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Help, mother attacked bitty!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NC29mom, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. NC29mom

    NC29mom Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    Broody hen had 7 eggs, one hatched before she left the nest, leaving 6 that we put in the incubator. (My husband was slipping eggs under the hen when he shouldn't have, making the eggs not all hatch at the same time). SO...................Bitty #1 (under the mom) hatched on Tuesday, bitty #2 hatched (in the incubator) today. Tried to add Bitty #2 to the mom and she just pecked the bitty several times. We were scared to leave the bitty with the mother because of how she was acting. Now, we really have a mess. We've gotta try to figure out how to keep bitty #2 alive. Guess we will have to put under the light for a bit. It's in the high, high 80-90's degrees here. But, we don't have a space for bitty #2 outside to have his/her own space. For now we have put in a cardboard box. Any ideas?? And, why do you think the mother was so mean? Any suggestions?

    Input greatly appreciated:cool:
  2. casumm

    casumm In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    I wish i had some sage advice to offer you. Just wanted you to know that I'm pulling for the little ones. Hope another more experienced person can offer some helpful insight.

  3. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

    Aug 17, 2009
    I am having somewhat of the same problem. 2 broody moms had 7 babies. I had taken 11 out from under them and put them in the incubator. Now they are all hatching at different times. I put on my very trusty glove, hold my breath because I know what's coming and put the chick all the way underneath either one of the hens that I can get to. I just have to make sure that the chick is under my hand when I do it or they will peck at it. Once it's under them everything is cool and I rub my hand til it stops hurting. [​IMG]
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    If you only have the two chicks & hen won't accept one, I would put both chicks in a brooder. At least they will have eachother. No chicken should be alone.

    And tell your hubby to stop messin' things up. [​IMG]
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If you can get the hen to accept the new one, three days apart is not bad for them to grow up together. Some hens will accept any chick that is around and some will not accept a new chick. You can try putting the new chick under the hen at night so she wakes up with it, but there are obvious risks with that. It is probably what I would try given that you don't have a separate place to raise it. Other options I can see are to build someplace new for this chick and any others of your staggered hatch that may come or try to give it/them away.

    Sometimes, a hen will peck her chicks as discipline to tell them what to do. It's not that she is trying to kill them, just telling them things like "There is this huge monster out here (you) that is a danger to you so get under me where it is safe" or "It is time for you to come under me and warm up so do what I tell you". Sometimes a hen will attack and kill other chicks since she sees them as rivals to her chicks. Sometimes it is pretty obvious what she is doing and sometimes it is a difficult judgment call.

    Staggered hatches can be rough unless you are set up for it with an incubator, a brooder, and a plan ready. I do wish you luck!
  6. NC29mom

    NC29mom Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    Thanks for the input! Have 3 eggs left in the incubator, none with even a crack yet. We lost one, unfortunately. Poor thing had zipped halfway around the egg, but just couldn't do anymore. And, of course, we didn't help.

    So, you think the hen can't count? If she goes to sleep with one bitty and wakes up with two, she won't suspect anything? I know some people think chickens are stupid, but I have learned mine are pretty smart.

    The thing is I'm worried about even doing that because earlier when we added the bitty the mom REALLY pecked the little bitty, HARD! THe bitty was squealing (or whatever noise they make). We just stuck the bitty with her and she puffed all up and started striking the poor thing. The bitty did manage to run under the mom, but she would back up, she wouldn't put her feather out as to move the bitty closer to her. She wasn't the mom I was hoping she would be (at least to bitty #2, she is absolutely great with bitty #1)

    I like the idea of maybe putting the 2 bitty's together. I am worried the one is not going to make it. (poor thing chirped ALL NIGHT!!! I think she misses the mom now that she meet her just briefly) The only thing now is my husband is off fishing for the day and there's NO WAY I AM PUTTING MY HAND IN THE PEN TO GET THE MOM'S BITTY. She is very aggressive, as I am sure she should be. If we were to do that, would it be ok to put the mom back with her regular flock (1 fine looking bantam rooster and 9 buff hens- she's a buff too)?

    We are new at this chicken thing. We learn something new everyday. I am so greatful for this site and the contributors who respond to my posts. We want to be the best chicken owners, wouldn't trade them for a thing!!!!!! I'll post some pictures of our chickens and coop later today. (and the bitty and mama too)
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka 8 Years

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote:Chicks will chirp very loudly when they are cold, hungry, thirsty, or lonely. As long as their basic needs are met, they are usually pretty contented. I have pulled many, many chicks from under hens for a variety of reasons, and as long as they had a light bulb for warmth and another chick to snuggle with, they showed no signs of missing the hens. If we have a chick that has to "go solo" for a while, we put a small mirror in the brooder and a small stuffed animal (the current one happens to be shaped like a chicken) in for company. That usually is enough to keep the chick from getting lonely. Once you have another chick or two in the brooder, you can remove the substitutes, and the chick should be fine.

    I haven't ever tried to get a hen to adopt biddies, simply because I don't have many places to confine them. Some members of my flock are such savages, they will attack and kill any small thing that they see, and that includes chicks. I don't think a hen could protect more than maybe two or three out there, and then only if she was a high ranking hen.
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    This hen hatched two and adopted 5.... we put them under her right in the middle of the day and it's like she counts to see if they are all there!


    She hatched out the blue and the cream colored one.

    Here is a little BWA X Black Star.... I hope it's a pullet!


    The white one is a BWA X Cinnamon Queen. The little RIR in the foreground is NOT dying!


    Patient Mamma

  9. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    I don't get it. The eggs were taken out from under a perfect natural incubator and put into a machine; then after they hatched, they were put under the mom again? Why would someone do something like this? Second question, were the new chicks placed under the mom during the dead of night while she was sleeping so she wouldn't see what was happening? [​IMG]
  10. NC29mom

    NC29mom Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    Quote:No, what happened was the hen left her nest - leaving 6 eggs. My husband had slipped eggs under her when she started sitting - apparantley several days AFTER she started sitting. We just didn't want to bury the eggs without giving them a chance, so we put them in an incubator. We had another hen that left her nest early also, after only 1 chick hatched - we buried her egss and my daughter was devestated.

    2nd question: No, we are new to chickens, learning every day. We didn't think to stick the chick under her at night.

    I think we are just gonna put the chick that hatched with the mom (chick #1) with the chick that hatched in the incubator (chick #2). They are only 2 days apart.

    Just a little frustrating.......... I am DARING my husband to TOUCH another hens nest!!!!!

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