Hens eating baby chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jwoodall, May 4, 2009.

  1. jwoodall

    jwoodall Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2009
    Castle Hayne, NC
    Anybody know why my white cochins are pecking the babies to death as they hatch? Have 3 hens that are sitting (seperate divided nests), 2 of them keep killing the chicks. the 3rd I just checked before locking the others up has successfully hatched and caring for her baby. They are sitting on their eggs and the eggs of my Araucanas. The ones that have hatched are the araucana eggs (they are green). The succesful hatch was a cochin (brown egg) I believe because of the chicks coloring. Do they NOT except others chicks???? They are the ones sitting on them! HELP!!! I have an incubator ready if needed to finish hatching. I hate to keep burying babies!
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Remove those chicks/eggs immediately. Not all hens are good broodies, and not all broodies will accept other chicks.

    I would also remove those two broodies from my setting/breeding program permanently. For me personally, there is no place in my coop for a wicked broody hen. [​IMG] There are plenty of fantastic mother hens out there waiting to love your chicks!

    Sorry for your loss.
  3. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    I have a hen like that (only she doesnt peck but she does for some reason get all antsy as the chickies are hatching out and ends up trampling them )> I took them away and gave them back to her after all had hatched and she was a great mom however not all birds are great moms. Mine are silkies too so it happens with all breeds.
    Broodies eat and drink minimally so it is important that you add a supplement to their feed to avoid starvation and deficiencies (this might be a factor in your problem) ... offer a live culture yogurt free choice while they are sitting too.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
  5. LadyShred

    LadyShred Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2009
    Some hens like to crack eggs and eat the yolks. If a hen has this problem, a hatching egg will be difficult for her to resist. And like everyone said, some hens just don't make good mothers. My hens have the same issue. When they lay, I take the eggs and incubate. That's how I resolve it if I want more chicks.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree with Jenski about not using those two as broody hens in the future. If I knew which eggs were theirs, I probably would not hatch any of their eggs either unless I had a good reason, such as breeding a show bird. A good broody will accept any chick she hatches. Color and size does not matter. A good broody will raise a guinnea or turkey.

    I also think part of your problem is that you had three broody hens on one nest. I see a lot of bad posts on here when you try multiple broody hens on one nest or multiple broodies raising the same chicks. Sometimes it works out and sometimes, as you have experienced, chicks die.
  7. jwoodall

    jwoodall Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2009
    Castle Hayne, NC
    Thanks all for the advice!! I should say that they are all divided and in seperate nests. I have taken all the eggs from one of the others and put them in the incubator I just bought. Probably will do the same thing to the 2nd nest. But since the one hen has a successful hatch thought I would wait to see what hapopens when another hatches. What is the proprer temp for incubator? I hear from 99 to 103. This is such a broad range. I have it set at 101. OK?????
  8. cmerk

    cmerk Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2013
    Bought six chicks from our local farm store today. After supper we went out to set up the heat lamp. Now only five baby chicks. No evidence of foul play.
    Any chance one of our hens ate the missing baby chick???
  9. tommie 1111

    tommie 1111 New Egg

    Mar 12, 2016
    coarsegold california
    same thing happen to me this morning i went out and i am 1 chick short no sign of dead bby just the three three week old ones and the other four babies a week old. wht the ???????

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