3 Week Old Chick Missing Tail Feathers

Barefoot Farm VT

In the Brooder
Feb 6, 2017
Sandgate, VT
I'll try to be brief here with the info, checked on the chicks at 5:00AM, nothing unusual. Checked again @ 10:00AM and found a poor chick with all it's tail feather missing. No unusual behavior I could see, other than some curious pecking from other chicks at the reddish featherless area. I have not noticed any aggressive tendencies in the other chicks. Gently washed the area, vent looks healthy, applied some triple antibiotic, no ingredients ending in "caine" đź‘Ť Put her in the hospital brooder by herself to recover. Some info below. Right now just playing the waiting game to see if another chick experiences this before proceeding. Some thoughts I've been having not nessisarily questions i'm looking to have answered... Brooder too small? Enough area in theory but heating plate takes up a sizable chunk (16"x24")? Not sure I need the heat plate anyway at this stage since ~24 chick at 3+ weeks could mutually heat each other, especially with ambient temps in the 60's at night, 70's, lower 80's during the day. Is it too hot maybe? Need more other things to peck? This may be out there but did she try to weasel her way through the fencing placed over the brooder, hurt the tail and curious chicks always ready to peck whatever is different got her tail?

3+ week old chicks
Mixed breeds, mostly Easter Eggers and Gold Sex Links
48 chicks total, 24 per brooder
Each brooder is ~38 square feet, so ~1.5 sq/ft per chick
Plenty of food in feeder never less than 1/4 full
Plenty of fresh water, autofed, never less than 1/4 full in tank
Heating plates, seems to be room to spare underneath
Pine flake bedding, rough stuff, not fine, did top off when checking at 5:00AM


  • IMG_0789.jpeg
    182.4 KB · Views: 37
  • IMG_0788.jpeg
    180.7 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_0787.jpeg
    182.2 KB · Views: 9
It is possible that the chick got stuck between the brooder plate and the side of the brooder.

You might want to setup a second brooder.

And get some blu kote to keep the other littles from pecking the raw area

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom