HELP!! Dead chicks under broody hen!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by labsani, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. labsani

    labsani New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    I am pretty new to raising chickens and need some advice. I have previously had a hen hatch and raise eggs and all went 100% as planned.

    My RIR has been sitting on 12 eggs and they were due to hatch today (21 days). I have been on holidays for the last 7 days and have had a neighbour checking in on my chickens and broody hen which is in a separate pen to the others.

    When I arrived this afternoon, I ran straight down to the coop only to find a dead chick, yellow and fluffy on the ramp which leads from the water up to the nesting box. Shocked I moved the broody hen of the eggs only to find another wet looking dead chick underneath her :(

    I am not sure on what to do here as I am too scared to loose all the eggs if she is killing them? I originally started with 15 eggs underneath her (she is a first time broody) as my neighbour gave me her fertile eggs. Over the 21 days there have been some crushed (eaten?) eggs under her, which i have cleaned up and removed. I just assumed that maybe there were too many and they cracked by accident? When I left there were 12 eggs under her, now there are only 9, which doesn't add up as there was only 2 dead chicks...

    I have removed the eggs from her and placed in a cardboard box with hay underneath and a 25W bulb to keep them warm. Will this be enough? Should I have left them with her and risked it? I have placed 6 non fertile eggs underneath her as she is still happy sitting on them in the hope that I could place the hatched chicks underneath her and monitor her reaction?

    Is there any advice on what I should be doing?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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  3. labsani

    labsani New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2014
    Thanks @chooks4life . My husband threw the corpses away and the bins went out tonight so I won't be able to check them :( I should have done it but was too upset at the time and didn't want my kids to see.

    Quote: She and the eggs are in a separate coop so if someone did eat them it would have to be her! I just think its strange that one was fully fluffy and yellow, dead on the ramp, wile the other was still wet and dead underneath her...
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Rats and other predators are another possibility. Many are bold enough to go straight under a hen and take babies. It's quite often out of the blue too, it never happens till it happens.

    Can't prove what's happening without risking more chicks, unfortunately.

    Good luck.
     

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