Mama lost her babies.

HappilyHartley

Chirping
Jul 10, 2021
20
85
59
Oregon
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 looked for other chicks. The only ones I could find they couldn't ship until the 29th. There were chicks here in town that were 15 weeks. Mine were 5. So I am not going to try to get her more chicks at this point. Although I really wish I could.

We live in town and all our neighbors have birds of some kind. There are turkeys, chickens, ducks and chuckers? I think... we all have very dogs that keep most predators out. But they they can't seem to keep the worst predator, the deer out and they destroy our gardens. Lol

We have a coop and a pretty big fenced in area for the chickens but haven't shut the gate yet. I wanted them to enjoy free ranging as much as possible before the snow flies. I will be putting chicken wire around the base of the fencing to keep future babies in. The babies do go everywhere. These two were all over. They started leaving the coop at 3-4 days old and they couldn't get back up into the coop until they were 3 weeks old. Mama was losing her mind. I was out there a ton during the day putting them back in. It was really cold and raining during that time. The other hens would take turns warming them if I didn't get out there quick enough. They were mamas babies but the others loved them too. It was so neat to watch.
 

Swbertrand1

Crowing
Apr 21, 2018
1,125
1,522
271
Wilmington, NC
That's HORRIBLE, but we all make mistakes. Here's what I can tell you from raising chicks each spring:

Mamas will do everything they can to protect their babies, and they will also look for them after an attack. They will search, look, call, and whatever else they can do to find them. The same behavior occurs after chicks are separated from a mama hen after being sold off or given away.

Instinct, however, is a powerful force and tells the mother pretty quickly that it's time to give up. That's just how nature protects them. It's heart-breaking to watch them search for the babies though. Your girl will be fine, likely in 24 hours or less...
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
11,894
31,088
1,116
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
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 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.

I'm so sorry. Your actions were entirely reasonable.

I blame your brother for not having his dog under 100% control and bringing an untrained, unhousebroken, uncontrolled dog into someone else's home and onto someone else's property.

If it were me, he'd be buying me new curtains and paying me the value of the chicks as a matter of principle.
 

Oldegarlicshnapp

Songster
May 11, 2020
104
196
121
How can I help mama with her broken heart?
I once (unintentionally) got a rooster with neurological problems for my hen. He passed away next to her and she was left very distraught. For my problem, all I can do for her is to keep her company more than usual. I think you should try again with fertilized eggs and secure a coop where no animals can get inside. Try using hardwire mesh instead of chicken wire. Chicken wire is good for keeping chickens in, but not for keeping animals out.
There’s no need to blame yourself for what happened. I’m very sorry about it, it’s hard not to get attached to their personalities- and the happiness they brought your hen.
 

HappilyHartley

Chirping
Jul 10, 2021
20
85
59
Oregon
I'm so sorry. Your actions were entirely reasonable.

I blame your brother for not having his dog under 100% control and bringing an untrained, unhousebroken, uncontrolled dog into someone else's home and onto someone else's property.

If it were me, he'd be buying me new curtains and paying me the value of the chicks as a matter of principle.
It was super unusual for his dog. His dog has never had an accident here and has been around the chickens before. My brothers wife has been out of town for a couple weeks and the dog is more bonded with her. My brother was so mad. I have never seen him so mad! I stopped him from killing his dog. He tried to give me money for the chicks but I refused it. He hid the money behind my cookie jar and I found it the next day. Over $200. My brother has the softest heart and he cried with me over the chicks and apologized over and over. I could have prevented it and he could have as well. It just sucks, mistakes were made all around. I can't really blame anyone but myself though. I should of had them fenced-in. It is my responsibility to keep my animals safe not others.
 

HappilyHartley

Chirping
Jul 10, 2021
20
85
59
Oregon
I once (unintentionally) got a rooster with neurological problems for my hen. He passed away next to her and she was left very distraught. For my problem, all I can do for her is to keep her company more than usual. I think you should try again with fertilized eggs and secure a coop where no animals can get inside. Try using hardwire mesh instead of chicken wire. Chicken wire is good for keeping chickens in, but not for keeping animals out.
There’s no need to blame yourself for what happened. I’m very sorry about it, it’s hard not to get attached to their personalities- and the happiness they brought your hen.
Thank you for your kind words.❤ Mama is doing better now. She has stopped looking for her babies. She didn't sleep in the nesting box lastnight. She roosted with her sisters. Which was nice to see. We are going to try eggs again but we are going to wait until spring because the snow should hopefully be flying soon. I also want to have my 2 year old more involved. He loves the chickens and he loved the babies too.
It is so hard to not get attached. They are so fun to watch. The babies were just over a month and their personalities were just starting to show. I am an animal lover and I hate to see anything suffer or especially die when it could have been prevented. We are going to look into hard wire mesh and actually keep the gate closed and not let them free range next time we have babies. Thank you for the advice.
 

JacinLarkwell

Crossing the Road
Mar 19, 2020
17,062
40,491
951
South-Eastern Montana
I had a hen that lost one of her chicks in a wind storm last spring (our winds get strong enough grown men can't walk against it easily sometimes) and she was very upset. She was too small at the time to fully sit on all three and the wind simply blew the smallest away. Once I moved the other two into the coop (she was in the middle of the yard so the others didn't blow away too), she ran out and started calling for it. We never found it unfortunately. She calmed down that evening with her other two, and promptly weaned them two weeks later when they started getting feathers.

I have hens that lose all their chicks over the course of up to 4 weeks sometimes. Some of them call for a few days, some really couldn't care less
 

Ponypoor

Crowing
May 23, 2021
1,156
6,798
331
Central Ontario, Canada
I'm so sorry. Your actions were entirely reasonable.

I blame your brother for not having his dog under 100% control and bringing an untrained, unhousebroken, uncontrolled dog into someone else's home and onto someone else's property.

If it were me, he'd be buying me new curtains and paying me the value of the chicks as a matter of principle.
Glad someone stated what I was thinking 😳

Poor puppy! Hope it didn't get in trouble 😕.

I think it was just a tragic happenstance. Glad mama hen is doing ok.
 

Swbertrand1

Crowing
Apr 21, 2018
1,125
1,522
271
Wilmington, NC
Thank you for your kind words.❤ Mama is doing better now. She has stopped looking for her babies. She didn't sleep in the nesting box lastnight. She roosted with her sisters. Which was nice to see. We are going to try eggs again but we are going to wait until spring because the snow should hopefully be flying soon. I also want to have my 2 year old more involved. He loves the chickens and he loved the babies too.
It is so hard to not get attached. They are so fun to watch. The babies were just over a month and their personalities were just starting to show. I am an animal lover and I hate to see anything suffer or especially die when it could have been prevented. We are going to look into hard wire mesh and actually keep the gate closed and not let them free range next time we have babies. Thank you for the advice.
I figured it would be about 24 hours; that's what we see out of our mama hens when chicks go missing. They've got to move on with the tasks at hand to survive. Instinct...
 

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