Hen killing some chicks!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by purduechickie, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. purduechickie

    purduechickie New Egg

    Aug 9, 2011
    So I have a hen sitting on eggs and the hatching is spead out due to other hens putting eggs under her. She has hatched out six or so as of now. One hatched and it is doing fine, then another couple hatched and she pecked and killed them, then another hatched and it is doing fine, then another hatched and she killed it. Could she be killing the males? Or the females? The color doesn't seem to matter. I really hope she isn't killing the females! Any ideas?
  2. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    i would be interested in the comments on this one..........
  3. Britney

    Britney Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2010
    If it were me I would take everything from her. If you have an incubator I would spark it up.
  4. jmmre31

    jmmre31 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Front Royal
    Is she by herself? Are you sure it is her killing them?
  5. chiken lover863

    chiken lover863 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2011
    HI well [​IMG] we have a hen like that with chicks but we move tha hen to a diferent coop and that works very good because if not the hen its gona kill of all of the chicks.
  6. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    I would move the chicks to a brooder with a heat lamp as soon as they hatch, some hens just kill chicks- she may kill all of them if you leave them with her!
  7. Lucysmom002

    Lucysmom002 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I wonder if the other hens are killing them. I would take them away
  8. purduechickie

    purduechickie New Egg

    Aug 9, 2011
    Okay, so I'm sure she is the one doing it, I've seen her peck at the chicks. Unfortunately by the time I get to them she's usually done too much damage to save them or already killed them. Today I went out to check and she was gone with her "golden child." She had pecked the other chick that was doing well, but not too bad so I brought it in. Then there was another just hatched chick that she had already pecked at, that I brought in as well, though not sure if it will make it. They are both in the bath tub with a heat lamp. There are four more eggs under the hen that while she was gone I moved to the side to get rid of after I got the chicks into the house. Well that crazy hen and her favorite child were back by the time I'd gotten done and she'd moved those four eggs back underneath herself. I think I will try to catch her off the nest and get those eggs ASAP. They didn't feel that warm when I was moving them, and I just can't handle any more bloody-headed puff-balls.

    On an interesting side note on the life of this hen- Last summer there was a frenzy out in the yard and I looked out to see her in the mouth of a fox (in broad daylight), I ran out there barefoot yelling and she was able to escape with only minor injuries. Three possoms later I was able to catch and relocate the fox. Then this spring she was sitting on eggs when a storm came through and a tree fell on the hen house and crushed several chickens. I have no idea how she was not one of the casualties. So, I have a real soft spot for this hen, but I'm not very happy with her right now.
  9. Peep lePleaser

    Peep lePleaser Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    I had a couple of hens do this once, both at the same time. An old chicken farmer I knew told me that it's flock population control. If they feel that there are too many chicks versus the amount of food and even nesting/roosting space that will be available to the rest of the flock, they will control the population on their own. Sounded reasonable to me, so I upped their daily feed. It seemed to help.
  10. purduechickie

    purduechickie New Egg

    Aug 9, 2011
    My chickens are free range with additional food and plenty of space, so I don't think it is population control. It turns out the only chick she didn't kill or try to kill is her biological chick. I know this because the hen is my only feather legged chicken and the chick has feathered legs. I find it pretty amazing that she would know her own chick out of all that she hatched, so maybe it is just a coincidence.

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