Taboo Topic, Infanticide

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by IowaHeritage, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. IowaHeritage

    IowaHeritage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2011
    Western Iowa
    So along with the heritage stock, I also have a group of mutts that run around the horse arena and lay in the hay bales.

    Well, this one hen ... ( she looks like some kind of brownish game hen ) has hatched out 4 broods this year, and the last one just
    3 days ago. ( unplanned pregnancy is what I call it )
    So out she comes with 9 peeps, one pheasant lookin one with stripes and a pure black one, while all the rest are yellow.
    ( Pure bred Leghorn rooster )
    So I put her in an isolated empty horse stall and she totally attacks the 2 funny colored one. They soon learn to hide under her.
    I thought whatever, you crazy hen... then today I hear loud peeps and she has all but finished off the black one. Blood and everything.
    I put it under a heat lamp...alone.
    have been doing this since a kid on the farm many moons ago, and never have I seen this act of infantacide. I mean there were all her eggs, her chicks, her plan. What gives ?

    Anyone else ?
  2. NEK38583

    NEK38583 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2008
    Sparta, TN
    If it was me, I would take all the checks and put under a heat lamp. I would remember the hen and not let her hatch any more eggs. If I really wanted a hen that to set, and needed her as a seting hen. I would sell her and take the money and get another. Either way I would take the chicks away, and not let her hatch any more. That is my opinion.
  3. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Seems like I read on here once that some hens inherently attack any chicks of certain colors...even their own? I would not risk it and would remove her chicks, were it me. Birds are strange sometimes. Hopefully someone will chime in with better info...
  4. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    Some hens, like people, just aren't good mothers.. If you aren't able to watch her and keep her from setting, i would say she isn't worth keeping.. I wouldn't risk having a hen like that around.. That is my opinion..
  5. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2010
    North Carolina
    I think mama hens will do that sometimes. I say it was an unplanned pregnancy, so let nature take it's course. I am not too sentimental about my poultry though... so feel free to ignore my opinion.
  6. IowaHeritage

    IowaHeritage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2011
    Western Iowa
    Interesting responses.
    As noted, this is her 4th clutch of the year, and before I always slipped purebred RIR, Leghorns and WHite Giant eggs under her...and she hatched and raised them succesfully.

    The Black peep has since expired, and I decided that there was something wrong with it, and she knew it.

    I remember on the farm we would have a gilt farrow ( 1st time sow giving birth ) and now THAT could be violent.
    She would birth a piglet, jump up and verociously attack....hormones out of whack.... Would literally have to Hog Tie her...linterestingly enough...after just a few hours all would be good...Luckily, we have drugs for that now.

    Watched her this am, she still has the brown one left along with the other 7 white ones...and she seems cool with it all On this ranch, it is strike 2 and yer out. So she get one more chance.....

    Or, one of you could buy her like super cheap right now... lol.......J/K

  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Is it possible that she may have sensed something wrong with the chick that you didn't notice? Or, it could be that since it was the only one of that color, she attacked it.

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