My hens killed a chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Missouri 17, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Missouri 17

    Missouri 17 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 24, 2011
    I had three 8 week old chicks I got from a hatchery. I also have 3 hens in a coop. For the last 2 weeks I have been putting the chicks in a cage during the day next to the hens. Yesterday I divided the coop and had the chicks on one side, hens on the other with a small door big enough for only the chicks to escape. It went fine yesterday, today I came home to a dead chick with the hens pecking the body. [​IMG] The head was gone. The chick had gone to the hen's side (which they have done this before) and they killed her. I now have chicken wire seperating the surviving two chicks from the hens and plan on waiting until they are adults to put them together. What else can I do?? I feel so bad and feel this was my fault.

    Also, it's going to get cold here in MO soon, the chicks are in the run part of the coop, no real shelter except the top. How cold can chickens/chicks get? I would love for them to live with the big hens but am scared.

    With the head completely gone I guess it's possible the chick stuck her head outside and my dog bit it off but I'm guessing the hens did it. The dog was not acting weird and was not near the coop.
  2. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Na, I am guessing something bit her head off, and the hens just decided to have a snack afterwards...

    Sorry for your loss. Give them more time though, and I bet you'll not have a problem. A few weeks, and you should have no prob putting them together.

    Also, get a small dog coop, or even just a wood box, with a door and some air vents for night time until the big girls are more used to them, then put them in a cat/dog carrier at night in the big coop at night for a week or so, so the big girls get used to them being there...
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  3. Magic Birdie

    Magic Birdie Overrun With Chickens

    May 3, 2011
    Magic Birdie land
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But I'm so sorry about your chick! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. TrinityFarms

    TrinityFarms Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 1, 2011
    I agree with NovaAman... it sounds like something else bit it's head off. I've unfortunately had experience with both predators and cannibalism in the chickens, and the predators always seem to go for the head first, whereas the chickens will pick out the body cavity and typically leave the head. Sorry about the chick...
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:Wow what a sad way to start your story here [​IMG]
    First you can note be mad at yourself, you did not do anything. When its time to go its your time to go.
    I agree with the posts above and that your bird had its head pulled off by a larger predator and your chicks were just cannibalizing and that's normal.
    8 week old chicks are completely feathered and have enough down to keep them warm. Make sure all cracks in the coop are filled and cover the snow drift side.
    Make sure they have a lot of ventilation that's high in the coop and your 2 babies are protected by making sure they are supervised with the older girls and you can introduce them together if you spend time working with them.
    Keep posting whats happened so we can keep up.
    [​IMG] to the BYC
  6. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    i've had hawks eat just the head off young pullets.. and yes, they did it right thru the chicken wire/fence.....

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