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Mama Hen eating her chicks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by julieleary, May 31, 2007.

  1. julieleary

    julieleary New Egg

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    May 31, 2007
    I have a broody hen. A few days ago, I found an empty shell under her, but no chick. This morning, a yellow chick was popping through, but when I returned this evening, no chick anywhere, just a small bit of shell. Another chick was starting to come through, this one dark. I moved the hatching egg under another mother! Is it what I suspect possible?!
     
  2. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    I would almost bet my life it's a rat or a snake getting the baby chicks. I'd move the mom and remaining eggs/chicks into someplace in my house...like a spare bathroom, laundry room, etc. and I bet you don't lose anymore. I'm so sorry this is happening but I don't think it's the hen. It's a predator of some sort. Hurry and get them away from there! Let us know what happens, too, okay??

    Ellen
     
  3. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    i agree i lost 2 chicks last year from a rat snake eatin'em
     
  4. julieleary

    julieleary New Egg

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    May 31, 2007
    It's an interesting thought about the rat and/or snake. There was always one other chciken hanging out near the nesting box, so I wondered if he got the first chick. So when I saw the second coming through, I moved Mama and the clutch to the "nursery," a closed off space at the back of the coop where my other 2 hens with chicks are. They each have a nest in an cat carrier (door open), so it'd be pretty tough for a snake to get at them. Plus, the other chciks, including the one of hers I had moved under another hen, are all hale and hearty.

    This morning, another peep had hatched. I lifted her off her eggs and saw the peep, put her back down with the chick not under her, and she STARTED PECKING THE CHICK'S HEAD! I may be convicting her on less than concrete evidence, but I moved this peep under another mama, too.
     
  5. Cheri

    Cheri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2007
    Dayton, TX
    OO good to know. I will have to talk my hubby into making a spot in case that happens to ours.

    edited to add:

    I am refering to the rat/snake situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2007
  6. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    hmmmm Ver-ry interesting. The first time I did mom with chicks, she didn't actually hatch the eggs. I got the chicks from another person and they were a few days old so they wanted to explore. I remember the mom would peck them but she would also lift her wing out because she wanted them back under her. I all worked out in her case.

    Ellen
     

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