Mama lost her babies.

HappilyHartley

Chirping
Jul 10, 2021
20
85
59
Oregon
Hi, if this isn't ok to post please remove but I am struggling. I am new to chickens. Up until this year was terrified of chickens. 35 years of my life I was terrified of them. This year I got chickens to get rid of the earwigs that destroyed my garden every year and I fell in love with them. I had 1 mishap with my dog and one of my original chicks. Sadly it didn't survive. I was heart broken. But we moved past it. My dog learned not to play with the babies and hasn't touched another chicken. I bonded more with my 5 chicks and they are amazing. I go out and sit in the coop and just watch them and talk to them. They are great listeners. It is very therapeutic. I had one hen who started brooding in September. My stepmom, who is for sure a crazy chicken lady, told me I should let her hatch some eggs. I was hesitant but she said if I didn't want the chicks she would take them. So I reluctantly agreed to get some fertilized eggs from her to hatch. October 5, 2 of the 3 eggs hatched. I was so excited. My 2 year old was shocked to find babies. He loved them. When the third egg didn't hatch I check it and it was a fully formed baby but it was dead. I was upset and discouraged but thankful that I only had 2 babies to worry about. The babies were great. They were growing so fast and so much bigger than my hens did. They were white and so cute. They had so much personality and I loved watching them and playing with them. They were going to stay. Tonight my brother came over for dinner. He brought his dogs like he always does and I didn't think anything of it. They have been here many times before and have had no problems with them and the chickens who are free ranging. Well I should have been concerned. His puppy who is 8 months old killed both my babies. I am so heart broken. I feel so incredibly guilty and I am worried about mama. Is she going to hate me for not protecting them. Her heart is broken too. She saw them but still called for them and looked all over for them before bed. How can I help mama with her broken heart? My other hens roosted on mamas nesting box she slept with the babies in. They surrounded her in a circle of love. I know this isn't necessarily a post needing help with raising chicks but I just needed to let it out. I don't have friends who get it. I am hoping you guys will understand my heartache and know how I can help my mama. They are such amazing birds and they have personalities and feelings and I want to acknowledge them.
 

Ponypoor

Crowing
May 23, 2021
1,195
7,011
351
Central Ontario, Canada
I wonder if your hen will take other chicks ? Might be worth a try.

Also I never let my chookies run free now, I lost a couple to a fox one evening and that was the end of freedom for them. I bought some electric netting that can be moved to different locations and that is where they now roam.

Keeps them in and predator out! Just a warning though the holes r big enough that chicks can get through so they need to be kept an eye on still... They get everywhere those babies 😳.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,622
17,004
832
Nevada County, CA
I wonder if your hen will take other chicks ? Might be worth a try.

Also I never let my chookies run free now, I lost a couple to a fox one evening and that was the end of freedom for them. I bought some electric netting that can be moved to different locations and that is where they now roam.

Keeps them in and predator out! Just a warning though the holes r big enough that chicks can get through so they need to be kept an eye on still... They get everywhere those babies 😳.
I also have electric netting. I surrounded that with deer netting (non-electric) when I had chicks out there. Worked like a charm to keep them in and didn't interfere with the current.
 

CoconutCoffee

Songster
Oct 27, 2021
250
460
121
Eastern NC
I had a barnevelder who hatched out a single egg (the first one ever). The baby was killed by the other chickens after I left them in the coop because a stray dog was around and i didn't have a run up. She called for it for a day or two then went back to normal. It was sad watching her and I felt horrible because the death was preventable. Ultimately it bothered me more than it did her. Thats one thing I keep in mind when it comes to chickens. Theyre in the present. What and who is around them right now is what matters for them. A mama hen is only different in that she'll "care" for a day or two if *all* her babies are gone. If one dies then she'll just focus on the ones who are still there.
 

HappilyHartley

Chirping
Jul 10, 2021
20
85
59
Oregon
I am so sorry for your loss..... I'm trying to give your post a sad face, but it isn't working.

Thee are so many things that can go wrong with chickens. You can't prevent all of them from happening. When things go wrong, all you can do is learn from them and make changes for the future.

Again, I am so sorry.... :(
Thank you. My brother's dog came inside and immediately peed on my curtain which was usual and then was acting like he had to poo. So I sent him outside. I was trying to deal with the mess as my toddler right now is fascinated with potty.... my husband looks out the window and yells Chuck has the babies. It all happened so quickly. One track mind kind of failed me and especially those babies. I didn't even think about the babies or the chickens and I failed them because I didn't want my toddler playing in dog pee.
I hope your mama is doing better.
She is doing better. The other hens are sticking real close to her and follow her wherever she goes. She will start looking and the other hens look with her. They stop looking after a minute or two and go back to scratching and doing other chicken things and mama follows suit.
 
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HappilyHartley

Chirping
Jul 10, 2021
20
85
59
Oregon
I had a barnevelder who hatched out a single egg (the first one ever). The baby was killed by the other chickens after I left them in the coop because a stray dog was around and i didn't have a run up. She called for it for a day or two then went back to normal. It was sad watching her and I felt horrible because the death was preventable. Ultimately it bothered me more than it did her. Thats one thing I keep in mind when it comes to chickens. Theyre in the present. What and who is around them right now is what matters for them. A mama hen is only different in that she'll "care" for a day or two if *all* her babies are gone. If one dies then she'll just focus on the ones who are still there.
Thank you for your kind words. These were the first ever eggs hatched for both of us. It is so sad but all I can do is learn from my mistakes and not let it happen again.
 

Ponypoor

Crowing
May 23, 2021
1,195
7,011
351
Central Ontario, Canada
Thank you. My brother's dog came inside and immediately peed on my curtain which was usual and then was acting like he had to poo. So I sent him outside. I was trying to deal with the mess as my toddler right now is fascinated with potty.... my husband looks out the window and yells Chuck has the babies. It all happened so quickly. One track mind kind of failed me and especially those babies. I didn't even think about the babies or the chickens and I failed them because I didn't want my toddler playing in dog pee.

She is doing better. The other hans are sticking real close to her and follow her wherever she goes. She will start looking and the other hens look with her. They stop looking after a minute or two and go back to scratching and doing other chicken things and mama follows suit.
Oh to be a chicken and be able to truly live in the moment!

Glad mama is doing well.
 

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