Hen won't accept healthy chick ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by artist chick, May 10, 2011.

  1. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2008
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    Hi, fellow chicken fans,

    Our broody hen, who's always been a terrific mother and always hatched out (and loved on) 100%, sat on the last batch of eggs for 26 days before we found some babies this weekend to pull a switch on her with. Sunday night we took out her eggs and replaced them with newly hatched babies. (we're now wondering if our rooster is no longer fertile!)

    Yesterday morning we found her attacking one of the babies, and one baby was already damaged. We rescued both- the worst one died and the other is fine, inside the house in a box.

    She's accepted the rest of the chicks as if she hatched them out. Why in the world would she attack just one or two out of 9? This one that we have in the house is dark with a white head. Could she be going after that patch of white on his head? Is there anything we can do to make him more acceptable? We really don't want to have to raise this baby by hand in the house- that poor thing needs a mama!

    Suggestions? Please?! [​IMG] Thank you!
     
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Could there be something wrong with the chicks that your not seeing?
    Animals can sense things that we cannot.
    Has she accepted mixed color chicks before? If so then that is not it.

    Hard to say what goes on in their heads.
     
  3. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2008
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    Thank you for your answer! As far as we can tell there's nothing wrong with this baby. yes, she's accepted mixed colored chicks before, but this one has a very distinct white patch on its head, and she seems to go for his head when she pecks him. Poor little thing!

    Thanks!

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  4. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know this sounds silly, actually it is really silly, but could you dye the white spot on its head and see if that helps? [​IMG]
    Yellow and green food coloring will make brown. Put a drop of each on a scrap of wax paper, mix it up with a q-tip and dab it on its head. Dilute with a little water if you need to. try the color on white paper towel first if you want to see how it will look. [​IMG]
     
  5. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2008
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    That doesn't sound silly at all. We considered a Sharpie but worried about fumes! Food coloring sounds like a much better idea!

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  6. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, food coloring only worked for about 2 minutes. Then she started pounding away at the poor sweetie again! So now it's in a box in our den with a heating pad, food and water. That's just not the way it's supposed to work!! [​IMG]
     
  7. ellie97

    ellie97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2011
    Once we tried to rescue a baby bird that fell from the nest that seemed perfectly healthy but the mother kept pushing it back out. The baby died, but not from the impact of the fall. We stacked up bedding under the next so he wouldn't be hurt on impact. The mother knew something we did not. It's probably the same case with your chick, but it could be something minor and the baby may be fine. But then again, what do I know? Only a guess. [​IMG]
     
  8. pixiedouglas

    pixiedouglas Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think I would try and get her to accept him again, she just doesn't want that baby. Especially if she's doing fine with the rest. Do you know anyone brooding chicks who might want this one? If not I'd say at this point just get him a friend. [​IMG]
     
  9. flowerhippie

    flowerhippie Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Sometimes the mama will only care for as many chicks as she can handle. How many baby's is she caring for ? Also sometimes I the mama may know that there could something wrong with the baby being healthy enough. I hope the little fella will pull threw. If you have no pick to put on any of the wounded chicks this may discourage her from pecking you can purchase this at most
    co ops it is a thick terrible and tasting to the hen, My bottle is brown with a yellow sticker with no peck on the front and has directions to help you apply, I would use this because this will help the baby to heal . Do you have light in the hen house and dose she have enough shade in hot sun ? I put a little salt in the water or oyster shell to discourage any pecking in my hen house. I hope this will help to identify the problem.
     
  10. artist chick

    artist chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2008
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    I agree, pixie- we've given up on trying to get her to accept the baby. I don't know anyone with brooding chicks. It didn't occur to me to get him a friend! Would that help? Should I go buy another baby at the feed and seed store?

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