Sad day at the coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tammy14443, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Tammy14443

    Tammy14443 Hatching

    Feb 20, 2016
    3 days ago my silliest hatched some eggs. She is my brooder. All was good yesterday. But today I found both chick's out of the nest and dead in the run. What do you all think went wrong?

  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    They probably got too cold.
  3. Tammy14443

    Tammy14443 Hatching

    Feb 20, 2016
    We live in Florida and the weather has been in the mid to upper 80's. The nest box was in an upper coop design. So I was wondering if maybe the got down and were killed by the flock, while she continued sit on other eggs.
  4. ChickenGrass

    ChickenGrass Songster

    Aug 16, 2015
    Republic of Ireland
    I would also think that they got too cold.
    I am sorry about them :hugs
    Goodluck and I hope you will soon feel better about them.

  5. Yeah.....Other Birds are buggers....Separate the hen from the flock with her eggs.....

  6. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Songster

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    It sounds like they need to not be able to out of the nest box- babies will have no idea how to get back up to momma. Even 1-2 week old chicks get very confused about how to use a ramp ... even with the benefit of the broody jumping all over the place trying to teach them.

    I would enclose the broody and her remaining viable eggs in such a way that the next hatchlings won't be able to accidentally leave.
    By 3 days old they've used up all their yolk reserves from the hatch. The hen should have been ready to lead them out and showing them food and water.

    Was it a staggered hatch? i.e. if there were 3 day olds and viable unhatched eggs, a hen will have to make a choice- follow the babies out or wait for the rest to hatch. If there are more than 2 days between the first to hatch and the last viable egg hatched, this scenario can play out again- so when giving a broody eggs, they should all be placed under her at the same time-- and should be marked so you'll know when another hen has added to the pile-- that can be the culprit for a staggered hatch too- random eggs from the flock that get laid in her nest box. I let mine brood with the flock because they're happiest that way - part of the risk is extra eggs being added among others. Once we near hatch time I've got a hardware cloth pen I put around the nest box (ground level box) in case one tries to wander- there's no chance of the flock snatching it away and the chick can physically return to the broody without much difficulty.

    Unless there were injuries showing that the chicks were harmed by the flock, I would tend to think they got too cold (as others mentioned) and perhaps not enough nutrients. Having watched the flock with a mouse, I'd think if they'd killed the babies, there might not have been anything to find ... It's still important to have a physical barrier, even when the flock is innocent (maybe this time) - especially when the broody is still glued to the nest and isn't actively defending them.

    Sorry for your bad luck! I hope the rest hatch for you.
    1 person likes this.
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    When you have newly hatched chicks, it's best to have a nest at floor level. It takes baby chicks a week to develop adequate wing feathers to be able to hope up onto things, and then it's only a few inches. By the second week, they are able to flap wings and hop a pretty good distance. If the broody is still sitting on eggs, she isn't going to be able to tend to their needs. This is why it's best to toss out any unhatched eggs on day 22.

    If there were no marks on the dead chicks, they probably died of exposure, although 80F is pretty mild. Even still, the chicks would need to bring their body temps back up 20 degrees over that ambient temp by getting under the broody to warm up. If adult chickens killed the chicks, there would be some mangled body parts.

    I wait until my chicks are almost two weeks old before letting them mingle with the adults, broody or no broody. Before that, baby chicks instinctively will try to warm up under any adult, and sometimes the consequences are unforgiving.
    1 person likes this.

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