Hens killed and ate baby chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Raderby Ranchin, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Raderby Ranchin

    Raderby Ranchin Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 2, 2015
    Why would they do that? I bought 12 baby chicks and they have all been around hens for a week. The hens really don't bother them. They are 4 weeks old now. I have them separated. One chick is an escape artists got into the hens area. I dont know which chicken did it. Maybe all but the chick was half eaten.
  2. newwestchick

    newwestchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had one try to kill a three day old chick, I think she was confused about it being food though since she kills frogs to eat them and they are around the same size.

    Chickens are territorial, it's possible they meant to beat her up a little, and once she started bleeding... Well let's just say cannibalism is strong with chickens.

    I would make sure no others can squeeze over there unil you're ready to integrate!
  3. Raderby Ranchin

    Raderby Ranchin Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 2, 2015
    I've read about chicken beating up chicks, and killing other full grown chickens, but I've never read or heard about them eating another bird especially a chicken.. I'm shocked and upset. She was one of 2 Cream Bratanter. I believe the other to be a roo. So I won't have that breed to raise.

    Yes I have to make sure my chickens don't get out.

    This changes everything. My 5 out of my 6 hens are docile, easy to handle, friendly even... To see my favorite chicken eating the remains of the chick... Changes everything for me. Yes I know the are animals but when I constantly see their sweeter side and then see this... they aren't sweet to me anymore.
  4. Raderby Ranchin

    Raderby Ranchin Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 2, 2015
    2 of my chickens have gone broody. Was this cause by their cannibalis?
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Chickens will eat almost anything that doesn't run away when they peck it. This includes other chickens. When the chick escaped from his mommy' spend it probably got cold. I. Order to get warm again, he probably tried to snuggle up to the other hens. The absolute last thing a hen wants is for a chick to try to crawl under them if it is not her chick. After several viscious pecks, the chick probably died.

    I am sorry this happened.
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    In my experience, chicks that are not born and raised within the flock they tend not to know any chicken manners - its likely that this contributed to the event. When my broody has chicks, the rest of the flock leave well alone, and only tend to begin teaching the young ones chicken manners when they are 4-6 weeks old (and then its only a gentle peck, cos the chicks have some understanding of what to do and not to do).

    Sorry about your loss.

  7. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    oh my gosh, this is absolutely awful!!!! I didn't know thèy would actually Eat another Chick! Absolutely disturbing!!:(.I don't blame you for being sickened at the hens!! I am shocked.now that I know they will do that!!! I am so very very sorry you had to deal with that! I am also so sorry for your loss! I suppose we should all start looking at our hens as potential predators.... I'm just so shocked! . l can't imagine what you went through seeing such a thing! Again, I'm so sorry.
  8. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 1, 2016
    Islamabad Pakistan
    Cannibalism is very common in chickens. I have lost even adult birds to cannibalism. If even on drop of blood comes out of one chicken he/she will not live without your intervention. They love blood and meat. Its true .... closest living relative of T-Rex is chicken.
  9. Raderby Ranchin

    Raderby Ranchin Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 2, 2015
    Thank you everyone for your condolences. It is a reality check. I thought I had sweet chickens. I was willing to accept my chickens rejecting the chicks till older. But to kill and eat a chick... They are predators and a source of food.
  10. N F C

    N F C just 1 more cup pls Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    x2...this is normal chicken behavior, it's chickens just acting like chickens. That's why it's so important that new birds be kept separate from an existing flock...once chicks are big enough to be close in size to the existing flock, it's best to let them 'meet' slowly, with some sort of screen or netting between.

    I'm sorry for your loss, it would be a rude reminder that our birds are chickens first and pets second.

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