One chick has disappeared!

rockchick

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 28, 2009
14
0
22
Our bantam has just hatched a clutch of eggs - six in all. One of them seemed a little sick this morning, didn't seem to be able to balance so well and its head was tucked down. I left it with the hen and the other chicks to see how it would get on (thinking the hen is the best judge in these matters). Just checked back and hen and chicks are out pecking around the pen, but the sick one seems to have disappeared altogether! They are totally enclosed, so I'm at a loss - is it possible the bantam has killed it and, dare I say, eaten it? Does this happen? Or do I need to dig around and see if she has buried it under the shavings - they are not so deep so I would have thought it would be easy to see if she had? Any ideas?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,318
20,216
907
Southeast Louisiana
It is probably in the nest. I really doubt she purposely killed it, but it is possible. Some are just not meant to live.

Please don't blame yourself. I would have done the same thing.
 

Chickenaddict

Songster
11 Years
May 19, 2008
3,691
57
223
East Bethel MN
Look around really well in corners ect. I had a broody hen turn on one of her chicks that was 1 week old. I looked alll over in the coop for that chick, she had thrashed it around and right out the door, it wedged itself behind the coop in between wooden boards and was barely alive when I found it. The chick made it and I wound up selling that hen and giving her 2 chicks to another broody who happily accepted them.
 

Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
32
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
She prob ate it...my hen did that before. Although she (and the others) were eating all of them as they hatched because they are crazy hens (I managed to rescue three, one of them she was just about to eat). Are there other hens in their with her? If so, they would have ate it. I have heard that if the chick is sick the mother hen may eat it. I would look around under things, anyplace a tiny chick could hide out. Good luck! Hope you find it and it's ok
sad.png
Poor thing.
 

rockchick

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 28, 2009
14
0
22
Thanks everyone for the replies - I have looked everywhere for the chick and there's no sign of her. Have completely cleaned out the broody coop and put new bedding in etc. Then today another one disappeared! I figure that they are hopping out through the wire and maybe one of the other hens is getting them - the other hens are looking way too interested in them for my liking. Or rabbits? Do rabbits each chicks? There's a good few around and we saw a couple in the hens field today - first time I've seen them in there.. need to find out how they got in. I have just been around the pen again and covered all the chicken wire with netting so there is no chance of any more of them getting out.
Thanks for all the advice - backyardchickens.com rocks!
hmm.png
 

sben451

Songster
11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
356
3
144
Anniston, AL
Could a mouse or rat have gotten into the coop? I had that happen last year to some Welsummer chicks that I had in a cage inside the coop (which I thought was predator proof--even had hardware cloth around the bottom). Two chicks managed to get out of the cage. I found one dead (partially eaten) on the floor of the coop and never could find the other chick. I searched, sifted through the shavings on the floor--never did find the chick. I just figured it could have been a rat or a snake that ate the missing chick.
Keep an eye on the chicks and good luck.
 

rockchick

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 28, 2009
14
0
22
I guess anything's possible, but I haven't seen any signs of anything getting in to the coop - we have had a problem with rats before, but there's no sign of anything this time. There are plenty of mink around but again, we haven't had a problem with them so far. Its a mystery - hopefully the netting will solve the problem now. They are enclosed in their own coop, which in turn is in the middle of the hens field which is fully fenced and wired, so its pretty difficult for anything to get in. On closer inspection it turns out the rabbits my mum thought she saw in the field weren't actually in there. Plus we have two dogs who are regularly patrolling the field and who would like to get in themselves if they could!
I'd hate to lose any more - they're SO cute, and the kids are so excited about them - they're even making birth certs for them!
We had no problems like this with the last batch of chicks.
 

flgardengirl

Crowing
11 Years
Dec 2, 2009
4,641
550
372
Sunny side up :)
I would take the chicks and the mom out and put them in a carrier or brooder inside or in the garage or something and keep an eye on the mom. If it turns out she is the culprit then take the chicks away from her and raise the chicks yourself.
 

MANNA-PRO

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