Why would hens "turn" on a chick?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by greenmulberry, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    I have two broody hens that are together raising a batch of 14 chicks. They each hatched half the eggs in ajoining nest boxes.

    Overall, I would say they are splendid mothers. They are in general very caring very defensive of the chicks. They both are raising the chicks together as one group

    However, there is one chick that they both seem to hate. Periodically they will get very angry and start attacking it. I just cannot figure out why they would do such a thing. Once one hen goes after it the other joins in. It is just terrible! They are really brutal and I believe they intend to kill the chick.

    Is this common?
  2. djennings

    djennings Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2011
    Sabine Pass, TX.
    They might know something that we don't about the condition of said chick. If they are that mean to it, might want to take it away from them, but take another chick also for a companion.
  3. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    They sense something is wrong with it and are trying to save you the trouble and cull it for you.
  4. Velvet Hairpiece

    Velvet Hairpiece Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    Could there be something wrong with the chick that isn't obvious to you? I know wild birds will knock their own chicks out of the nest, because they can sense something is wrong with it.

    I don't think I'd be able to watch that happen... I'd probably take it and another chick or two and hand raise them together. But I'm no chicken expert, just telling you what I'd do!
  5. ozark_chickies

    ozark_chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2011
  6. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Well, I didn't see anymore of this activity yesterday, but I have a new problem. The hens are fighting over the chicks!

    I think that is why they are fighting anyway. I guess this needs it's own thread.

    I watched them and noticed which hen seemed to be the most concerned about the chicks when they were fighting, and I removed the other hens and locked her out in the run. She is mad!!!! but it wasn't safe for the chicks when they were fighting, the chicks were scattering everywhere and getting stepped on.

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