Hen killed her own chicks.....why??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by clhbubba, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. clhbubba

    clhbubba Chillin' With My Peeps

    286
    0
    129
    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Oklahoma
    Last year this hen sat on some eggs and after finding 3 dead chicks I figured out she was killing them, and put the eggs under another hen. This year she stole a nest of eggs from another hen so we let her try it again.(thinking it was because last year she was young and it was her first time going broody) We've been checking the nest each morning and keeping a close eye on her. We were gone for 4 hours today and came home to find 2 dead chicks and one hiding...alive. I booted her off her nest and put her eggs and 1 chick in the incubator. She pecks them to death as soon as they break from the shell. There are bloody peck marks on their tiny wet heads/bodies. Anyone have a clue about why? It's definitely her, no other chickens had access to her or her eggs. I've never seen this before. She certainly won't be allowed to sit on any more eggs.
     
  2. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    i dont know anything about chickens and them doing this

    but i do know a cat will eat her babies if she thinks they feel threatened...

    i hope someone knows why your hen would do this
     
  3. Spires6

    Spires6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    275
    0
    129
    Mar 10, 2009
    Ohio
    I have never seen a hen do that. How sad.
     
  4. clhbubba

    clhbubba Chillin' With My Peeps

    286
    0
    129
    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Oklahoma
    Just a bit more info on this. Last year, the chicks that I found dead still had the yolk sac attached and there was no egg shell to be found. I think she had eaten the shell away and then pecked the chick to death as it started to pip the shell. These that I found today were wet, one was still partially in the shell, pecked to death. It was just horrible.
     
  5. aberfitch

    aberfitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    0
    139
    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    Either cull her or keep her for eggs only. She is a no good mother. I have one hen that had some chicks under her and she trated them very good,,, she was a serama. At that time I had a RIR chick hatch out and was 3 times bigger than the babies she had. I put the rir chick under her. After 1 hour came out and found the chick dead. She pecked it to death. She didnt hurt her own chicks. So I have seen it happen but not her own offspring. Your hen is sick in the head.
     
  6. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    I have 2 hens that will peck chicks that aren't theirs but I haven't had one yet that killed her own chicks.

    Sorry that happend.
     
  7. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    My grandfather had a rabbit kill all of her babies. Don't know why but he said she was "No good" and became rabbit stew. This was many many years ago. So sorry about your chicks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  8. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Wow - that is unusual - a broody will usually protect her chicks against all comers. I wouldn't let her brood anymore - either keep her for eggs only or sell her.
     
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Oh how sad for you! i am curious, what breed is she?
     
  10. jnjross

    jnjross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    i won't keep her she may kill another hens chick as well,
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by