1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Help - mama hen threw baby out!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PAChickenMom, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. PAChickenMom

    PAChickenMom In the Brooder

    36
    1
    24
    Aug 23, 2013
    NW Pennsylvania
    I had a hen on 2 eggs. One started to hatch last night but when I was out there at 530am she had crushed it. It looked like she sat on it and suffocated it. So I have been watching the other egg and finally the chick pops out. The mama looked like she was cleaning it up so I went to grab water and baby food for inside the coop and when I came back the poor baby chick was outside of the nest box and the other girls were coming in for a look. The mama hen seemed angry so I put the poor baby under her and the same thing happened. I now have the baby in a box under a heat lamp. The hen is still in the nest box making lots of noise. The baby was chirping and moving but cold. It is warming up now but looks like it has a bloody butt. Her eyes aren't open yet but I'm not sure how long it takes. Last time a hen was broody she was a wonderful mom and I left her to deal with the babies so I'm not sure what to do next. When will it wake up and need to eat? Why did that crazy hen sit on those eggs all that time just to throw her baby out?
    Thanks
     

  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    5,291
    639
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Sadly there are some hens who tend to be "homicidal" mothers. I think you've done the right thing in saving the chick. Here's a page with more info for you:

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/search?q=homicidal
    THE QUITTER and the HOMICIDAL HEN​


    Scroll down the page and you'll find the section on homicidal/quitters. Best of luck to you and keep us updated as to the little chick's progress!
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    18,496
    8,782
    671
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    As instinctual as all this would seem to us, it can take a few tries for some hens to get things just right with the motherhood thing. Setting the eggs was one thing, but this peeping, demanding, moving thing is quite another. Is this her first time hatching?
     
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Songster

    2,817
    245
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    There are many answers to your question but to get the answer we would have to ask the hen and I doubt she will tell you [​IMG]...

    It could be a defect with the chick that only she knows about, it could be although she is a great sitter she is a horrible hatcher/mother
    I would watch the other hatchlings very close, if she continues this behavior I would remove chicks as soon as they hatch and then I would never allow her to hatch again. Its pointless to go through all this to have her kill the chicks as soon as they emerge and I wouldn't incubate any of her eggs as I wouldn't want that behavior passed on... Everyone's flock dynamics are different and what we expect from our flock varies.

    If she successfully hatches and accepts the other chicks she hatches and the lone chick you saved survives I would try to give her back the chick, it must be done at full dark ( I shoot for 11 pm) and done carefully, do not show her the chick and place it under the back of her.
     
  5. PAChickenMom

    PAChickenMom In the Brooder

    36
    1
    24
    Aug 23, 2013
    NW Pennsylvania
    Thanks everyone. The article on the homicidal mom was helpful - I just hate to think about breaking her right now after she has sat for 21 days. I might try and sneak the baby under her at night - if the baby makes it. This is her first time going broody - she isn't even a year old. But we had another hen who was young and was a great mom. Unfortunately this one only had 3 eggs - one was crushed and killed by another hen a week ago who tried to jam herself into the nest box with the broody hen. The other started to hatch last night and was dead this morning - looked like she suffocated it. I have an emergency coop that I got all set up for her weeks ago when this started but she refused to stay there. She freaked out and flew over the fence and left the eggs. So I moved her back into the big coop where she sat the rest of the time. I'm going out to check on the situation now.
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    5,291
    639
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Quote: [​IMG]
     
  7. PAChickenMom

    PAChickenMom In the Brooder

    36
    1
    24
    Aug 23, 2013
    NW Pennsylvania
    Well the broody mom is still in the nest box - growling at me as usual. The baby seems to be better - still not really moving or opening her eyes much. She still has a bit of the egg attached to her butt and it's a little bloody. I guess she didn't absorb all the yolk yet? It looks like it is smaller then it was an hour ago. She chirps when I touch or move her and briefly opens her eyes but then closes them and goes back to sleep. I hope she makes it.
     

  8. PAChickenMom

    PAChickenMom In the Brooder

    36
    1
    24
    Aug 23, 2013
    NW Pennsylvania
    Here is the baby....
    [​IMG]
     
  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    5,291
    639
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    If she hasn't drank any water yet, try an eye dropper and give her a drop or two to help get her hydrated. You might put a dash of sugar in the water to give her a little oomph!
     
  10. PAChickenMom

    PAChickenMom In the Brooder

    36
    1
    24
    Aug 23, 2013
    NW Pennsylvania
    I just got her to drink from the eye dropper. I had some of that save-a-chick powder so I mixed up that with some of our honey from our own bees. She drank it and then fell asleep again. She is starting to dry off but her butt still has that slimey thing with the piece of shell attached.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by