Help! one hen kills another hen's chick

cicene mete

Songster
11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
409
9
131
We had three hen's in our chicken pen hatch chicks. This morning, before we could let them out to free range, one mom killed another mom's chick. The dead chick's mother was flipping out, but she is less dominant and couldn't stop the more dominant hen. The one who killed the chick abandoned her own chick (she only has one) to go on the killing spree.

What should we do?
 

cicene mete

Songster
11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
409
9
131
I hope I don't have to do that. I would hate to take all of the chicks away from all the moms. And then I would be worried about how the attacking mom would respond. On the other hand, it might be a good idea to take her chick away and give it to one of the others and then isolate her until she gets over being broody. But then again, I don't know, that might make things worse.
 

rikithemonk

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
279
24
101
Mont Dora Florida
What do you guys think happened? Dominant chicken trying to enforce the pecking order and over did it with the chick? Ive never had small chicks in my flock. I try and wait till the young bird is close in size to the adults when I introduce them to my existing girls. How do the flocks usually handle young chicks?

Riki
 

cicene mete

Songster
11 Years
Jun 19, 2008
409
9
131
in the past, the mother hens usually protect the chicks. The rooster and the non-broody hens seem completely fine with the new chicks. In fact, they tend to ignore them. But this the first time that I've had multiple hens hatch chicks at the same time. The most dominant hen has three chicks, but she also seems unfazed by the other babies. It's the middle one that's become the problem.
 

rikithemonk

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
279
24
101
Mont Dora Florida
Perhaps she sees the other chicks as a threat to her own. She may feel the other chicks are taking resources away from her own chicks. So she is reducing the competition. I would sit down and really watch everyone interact. You may find that the older chickens are pushing the chicks away from or crowding out the chicks from the feeders or water.

Just a thought.

I would put down additional feeders and water. Seeing that her own chicks can get to resources may calm her down.

Riki
 

kerriliane

Songster
9 Years
Sep 19, 2010
203
0
101
Langley, BC, Canada
I am having this same issue, except the more dominant one keeps breaking into the little ones enclosure to kill her babies. shes down to 1/4 .. and one that is half dead, but still breathing & moving.. just has a wound on its neck :(
I have them completely seperated and will be keeping them seperated until the chicks are about 3 weeks.
 

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