MY BRAHMA HEN MAY HAVE CRUSH/SMOTHERED HER CHICK

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Elliot Moose, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. Elliot Moose

    Elliot Moose New Egg

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    My Brahma hen may have smothered her newly hatched chick. It this possible. I am a newbie, letting my hen hatch her own. I am surprised one hatched considering all the mistakes I made. Day 21 was yesterday. Last night when I went to shut the door to the coop I knew there was something up.
    As I was waiting for all others to settle on their roost, I could hear her making soft noises and I was sure I heard peeping. I lifted her little curtain and there and behold was a little fluffy butt stuck up in the air trying to stuff itself under its mother. It turned and starred at me for a moment and managed to wriggle under its mother. It looked happy and healthy. It didn't touch it. I just took a long look at it. I put the curtain back down and planned to move the two of them tonight into the nursery dog cage I have set up in the coop. I had read that she will sit on her nest for another 2-3 days so I didn't want to disturb them too soon. And perhaps another was going to hatch. Late this morning my daughter wanted to see the chick. There was no sign of it, so I gently took 2 fingers and lifted momma's wing. Nothing was there. I explored further and found the dead chick in the crook of her leg.

    How do I prevent this? Does this happen often? Will this hen always crush her chicks? I have a 2nd broody sitting on 10 eggs and would like some success. Are Brahma's too big to sit on chicks?

    I don't want to take the chicks away from the hen. The point of this was to watch the hens raise their own chicks, like the olden days.

    Does anybody have any advice, other than taking the chicks away from their momma.
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    It happens. So sorry. [​IMG]

    My hens hatch chicks all the time and this happens relatively often. You don't need to separate the chicks from mom. I don't think there is anything you can do, except when the hen is settling down in the nest and moving around, hold the chicks until she stops. I find that is when they are most likely to be stepped on and if the hen doesn't notice they will die, so I let her settle and then put them back. That is all the advice I can think of right now.

    Hopefully your other broody does better and you don't lose any chicks! Welcome to BYC. [​IMG]
     
  3. Shirley531

    Shirley531 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ditto! My broody has hatched 3 chicks which have all died. First, in the nest box, #1 was found squashed, not yet fluffed up, assumed sat on by the mother. The hen started again in a new nest on the floor of the hen house. A second hen muscled in. Chick #2, newly hatched, found dead, assumed pushed out of the nest,and attacked by other hens. Emergency purchase of broody coop to isolate broody hen and remaining eggs, broody hen snuggled down nicely.
    Chick #3 hatched two days ago, found dead, not yet fluffed up, outside the nest. Please advise! Am I dealing with psycho-chicken here? She's sitting on two more eggs which are nearing hatch date.
     
  4. Elliot Moose

    Elliot Moose New Egg

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    Thanks for the info TheKindaFarmGal. I feel a little better knowing it happens frequently and that there was nothing I could have done. I read broody hens are fun. When does the fun begin for Shirley531 and myself. Perhaps on the next hatch
     
  5. Shirley531

    Shirley531 Out Of The Brooder

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    I hate to say this Elliot, but I've found someone locally with some pullets to spare (Buff Sussex, not that easy to find) and I'm off tomorrow to pick some up. I don't think I can stand the tension of relying on psycho-chicken, and I really do need to add to my flock. (Maybe this breed is not cut out for motherhood - out of 4 hens, none went broody last year.) Good luck with your Brahma!
     

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