch and raise chicks is by far the easiest, and results in healthier chicks as well. It doesn't happen all that often, but it happens. I have one; after she killed her first clutch, she gets no more eggs or chicks!

    If they kick out an occasional egg, or kill it, they may have sensed there is something wrong with it. But your situation sounds more like you just have a hen with poor instincts, unfortunately. I'm no fan of brooder raised chicks, but I think you may have to go that route.
  3. Rachey62

    Rachey62 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2012
    Thanks Flockwatcher, I've been back out this morning, she's sitting quite comfortably in the nest box but there was one Buff chick out on it's own in the main area of the coup cheeping so I snuck it back in under her and all went quiet, spotted the blue, then I when I was closing up one of the splash/White (I can't tell the difference) popped it's head out from her wing, at least I know I've still got 3 alive for now. I think I'm going to leave her to it for a while. We had to brood the last clutch 12 months ago as my silkie/sussex bantam I'd used to brood attacked the one chick that hatched so we had to brood her along with 3 other week olds we got to keep her company! Which is one of the reasons I feel like we're going something wrong, I'm not having much luck at this hatching malarky!


  4. HannahinOly

    HannahinOly Chirping

    Sep 2, 2013
    Olympia, WA
    how are they doing?

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