Other chickens killed the chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kiwismommy, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. kiwismommy

    kiwismommy New Egg

    Aug 14, 2011
    I have one rooster and five hens. One has always been broody and this year I decided to leave a couple of eggs to replenish. Only a single egg hatched and all seemed fine for about 3 weeks. I went out yesterday and one of the chickens had killed the baby chick that morning. The headless body was lying in the yard outside the coop. Does anyone know what would cause one of them to kill the baby? I did not separate Mom and baby from the rest, is that standard.[​IMG]
  2. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    To be honest if its a headless body it sounds like a cat got it. Cats are terrible head eaters.
    Sorry for your sad loss. [​IMG]
  3. kiwismommy

    kiwismommy New Egg

    Aug 14, 2011
    There is no way for an animal to get in the pen. I even have chicken wire buried underground so no animals can burrow under the edge. I had been letting the chickens out everyday, but leaving the Mom and baby inside with the door closed as I was worried about the cat seeing the chick. But this happened in the morning before I had let the others out, so I fear the chickens themselves attacked their own. I know this is not beyond them but am really surprised. Thank you, my daughter is really upset and had already named the new chick. I really thought after a few weeks that all would be fine.
  4. ctbagley

    ctbagley Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 11, 2009
    Hickory NC area
    The chick may have been separated from mom for a few seconds. I have found that if the hen is vigilant and pretty high up in the hierarchy then she will protect the chicks...but if she is not high up and she loses track, then the others may attack it. It may seem barbaric, but the chickens will always have a pecking order. So far I have not had any deaths, but my "top-dog" hens seem to be the ones hatching out babies. Sorry for your loss. Make sure your hen and babies have some hiding places in the pen. I put out a cat carrier for them to run into when frightened. Put a little hay in it and I usually put them in it for one night to get the idea that it is a safe place to go.
  5. kiwismommy

    kiwismommy New Egg

    Aug 14, 2011
    ctbagley - Thanks, I had read that sometimes people split the coop and run yard in half with wire so they are separate, yet can see each other, so get used to the chicks while protecting the chicks at the same time. This may be an option for me, and I do have some large pet carriers as well. Will have to wait another year for my broody hen to kick in again. It was so exciting having the chick, I am quite new to this but we love our chickens. My hen will lay on any of the other chickens eggs and I had purposely allowed only the araucana eggs, even though they were not hers, she didn't care. I have a 13 year old daughter who took to the chickens when babies naming them all for eggs (Benedict, Omelette, Yolko, Shelley, Huevo). She had named the new chick Scramble. I thought the biggest risk was getting a rooster. Well we live and learn don't we?
  6. Deedrahsue

    Deedrahsue Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2011
    Fresno, TX
    Being really worry some myself last year I was reading and reading and reading. I read in my chicken book that if one has an injury the others will kill it regardless of age or size which either way seems harsh to me, so anytime one of my chicks had an injury I would have to seperate it until it healed. When I got my baby chicks in Feb and my older chicks saw them they were always trying to peck the babies, so I had to allow the babies out one day and the olders the next until they all got about the same size, because if my older chicks got to peck that baby and it was bleeding to any extent, the other babies and adults would have killed it. I had to keep babies and older chick seperated. I would suggest Momma and baby away from others too.
  7. Warrprincess688

    Warrprincess688 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Danvers MA
    If the mom doesnt protect well enough from the other hens, they will kill it. Same thing happened to me. Best thing to do is always separate mom and baby

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