What big beaks you have sisters

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sadhighway, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Sadhighway

    Sadhighway New Egg

    Aug 17, 2011
    Can anyone help me to understand why would a hen kill a baby chick please? The only other thing that would kill the chicks is ? cat? I have 8 hens and have discovered that one of my hens with chicks has 4 missing one beheaded and another has 3 missing chicks...... they may have squeezed out but surely with all the room in the chicken area they could get away and a hen would leave them alone. The only other thing that may have done this is my cats? I have now locked the whole lot up and can not find the lost babies. I have electric fencing to keep out the fox and even put wire mesh under the baby pens, however one baby got caught so im not sure this is a good idea. I like them to be able to run free but this is getting too hard. Has anyone got any suggestions please.[​IMG]
  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2011
    Chickens, like many animals, can be cannabilistic. A hen will sometimes kill her own chicks. She may accidently step on one or peck at one to force it back underneath her for protection & accidently hurt or kill it. Sometimes she just doesn't have the mothering thing down yet or maybe she just doesn't have & never will have what it takes to be a good mother. Other hens/roosters besides the mothr will also try to kill chicks... Many people separate the mother hen & chicks from the rest of the flock to keep this from happening. This way she doesn't feel crowded or harassed in rearing her chicks...

    You can always take the chicks away & raise them in a brooder yourself, slowly reintegrating them into the flock once they're big enough to protect themselves.

    Search the forum... I'm certain you'll find others who've encountered this problem. Good luck.
  3. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    This ain't about hens but when I was a youngster my uncle had a sow that had babys and ate everyone of um. I had a dog do the same thing. It's almost like something is wrong with the little ones and the mama knows it and discards the newborn. I don't know, they just do it.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  4. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    If a chicken kills a chick the body will look pecked through. The beheading is more of a calling card of a four legged predator.
  5. Sadhighway

    Sadhighway New Egg

    Aug 17, 2011
    Poobear ...you were right.. turns out a cat maybe one of my own has been visiting over my electric fencing and the total of 9.5 chicks later i have stopped it. One chick can not use its leg and this batch have no mother or big chickens that can get them. Looks like the cats squeezed in and done the deed or made noises to attract the babys under a small open part under the door.

    The shed is now locked to stop this.

    You were right about the 4 legs.
    Thanks for the heads up on that.

  6. NYboy

    NYboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    White plains
    Can also be a rat, they can get in though the smallest hole.

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