Why are my hens killing their chicks!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chickygirl, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Chickygirl

    Chickygirl In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    My chicks are dying! I had three hens that were sitting on eggs for awhile now, Last week I found an egg getting ready to hatch, went back in later and saw the chick had hatched and was tossed to the floor, dead. Thinking it was a fluke I was really surprised when this same hen did this to another chick the day after! We found a new home for the chicken...don't worry not over the rainbow bridge, but with a new chicken family!

    However, the other hens are being found to be just as guilty as she was. In the past four days I have had to pick up sweet little dead chicks from the coop and dispose of them. I even saw one hen pecking at her chick. I am wondering what is causing this and what I can do to keep this from happenening. It is breaking my heart! By the way, my chickens have raised chicks before, so I am not sure why this is occuring now.

    Thanks so much and sorry for the long message![​IMG]
  2. chicksinthemachine

    chicksinthemachine Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    Sorry I cant help, but [​IMG]
  3. Renee

    Renee Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Egads! That's horrible!
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    What kind of hen? Breed? Age?

    Are they crowded? Well fed?
  5. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    build a brooder out of cardboard boxes and put in a heatlamp with a floor temp of 99.5F
  6. Chickygirl

    Chickygirl In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    The ages are approximately two years old. They always have plenty of food/fresh water and more than enough room for all in their coop and outdoor run. Every few days they get to run around in the yard to catch bugs and scratch around till dusk, when they come inside to roost. These chickens are actually my mom's, so I can not tell you the breed. She is on vacation (out of the country) while I am here babysitting! [​IMG]

    I'm attaching a link so you can see they type of hens we have. Thanks for your reply! It's so odd that this is happening. Have you heard of this behavior before?

  7. Maryallison77

    Maryallison77 Songster

    Jul 18, 2008
    Fountain, Florida
    I just wanted to say I am sorry and I would definitly start taking the chicks away like the other person said and get a heat lamp on them. :|
  8. Chickygirl

    Chickygirl In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    It looks like I'm going to have to get a heat lamp going! Is there anywhere I can go (online) to see the SIMPLEST way of putting one together so that the chicks will be safe...but without me purchasing any super expensive appliances or set-ups?

    If the cardboard box sounds like a good option to everyone, I'll just do that because that sounds like something I can manage! Any more information you think I might need please let me know or send me a link. Thank you all...I really appreciate everyone on here!
  9. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Poor chickies!!! [​IMG] I had a hen who kept accidently killing her chicks because she was trying to help them hatch and causing them to bleed to death. [​IMG] We just had to monitor her more closely and then she did fine. Anyhow, arge rubbermaid bins have done the trick for me! You can get a clip on heat lamp--wal-mart carries them for under $10, a 60 watt light bulb. The bins are more sturdy as I'd be worried the cardboard box would give out...plus get soggy very quickly. Just clip the lamp onto one side and then line it with paper towels or an old t-shirt(no pine or shavings--might mistake it for food), place food and water on side that has no heat and I always bunch up an old t-shirt or something under the lamp, so they have a place to snuggle. My dh built these amazing brooder boxes for my chicks, but it's currently being used by some other chickens, so this is what I'm back to doing again this hatch around. Anyhow, good luck!
  10. Renee

    Renee Songster

    May 7, 2008
    You need a thermometer, a cardboard box, and one of those cheap lights available at Home Dept etc with the silver metal hood that reflects the heat in one direction. A red heat lamp is best (about $7.00 wherever they sell reptiles) but a regular 100 watt bulb will do. Roll of soft paper towels, chick waterer, and chick starter in a dish.

    Make sure the box is big enough for the chicks to get out of the heat if necessary so they don't cook.

    Good luck!

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