Lost a baby

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lilonesmom, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. lilonesmom

    lilonesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2014
    I wasn't sure where to put this exactly, so hopefully this area works. My broody hen hatched one chick about 1 1/2 months ago. I put them back with the flock about 3 weeks ago and everything worked out great! I let my chicken free range during the day, and close them back up int he pen at night. We were gone all day yesterday, when I got home during the middle of the night I closed the coop like normal. When I got up this morning I noticed baby and one of my other hens was missing. When I went looking, I found their feathers in two different spots, telling me a couple of dogs must have gotten them, which breaks my heart. Which is unusual because we don't have many stray dogs in the area, but someones must have gotten out of their fence. Momma is so sad, she is looking for baby(even though I'm sure she witnessed the whole thing because she didn't let baby get within 5 feet from her). She is laying over in the corner of the chicken yard looking so lost. I hurt for her. :-(. My question is, the farm I got Momma and her sisters from isn't far...I was thinking about running over there and seeing if they have a babies. I was wondering if I section her off again from the rest of the flock with a new baby if she would accept it, if the baby would accept her? Has anyone had experience with this? While I am sad that I lost baby and my other hen, it breaks my heart to see her so lost like this. My chickens are my kids just like my dogs, I hand raised them all, and some are ones I incubated and raised in the house until old enough to put with the flock. I want to help her through this.
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi lilonesmom

    I am so sorry to read of your loss.

    While she could be pining for her baby, I wonder if she is not also suffering from shock or injured during whatever happened as she was probably trying to protect her chick .. so sad [​IMG]

    I have not had experience with introducing chicks to hens but after all I have read, I believe it would be an exceptional hen who would accept a chick when she is not broody. If her chick was 1.5 months old, she is probably not at a stage where she would accept a chick. Depending on the age of the chick, it may be scared of her; especially if it was raised by a broody which it has bonded to.

    I have had to take chicks away from a hen and while it was upsetting for her and me, she was OK after a day or two.

    If she is not in shock or injured, to help her through it I would try distracting her, maybe by spending some extra time with her in the garden; dig up a garden bed and give her something to take her mind off her loss, scratching the freshly turned dirt; special treats etc.

    I hope she recovers soon.
     
  3. lilonesmom

    lilonesmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2014
    Hi Telia, she isn't hurt. I think most of them are still in shock because none of them were interested in leaving the chicken pen this morning. Even my rooster. She is eating and wondering around in the pen(I didn't let them out today), looking in the usual spots that baby would go to get away from the other hens. That's how I know she is looking for her. :-(
     
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am so sorry that happened. X2 on @Teila advice. Are you quite sure it was a dog? There are many predators that would leave a pile of feathers. You might want to copy paste this start a new thread in https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests
    with more detail of what you found, etc. You'll want to be certain you have protected the rest of your flock. Again, I'm sorry.
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Aaaw lilonesmom, I feel for you and her [​IMG]

    I guess you could try another chick because as I said, I have no experience in that area and it may just work. I would, however, have a Plan B and/or C.

    I do not want to be a downer on an already unhappy situation but if you get her one chick and she does not accept it or it does not bond to her, you will then have a single chick which, if you keep, will be lonely or will have to be taken back to the farm which may be a traumatic for the little one. If you were to get two it might be overwhelming for her but then they would have each other for company if it did not work out but you decided to keep them.

    It is a tricky situation and as sad as it will be, I would leave her for now, let her look for the chick, work out it has gone and next time she goes broody, give her some more eggs and let her have another try.

    BUT (a big but); you know your hen and what she is like and it may just work. I hope it does and please let us know what you decide and how she goes?
     
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