Newly Hatched Silkie Chicks.....Vanished...Without a Trace :-(

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TXmom, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    I was so excited when my Silkie "Sammie" went broody 3 weeks ago. I set 6 eggs under her...mixed eggs from my own chickens. She always laid her eggs on the coop floor, and chose that same spot to "set". I was worried about the other hens messing with her and/or the babies, so we "caged in" that corner of the coop for her. This cage is not Fort Knox, just a place where she and the babies could escape to if the hens were being bullies.

    Two of the eggs never developed - one blue egg from one of my EE's, and one white Leghorn egg. On Sunday afternoon, I went out to check on her and the eggs for the millionth time, and I saw a sweet little yellow chick (Leghorn x RIR) [​IMG] Later, I checked again and found a red RIR x Buff Orp chick. The 2 Silkie eggs were still there, but I could see they were beginning to pip. It was night time, so we went to bed.

    Bright and early Monday morning, the kids and I ran outside to check on the babies, and we saw a tiny tiny black Silkie (White Silkie x Black Sizzle). She was soooo little and cute, but I didn't get a pic of her because she quickly crawled back under her Mommy. I took the kids to school, did a few things around the house, then went back out to the coop. I sat in the coop with the camera to get pics...and I saw a tiny yellow/gray splotchy Silkie chick [​IMG] I got lots of pics, but I waited and waited to get pics of the black baby, but never saw her again. I figured she was just under her Mommy resting and staying warm. I left to go pick up the kids from school. Of course, the kids ran straight to the coop and sat around waiting to see the 2 Silkies, but they never came out, even though the Leghorn and Buff Orp were out walking around. At one point, Sammie kind of stood up a little, started cleaning herself and we could see there were no chicks under her. What???? [​IMG]

    We searched everywhere...all over the broody cage, behind the feeder and waterer, all over the coop and the run, outside of the coop and run...there was no sign of either Silkie chick anywhere. My poor heart-broken daughter said "It's like they never even existed". So I picked up Sammie and the 2 remaining babies, and brought them in the house and put them in the brooder. Since I don't know exacty what happened, I couldn't forgive myself if the last 2 chicks disappeared, too. The only thing I can think of is the babies got too close to the edge of the cage and the big hens reached in and snatched them up. I hate to think my girls would do such a thing...but they ARE chickens...and they like small moving things... [​IMG]

    I'm really grateful for the 2 healthy chicks that we have, but I'm just in a funk today. I didn't even want to go outside to feed the chickens this morning...I put it off for over an hour. (They weren't starving, there was still food in their feeder.) It's just sad to walk out there now. [​IMG] Next time, I know to make the broody box FORT KNOX, or completely separate the broody and babies from the rest of the flock. I just really didn't expect this to happen.

    OK...I guess I'm done crying on your shoulder now. I guess I learned something new...and maybe someone else will learn from my experience.

  2. Emilys3guppies

    Emilys3guppies Songster

    Jun 1, 2009
    Oh I'm so sorry for this loss!!!
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry.
  4. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    Thank you. [​IMG] I'm sorry it was such a long read...just getting it all off my chest...
  5. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Oh, that's crummy!!!! I'm so sorry you lost your babies! I've had some weird things happen with some of my babies lately, too, so I can totally empathize! [​IMG]

    Are you going to use this as an excuse to hatch more babies?
  6. TXmom

    TXmom Songster

    Ummm...I had to giggle a little when you said that. We've already made ourselves feel better by saying "We can always hatch more of Sammie's eggs....once she starts laying again..." [​IMG]
  7. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    I am so sorry...

  8. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    That's the spirit, TXmom!!! Spoken like a true BYC'er!!!
  9. busylizzie

    busylizzie Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    that is soooo sad:hit
  10. CindyS

    CindyS Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    Geneseo, Illinois
    So sorry about your little fluffballs. I have had experiences like that also. When a baby gets near an unbroody hen, they will most likely kill it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by