Hen fostering 9 chicks, HELP!!

sarahh7

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
2
1
7
So I currently have a hen fostering 9 chicks- 4 silkies which hatched under her and 5 mixed chicks roughly five days old which we gave to her the day the silkies hatched.

All was going well, mumma took to all 9 chicks very happily and looks after them well during the day!
Then the night came and on night one, one of the 5-day olds we found dead about five cm from mum in the morning, and the same thing happened on night 2 with another 5-day old :(

I have since been removing the 5-day olds at night and re-introducing them to mum in the morning, which has been working fine!
Should I give mum another chance and give her back the 5-day olds full time? Or should I continue what I have been doing, and if so should I remove the silkies in a few more days when they to are 5-days old and give them back in the morning?!?

I would love to give mumma hen full responsibility but I don't want her accidentally(?) killing one each night...

Your advice would be greatly appreciated

Thank you!!
 
Last edited:

Fancychooklady

Crowing
8 Years
Jun 14, 2012
10,255
2,423
431
Tasmania. Australia
Hello and :welcome. If momma is showing no animosity towards the chicks perhaps it is not her killing the chicks. I lose a few to rats and it's always at night. Could you describe your coop or brooder setup?
 

sarahh7

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 30, 2014
2
1
7
Hi Thank you for replying so quickly.
Mumma and babies are inside an enclosed coop at night inside our regular coop which is also enlaced with pool fencing and chicken wire.

So it is possible for a rat to get in but I have just found the chicks laying there in the morning seemingly unharmed?!?
The day-olds and mum have been fine at night every since removing the 5-day olds so I don't think it is rats…

I don't think mum is killing the chicks as they are not pecked or anything but maybe they are getting cold because she is forgetting to sit on them…? I am really not sure
 

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