14 week birds now pecking till bloody Why

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tamsflock, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. tamsflock

    tamsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2008
    Ashville, Alabama
    I have a mixed group of Gold laced W, Polish,Naked Necks and Americanas 20 14 week olds total. Somebody is pecking birds tail feathers and more like canabalism. I am loosing one a night 3 total now. Why are they doing this are they still hungry? I have them in a 12 x12 chain link fence then they willingly all go into the smaller cage probably a 4 x 4 when it gets dark and I do shut the door so nothing will get them racoons,possums or weazels but every morning for the past 3 days they have literally pecked the rear end of the birds. I have one buff polish who's pop top looks like she has been in on the pecking. Is one of the breeds more prone to pecking is it to close quarters at night or are they still hungry? Any help would be appreciated
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    I think your birds are way to crowded when locked up. You only have 16 sq feet for 20 birds.
    The flock should have a minimum of 2 sq feet per bird at a minimum...actually more is better. I feel they are stressed from crowding, and need more room to move around.

    bigzio
     
  3. tamsflock

    tamsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2008
    Ashville, Alabama
    Is the 12 x 12 fine for them? When they were smaller they were in the smaller cage at night it is inside the 12 x12 so I guess since they did it when they were younger that is whay they still do it. Should I just take the smaller cage out or leave the door open on it? Tha chaim link has a chicken wire top and the bottom 2 foot has like rabbit cage wire around it. I lost 12 birds last year to a weazel or something pulling just the head through the cage and leaving the body on the inside of the cage. I never found heads they were just gone.
     
  4. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Yes, it sounds like they're over crowded. Are they bantam or large breed?
     
  5. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    crowding is a definate cause,, some others are protein, boredom, insect on 1 chick will make others "peck" at it to get the insect, then that causes a spot,, which they all see, AND PECK AT, lol,, then blood,, and so on...thick chunked fruit with the skin on,, like 6 or so big pieces, keeps them pretty busy [​IMG]
    and their diet is a big thing too.
     
  6. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Yep the 12x12 area is enough room, however they should have some kind of shelter to roost and lay eggs and to get out of bad weather.
    Maybe a coop added to the outside of the pen area would be a good solution.

    The 3 main things the flock needs is food, water, and dry shelter.

    bigzio
     
  7. tamsflock

    tamsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2008
    Ashville, Alabama
    Thank you for all the help. I will not close the door on them tonight and see how that goes. 5 polish like to roost on top of the smaller cage. Two will roost on the poles we have going through the corners of the cage but the others all like being inside the smaller cage. Some roost on the bar we have in there and the others just sleep on the ground.
    I had a pen on the outside of the 12x 12 but something pulled the hook right out of the wood and got 4 birds that day.
     
  8. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    There are some anti-pick sprays you could try. Also if you hang a cabbage for them to play pinata with that will encourage them to peck it instead of each other. Or like someone else said, apples keep them busy too.
     
  9. tamsflock

    tamsflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2008
    Ashville, Alabama
    Cabbage Pinata sounds like a good idea. I didn't close the door on the inner cage. But they were all inside it but 5 so I let them be if someone starts pecking they can run out to get away since the door isn't closed.
     
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    let us know how it turns out [​IMG]
     

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