Why does my hen do this?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Meat Hunter, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Meat Hunter

    Meat Hunter Out Of The Brooder

    May 29, 2011
    Momma hatched out 3 chicks a few days ago. About 15 minutes ago, I noticed one of the chicks was just laying there, not moving too much. I posted here with symptoms but before I could get a response, it died.

    I was thinking maybe it was sick but was totally fine several hours ago. Then I thought about what momma does and thought maybe she crushed it.

    When I enter the coop and get close to mom, or when the other chickens get close to her and babies, she gets very vocal and feverishly scratches at the ground, just like they do when looking for food. Problem is, she seems to be totally oblivious to her babies when she does this and on several occasions she ends up stepping on the chicks and actually flinging them in the process. Why does she do this?

    I am thinking that the one that just died was the result of being traumatized by this action.

    I tried to give her a safe haven in the coop away from the other chicken and a milk crate for babies to go into should they need to. The other chickens are only 12 weeks old and this old hen has no problem putting them in their place and are not a direct threat to her or the chicks. The go out of their way to avoid her.
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Momma hens tend to "over look" their babies when they are protecting them. So it is possible the baby was smushed. Also if for any reason the chick got cold and did not get back under mom for warmth, a young chick cannot regulate their body temp - then it usually is a death sentence for the little one.

    But it really is hard to pin point what might have caused the baby's death.


    Enjoy your broody and her clutch.

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