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chick death and children

post #1 of 4
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We had 7 one month old chicks (4 golden comets and 3 Plymouth rocks) One of our Plymouths "Cutie-Pie" came down with cocci which we treated with corid for 5 days. She got a lot better and then she relapsed 2 days after the treatment stopped. We also gave probiotics and electrolytes after the treatment. Everything was fine this morning except her lethargy, she was still eating and drinking. by early afternoon, she just stood under the heat lamp all puffed out. She then started with diarrhea (light brown that turned a cream color) within a couple hours. I left her for an hour to get my son at the bus stop. We went to check on her and there was blood all over the brooder! Little Cutie-Pie stood there shaking and bleeding. She had peck marks all over her and her intestines were hanging out. Poor thing was in shock. I quickly wrapped her in a towel but not quick enough. My son saw everything and freaked out. I calmly told him that she was sick and the other chickens were afraid of catching what she had so they pecked at her to keep her away, but they pecked her too hard and cutie-pie is hurt too bad to live. My husband quickly went out back and had to euthanize our first chicken while my son wailed from the house and I comforted him (he didn't see him do it). We then picked out a nice box for her, he covered her with a small blanket and I just got done burying her in the spot my son picked out.

I have a few questions as  I am new to raising chickens and BYC

First, is there a better way to handle this type of situation when children are involved?

second, (not really a question, more like a statement) I had NO idea that chicks would peck to death let alone peck to death that fast! I mean, I knew that older hens would attack but I never thought of small chicks doing this. Is this normal behavior? There were NO signs leading up to this

any advice would be helpful, thank you

post #2 of 4

Sorry for your loss. It is pretty upsetting about her being killed by her flock mates, but chickens will attack a weaker member. When they see a speck of blood, others will join in. Right now your chicks are establishing their pecking order, and they can be rough at this age. It's unfortunate that your child had to see that, but hopefully he won't be too traumatized by it when he starts to interact with the chicks again. Nust explain that they are attracted to the color red, and they will instinctively peck at that. Red heat lamps are very hot to use in a brooder, but the red light helps to keep them calm, less likely to see blood, and lets them sleep at night if other lights are off. I wish lower wattage red bulbs were more available like they used to be, when we could get 60watt red bulbs.  

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggcessive View Post
 

Sorry for your loss. It is pretty upsetting about her being killed by her flock mates, but chickens will attack a weaker member. When they see a speck of blood, others will join in. Right now your chicks are establishing their pecking order, and they can be rough at this age. It's unfortunate that your child had to see that, but hopefully he won't be too traumatized by it when he starts to interact with the chicks again. Nust explain that they are attracted to the color red, and they will instinctively peck at that. Red heat lamps are very hot to use in a brooder, but the red light helps to keep them calm, less likely to see blood, and lets them sleep at night if other lights are off. I wish lower wattage red bulbs were more available like they used to be, when we could get 60watt red bulbs.  

Thank you Eggcessive, interesting! You learn something new every day. I never knew chickens are attracted to red. We keep our red heat lamp in the back corner of the brooder so they can get away from the heat which does lessen the amount of red light toward the front of the brooder (where she was pecked). It was probably easier for them to see the blood that way. We are so heartbroken. She was a very friendly little chick. I had my cup of coffee at her grave site this morning. I know it sounds silly, but she really was a "Cutie-Pie" and in the short time she was here, she captured all of us. My son seems to be better this morning which is a relief.

post #4 of 4
So sorry for your loss poor little Cutie Pie. I will mention Home Depot has a 25 watt red bulbs snd Ace Hardward has 60 watt red bulbs for future info
Edited by Dani4Hedgies - 5/7/16 at 11:41am
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