Hens failed to accept chicks and I lost one! Help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NaomiSarah, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    99
    Jul 4, 2010
    I put my four 3 week old australorps out in the pen with the mama bantams, and the first night, they took the chicks into one of the shelters and cuddled them all night, I was sure they had adopted the chicks. It rained last night but the bantams are such good mothers that I thought they'd be fine since the first night was fine... this morning I find the chicks huddled in a corner soaking wet with a dead one a few feet away, I feel so horrible!!! I brought the three survivors back inside and gave them vitamins and water and food and grit and their lamp to help dry off. What else should I do to help these chicks survive? They're all behaving fine and look ok, just wet, but will they get hypothermia or whatever? If one already died it had to have been bad.

    I feel so horrible, I should have just kept them inside but my mama bantams adopt them so nicely usually... what can I do to up the odds of these three surviving? What a stupid mistake...
     
  2. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

    621
    2
    131
    Apr 10, 2010
    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    Chickens are VERY territorial and dominant sensitive. They are also night idiots. If you put the babies in at night they will often ignore till morning. That is what I'm guessing happened to you. I would recommend you house your chicks separate from your other chickens until they get big enough to defend themselves. I merge my chicks and hens by ranging them together. I have two different coops. One for grown or older chickens and one for younger. I let them all out together. Within a week or two, they will begin to eat together and then eventually start sleeping in the same coop. It is a VERY slow process.

    So sorry you lost your baby. Good luck.

    Dave
     
  3. ChIck3n

    ChIck3n Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    0
    99
    Apr 12, 2010
    Texas A&M
    Just keep them warm, if they look OK now they should be fine. You can try the bantams again, but just bring the chicks inside if it rains. Alternatively, you can keep them in a brooder until they get older and more feathered out, then just introduce them into your flock as young birds once they can keep themselves warm.
     
  4. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    3,837
    16
    221
    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Sounds to me like you have already done what you needed to. They will probably be just fine. Don't worry too much. [​IMG]
     
  5. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    99
    Jul 4, 2010
    Quote:No no, I put them in the morning and they got to know each other through the doors of the kennel they were in for the day, then let them out a few hours before dark, and the mama hens took them in for nighttime the first night. The second day was fine and the chicks were eating with the flock, and the catastrophe happened the second night, because the mamas didn't take them to sleep so they just huddled outside in the rain.
     
  6. NaomiSarah

    NaomiSarah Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    99
    Jul 4, 2010
    Quote:I might just let them get a little bigger and stronger indoors, I wasn't planning on it but after how heartbreaking this was, it sounds like the way to go...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by