Strange broody hen behavior

chicklover503

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 26, 2014
6
0
65
Has anyone ever had a broody hen to kill her chicks? I have a Cochin that hatched a clutch of eggs but right after hatching (sometimes before) she killed the chick and threw it out of the nest box. I have never heard of it before but would appreciate thoughts or similar experiences. Thanks!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about the problems with the hatch. Some hens are just not good mothers. It is not that unusual. Other things could have happened also, ie ... if other hens are able to get to her nest, there may also have been an argument and the chick accidentally got killed or tossed out, also if the nest box is not secure the chick may have fallen out and not been able to get back in etc There is a long broody hen thread you might want to post in https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ody-hen-hatch-a-long-and-informational-thread
 

sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
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Welcome to BYC
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Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience! As Kelsie said above, it could've been an accident, or that she is a bad mother. Some hens are terrible mothers and some are awesome. I hope in your case it was just a mishap and the rest of the hatch will be o.k.
 

TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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Oh, I am so sorry. X3 Some broodies are not good mommas or as said above, something could have happened and the chick got grabbed by another bird. Does she have other chicks? If these are all ok, you might section her area off so she has her own space. Put food and water right there for her and her chicks. Make sure the chicks can get out of the nest to access the food and water. If she seems to agitated with her other chicks, you might brood them yourself.
 

chicklover503

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 26, 2014
6
0
65
This was her 2nd time being broody. The first time, I put her in a huge dog crate inside the coop with food and water access but private and secure from other hens. She cracked or broke all her eggs before they hatched. So this time I left her in the nest box where she was and let her alone. Daily I would find half developed eggs pecked open (or burst on their own) in the box. The babies wouldn't even be dry yet when I would find them on the floor of the coop. There is a ledge they would've had to climb over to get out of the nest, so they were too wobbly and weak to do that on their own. I'm not going to let her try again. I heard silkies are good mommas. How about a bantam silkie this spring?
 

TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,951
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Yes, I wouldn't let her be a momma again. She obviously does not have the abilities. Silkies make wonderful momma's. They go broody easily and are great with babies. :)
 

chicklover503

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 26, 2014
6
0
65
I will try some silkies this spring. Thanks for all the good advice and suggestions. The whole family enjoys our flock and looking forward to new babies this spring.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
117,621
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Welcome to BYC. Sounds as if this hen will never be a good broody. I would be reluctant to hatch any of her eggs as it is quite likely that any of her daughters would also not be good mothers.
 

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