The hens killed another chick- need help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Missouri 17, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Missouri 17

    Missouri 17 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 24, 2011
    I posted last week that the big girls killed one of our 8 week old chicks (ate the head) after I introduced them. I've read the books, did what I thought was ok, putting a cage next to the coop for 2 weeks, having an area where the chicks can escape, etc. A few mentioned that they thought that maybe a dog got the chickens head and then they pecked her (like the chicken stuck her head out) but now I know that didn't happen. I have 3 hens.

    After this happened, I fashioned an area in the run for the surviving two chicks to live where the big girls could not get to them at all. (with chicken wire). They are now 9 weeks old. Today I looked out, two of the big girls were in with the chicks and one chick was dead, headless. The other chick had escaped and gone into the coop and was high on a perch. The top of her head is pecked and bloody. I have no idea how the big girls got in there.

    What do I do now? I have removed the injured chick and put her back in the cage next to the coop. I plan on taking her in every night to the garage. What now??? Can she EVER be introduced with the three big girls? My plan was not to reintruduce them until they were full grown (like 12-14 weeks) and then this happened.

    She is alone and it scares me to reintro her at any age. I need advice, please help. Should I try to rehome her? I really like her and don't want to but I don't want her dead.
  2. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    8 weeks is much too young to introduce them to grown chickens, its a wonder you didn't loose all three. When new birds are introduced, they have to establish a new pecking order. The youngsters will get killed in the process because they can't defend themselves against birds 2-3x their size. Young birds shouldn't be introduced until they are the same size as the adults, I usually wait until 15-16 weeks.
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Very Sad and [​IMG] I never understand this at times1
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    It could still work, but as was mentioned already, especially since your girls obviously aren't accepting AT ALL (because not all hens will kill chicks), you will need to wait until the chick is pretty much the size of the adults to attempt integration (probably around 16 weeks), so she'll be big enough to defend herself. IMO, free ranging together is the best way to "practice" an integration. Until then, you'll need to be certain she has a secure area of her own, or else she's going to end up dead too. If you can't put together a secure area for her, then I'd rehome her.

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