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chicken cannibalism

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 


I am new and am sure that you have probably answered this many times.  We have 30 chicks (brown egg layers) and they have started pecking each other.  We move them outside during the day and inside at night.  When can they stay outside all the time?  What can we do to keep them from creating the nasty wounds?  We separated one today that they pecked all the tail feathers off of and it is a bloody mess.  There are about 5 others with various peck wounds on their wings and tail and backs.  Any advice would be appreciated.

post #2 of 39

How old are the chicks?

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

I am really not sure.  We got them from the feed store 3 days after easter weekend.  They all pretty much have their feathers with just a little bit of down instead of all down.  I will try to load some pictures of them.

Edited by texascorgi - 4/20/07 at 12:40pm
post #4 of 39

Have they always been pecking at each other or is this a new thing?
Sometimes they peck if they are very crowded or very hot.

post #5 of 39

Also can you tell which ones are doing all the pecking? It'd probably be easier to seperate the attackers rather then just the babies getting hurt.

post #6 of 39

You can put blu-kote on the pecked areas so that they don't appear red to the other birds. Use disposal gloves - it stains. If you get it on your hands, finger nail polish works to remove it.

I personally use tea tree oil on wounds.

If any are injured, it is better to separate them until the wounds heal. If the rest of the flock sees an injured bird, they can be very brutal with it, and even kill it.

Birds will peck if they are over-crowded or if they are bored.

Do you have a house for them to sleep in? A fenced run? Or will they just sleep in the trees and free-range 24/7? When they can be outdoors all the time depends on their age, the outside temperatures, and your ultimate plans for your flock.

Edited by keljonma - 4/20/07 at 1:32pm
post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 

it seems to be all of the speckled ones attacking and some of the others.  There are times it is hard to tell.  This all just seemed to come on within the last couple of days.  I have three hurt ones isolated together.

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

We have a outdoor pen built right now until we can afford the bird wire for a better pen.  We are using some old dog houses for a cover right now so they can get out of the sun but will soon build them something better. 

How do you entertain them? 

We plan for them to stay mostly in a caged area allowing them to run the yard some.  We have dogs as well so letting them run free range is not an option as they could fly over our backyard fence and into the neighbors.

Edited by texascorgi - 4/20/07 at 1:35pm
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 39

Hmm. I would seperate the speckled ones then. If they're the culprits you may need to remove them so the rest are safe.
In my opinion the space doesn't look too crowded, so I'm not really sure what started it, but seperating them sounds like your only solution right now.

Also for the injured ones, you'll need to get that blu-kote, like keljonma stated. From everything I've read, this is pretty much the best way to keep them from continuing to be pecked by the others.

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