Hen keeps murdering chicks!!

Megan423

In the Brooder
May 28, 2020
3
19
13
2nd year hatching off chicks, 1st year went good. This year one of the hens is a chick from last year, the other hen is the same main mom from last year. Ok so there both sitting on about 23 eggs, they started hatching off and around 5 days old I noticed one was dead in the run area. I watched them for a while and eventually saw the bad hen simply pecked the face of one the chicks and then chased it and kept pecking it's face and once it was injured severely, she stopped and walked off with the rest of chicks following. I tried to mend the hurt chick but it passed away. I looked at the other chick that was already dead and the same thing was wrong with it, it's little eye and side of it's face was pecked except worse. I looked up inside the nesting box because I heard a new one up there and I knew it should've been down walking around by that point and I looked it there, it was still alive but a tiny single peck hole was near it's eye. That would did not make it either. This hens dad is a red shoulder Yokohama and it's mom is a silkie. I have no clue what to do except take her out and let my good main mom raise them. Any advice?????????
 

brendaanddaveriley

In the Brooder
May 11, 2020
38
88
43
2nd year hatching off chicks, 1st year went good. This year one of the hens is a chick from last year, the other hen is the same main mom from last year. Ok so there both sitting on about 23 eggs, they started hatching off and around 5 days old I noticed one was dead in the run area. I watched them for a while and eventually saw the bad hen simply pecked the face of one the chicks and then chased it and kept pecking it's face and once it was injured severely, she stopped and walked off with the rest of chicks following. I tried to mend the hurt chick but it passed away. I looked at the other chick that was already dead and the same thing was wrong with it, it's little eye and side of it's face was pecked except worse. I looked up inside the nesting box because I heard a new one up there and I knew it should've been down walking around by that point and I looked it there, it was still alive but a tiny single peck hole was near it's eye. That would did not make it either. This hens dad is a red shoulder Yokohama and it's mom is a silkie. I have no clue what to do except take her out and let my good main mom raise them. Any advice?????????
 

brendaanddaveriley

In the Brooder
May 11, 2020
38
88
43
I believe you will probably have to separate that hen from the rest of the chicks. I going back 50 years in my memory to what my mom would have done. As far as I remember she always said once a chicken gets a taste of a chick or an egg there is pretty much nothing you can do to break them of killing the chicks and eating the eggs. You might just have to keep her for egg production, unless she starts breaking and eating her eggs. At that point I would put her down.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
118,844
338,922
1,977
New Jersey
Welcome to BYC. Basically what you are seeing is normal behavior on the part of the first hen. She has imprinted on the chicks which hatched first - generally happens in the first 36 hours - and all others are regarded as strangers in her territory. This frequently happens in staggered hatches. I would remove her and the chicks she is bonded to to another pen and allow the second hen to TRY to hatch the remaining eggs. Staggered hatches are generally a disaster.
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
2,586
5,937
371
Feather Falls, CA
I have a hen that kills her chicks too. She has been broody twice in the past 3 years. The first year the chicks hatched during the night and I found them dead in the coop the next morning. I could see that they had been attacked and killed, but I didn't know who. The next year Bridget was broody again. This time she started jumping from box to box, sitting on whatever new eggs were laid. So I bought two chicks and slipped them under her. She went berserk immediately and tried to kill them. So I found out that there are hens that hate chicks! She is a good egg layer and I have an egg business, so I won't cull her, but she won't ever get to have chicks again, ever! A very odd and sad occurrence. Remove the bad hen and let the good one raise the chicks. You are not alone! :hugs
 

chicken3fly

Crowing
May 27, 2020
550
7,042
406
Not telling!
2nd year hatching off chicks, 1st year went good. This year one of the hens is a chick from last year, the other hen is the same main mom from last year. Ok so there both sitting on about 23 eggs, they started hatching off and around 5 days old I noticed one was dead in the run area. I watched them for a while and eventually saw the bad hen simply pecked the face of one the chicks and then chased it and kept pecking it's face and once it was injured severely, she stopped and walked off with the rest of chicks following. I tried to mend the hurt chick but it passed away. I looked at the other chick that was already dead and the same thing was wrong with it, it's little eye and side of it's face was pecked except worse. I looked up inside the nesting box because I heard a new one up there and I knew it should've been down walking around by that point and I looked it there, it was still alive but a tiny single peck hole was near it's eye. That would did not make it either. This hens dad is a red shoulder Yokohama and it's mom is a silkie. I have no clue what to do except take her out and let my good main mom raise them. Any advice?????????
move the hen somewhere with no chickens until she realizes how to treat her chicks
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom