3 week old chicks killing each other

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hendrixcoop, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. hendrixcoop

    hendrixcoop Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    Central South Carolina
    Wow, got home @ 5:30 today and 2 dead chicks in their pen. Due to the warm weather here I had 5 chicks in an outside pen with plenty of room, grass,dirt,water and starter feed. I saw the chicks at 1:00 and all were fine, but @ 5:30, two were stiff with their necks pecked open.

    I have seen alot of advice about letting them play, but this is proof, they will kill each other if they draw blood.

    I searched the pen and adjoining area with no signs of a predator. Just feathers and blood in the pen.
  2. Oh my goodness I am so sorry :( Did you get them at different times? Can you take pics and post them on here, it would help to see them. My one chick got peck by my one older chicken and I used a thing called blu-kote and so what you do is you spray it on and it makes a protection and if the other chicks peck it they won't like the taste, you can get it at a local Nisleey feed or local feed store, there are directions on the bottle ( make sure you read them) Can I get some pictures?
  3. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    You could try a few things: placing a colored lightbulb in their cage and leaving it on all day (not sure exactly why but it works with quail), use an all natural anti-pick spray or putting no pick peepers on them. All are available at most poultry suppliers. GQF Manufacturing probably sells the bulbs and look at any hatchery for the others. Good luck!
  4. hendrixcoop

    hendrixcoop Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    Central South Carolina
    All five chicks were from the same hatch and had always been together. Never had any problems, it was like when they were given freedom to run, explore and forage they went wild. It is not relevant, but I believe they were all roos.Funny thing is that I bought them sexed, supposedly pullets. Well nature happens, whether it is in their brooder box, safely penned or free ranging. Can't watch them all the time.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I have to ask the question... Is it possible that a small weasel got into your pen? If it wasn't closed in with 1/2" hdw cloth top, bottom and sides with absolutely no openings greater than 1/2 inch, it could have been a weasel or even an other small predator.
  6. hendrixcoop

    hendrixcoop Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2012
    Central South Carolina
    If anything did get in, it would have to be small. Normally I have the big chickens freeranging when the chicks are in the pen, partially to keep minor predators away. The wire was closed on top and sides with no obvious gaps and there were no scratch marks or digs near the perimeter. Of course, it could have been a small weasel if it could squeeze through holes the size of a chicks head. One odd thing was that all of the wounds were on the neck, one drastically(right side), the second fatality with neck feathers(right side) missing and a hole, the third (still running wild) has missing neck feathers(right side) and an abrasion.

    It is wierd, so to isolate the problem, the remaining 3 will stay in their brooder box inside until they are bigger to half-way defend themselves.
  7. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    i've never seen a chicken especially a chick do anything like that............
  8. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2012
    That does look a lot like weasel damage.
    Just saying.
  9. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    That doesn't look like pecking to me. I have never seen chicks peck each other like that even when they are over crowded they seem to peck and pull each others backs and tails.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I can imagine a couple of scenarios. 1) chick sticks head through fence, gets stuck, panics 2) raccoon reach through 3) weasel or rat

    I really doubt a chick did that.

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