I messed up and now all but 1 baby is dead!! **UPDATE!!! PICS heavy***


8 Years
May 5, 2011
I am so upset!! I am also posting this in a few different spots in hopes of getting more opinions...Last night I finally felt comfortable putting our (6) 7 week old babies in the coop we were working on, since I was afraid it was going to rain today. My husband went to check them this morning & 5 of them were laying in the floor dead. All of their necks were broken, what would kill them and NOT eat them?? The saddest part is was when he looked in, he found that our smallest chick Lulu was still huddled in the corner of the doll house that they had been sleeping in. Now she is all alone & peeping her lil heart out! IF I can find some, can I put more chicks with her?? She is going to be so lonley. I am 99% sure that she is a girl because she was the smallest of them all & she was very shy around everything, even treats. She is very calm & sweet and still pretty small. She can fit in your palm. What age buddies should I look for since it seems that she is a runt? what do I do now??

UPDATE! I found a lady that had some chicks for sale, but she only had chicks that were way smaller or way bigger than our lil Lulu so we gambled & bought 2 baby cochins in the hopes of her being so lonley that she would cut them some slack & NOT peck them to death....



So far so good! She pecked at the smaller one once when we first put them in & then a little later, I checked & she would peck at it's beak but it almost looked like she was grooming her? After a few minutes they were running under her and one actually slept tucked un der her wing. This morning they were all still there & looked healthy. She actually kept trying to step in front of them when I took the picutures this morning.

If she was gonna kill them would she have done it already??
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Sorry for your loss!!
But I really don't know of anything that would just kill them. Tell us a little something on your weather conditions!!

And yes you can add some chicks! She'd be really glad you did!!
Kinda sound like something reached thru the wire, but if it was a coon, they usually pull them thru the gap in pieces. Are you sure the necks weren't bit thru like a rat? But again they don't kill and not eat some part of the bird. Even weasels will drink the blood.

Humans and dogs are all that come to mind that kill for sport or chase instinct.

As for what to do now, an excellent chance to handle the remaining chick, but beware, my wife's goose was handled a lot when little and now at 10 pounds, loves to sit on her shoulder and in her lap

A idea to identify the culprit is to lay down plywood that is lightly covered in flour, place a bait or bird carcass in the middle, and see what tracks you have in the morning. (stole that idea from another owner and it works!)

How about posting a pic of your coop & run so we can see what you have, also where you live will help with suggestions
In her title, she has mentioned that she made a mistake. I'm betting she will remedy the situation before she puts any chicks outside again.

I do understand your questions though.....Jencleg, are you sure your chick's necks were broken? Was there a sign of struggle, like feathers everywhere, or did you just find them dead, with limp necks? Could they have gotten too hot or too cold? And I would definitely make sure everything is very secure before you put her and new friends out again if it was indeed a predator.

And what I would do, is put a few chicks in there that are close to the same size if you can. That will make a transition nice and smooth for you. If you can't find chicks that are similar in size, then you should maybe raise a few up in a separate brooder, and then introduce them a bit later, when the young ones have had time to grow.

Good luck to you and I hope you figure out what went wrong......Sooo sorry for your loss,

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Ok. I am sorry. I thought that my subject line would have explained that I take 100% of the blame for them getting killed, I am racked with guilt so thanks for pointing it out to me once again.... I know the HOW. The WHY. I just wondered about the WHAT. The "doll house" was placed INSIDE of this:


They liked it and slept in it when they were chicks and I just thought that the first night in their big house it might make them feel more at home. The pop door was the way they got in and now since I only have 1 instead of 6 looking at me to keep them safe I can have learned an can make sure that it does NOT happen again...
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It's just that I see so many post of people looking for a shoulder to cry on for losses that should have been avoided, as opposed to trying to find a solution first. This is first and foremost BYC is a learning site and learning can sometimes be rough, I feel sugar coating the real issues aren't helping. I have lost birds before to preditors and the first thing that happened to me was I got angry and mad, then I sucked it up and made improvements to my coops and runs. Now I haven't lost any birds in 3 years, it's not rocket science, you don't just buy birds and then wing the whole set-up thing like so many people do, it must be thought through and protection should come before comfort, if they are safe and have food and water they will be happy and productive.
Ok good I am glad you found your solution and have a plan to remedy it from happening again.
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Thank you Sharon. I do know what the problem was...just as a first time chick mom, I messed up. I dont think they got too hot/cold, they were fine when we moved them and they only went about 30 feet away from the place in the yard they have been for the last 2 weeks. I failed to secure the pop door properly. My husband actually found them this morning and disposed of them but I asked if the heads were gone & he said no and I went to collect the feed/water dish and I didnt see any feathers anywhere. I live in N. Georgia and the weather has been in the upper 80's in the day & the 60's at night.

Thank you again for your imput & your compassion~
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