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will other chickens take a newborn chick from mother hen and EAT it?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crazy4eggsJulie, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. crazy4eggsJulie

    crazy4eggsJulie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning I went out to find that our broody hen had a new baby! We were SO excited --as this is our FIRST time for babies! I took the kids to school. When I got home, the baby was gone. The other hens were trying to get to the mother's box and one was even in the nesting box with her. The baby was nowhere to be found. Not under her, not on the ground, Nowhere! Could they have eaten it? There's a second baby now. I've already separated it and the mother from the other hens. Should I remove it from the mother though in case she is the one? I know nothing about this so any thoughts are more than appreciated!
     
  2. THough1956

    THough1956 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had this happen also. I think it is the other hens. Put the mother and babies in a safe place away from the other hens. Be careful moving the unhatched eggs.
     
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

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    I have ZERO experience in this area, but I have seen much advice here on BYC that indicates that the mom & chicks should be sequestered to be by themselves.
     
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Monroe, North Carolina
    If it moves and it's little it's edible. Especially if the hen didn't set on it and hatch it herself!
     
  5. crazy4eggsJulie

    crazy4eggsJulie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How sad! [​IMG] My son is still at school...he's going to be heartbroken!
     
  6. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I to had this happen this past summer. I went out and checked on Momma and her eggs and she had one hatch out. I went inside to prepare a pen for her and the baby and unhatched eggs. And by the time I came back out maybe 10 minutes the baby was gone, with not even a trace of it ever existing. At nite she was fine with the other chickens, but during the day we closed the coop so that Momma could be in with her babies. But after this incident I moved Momma out of the coop, because we built and enclosure inside of the coop but the other hens still kept going in her pen. We did wind up with 3 little babies in August, but low and behold they were all 3 cockerels. Bummer [​IMG] Although I love my boys they are tearing up my girls to the point that they will be rehomed tomorow. It breaks my heart but my girls are my babies and they are being attacked by all 3 of them at once and not one of my girls deserves that treatment.

    Good Luck with your new babies and so sorry to hear about the one disappearing.
     
  7. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shamong
    Yes. In fact, it is to be expected. In nature, hens separate from the flock to hatch eggs and don't rejoin until chicks are big enough to run/fight. Even free ranging, hens will attack another hen's chicks. Some mothers are protective, some will just let it happen. I don't know if it is a dominance thing. It is possible the dominant hen could raise chicks in the coop, but all others need to be moved or caged off.
     
  8. crazy4eggsJulie

    crazy4eggsJulie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If I remove them entirely, do they merge back in easily when they are older or am I to expect trouble? About how long do I keep them separate?
     
  9. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can merge them back in. It is not a long childhood. They will feather out, and then the mother will want to rejoin the flock and will not be interested in the chicks. They will still hang around her, which makes their integration into the flock easy (at least in my limited experience). Much less chaotic than adding new chicks that you have raised.
     
  10. walbarbsa

    walbarbsa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with pkiller....I separate my mamas from the rest of the chickens in a large brooder. They're in the pen with the others. The others are nosy but my silkie mama just fluffs herself up and they leave her and babies alone. Later, after they're feathered, I open the pen and let mama and babies venture out at their choosing. Mama still remains protective but eventually they all assimilate!

    One time, though, two silkie mamas hatched babies at the same time. I put them both in the brooder and one mama took over all the babies. No problem, the other mama just let her do that!

    Happily ever after, unless it's summer and a snake decides he needs some chick appetizers [​IMG] That's another topic.
     

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