3 Week Olds Turning Canibals

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chayton, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. chayton

    chayton In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2009
    Weatherford, TX
    I hatched 20 chicks 3 weeks ago and all was going well until today. I got home and went to check on chicks to find one of the biggest to have bloody sores on its wing shoulders. The others were picking on his bloody spots and had made some wounds about the size of a pencil eraser on each wing. It didnt seem to be in any pain and didnt even try to run from the flock when they would bunch up and others pick at it.

    I put it in a box by itself, put peroxide on the wounds and other than being upset because its alone is doing fine.

    I guess I need to keep it seperated from the others until the wounds heal.

    Any suggestions on how to avoid this from happening again or to another chick??

    The pen the 20 chicks are in measures 3 ft by 6 feet, it seems big enough but maybe their too crowded, help please

  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    They're bored I betcha.

    In Weatherford, TX you could move them outside to a chicken tractor type enclosure with a heat lamp for them to go under if they get chilled.
    Mine sortof resembles a dog house on one end with run sticking out in front of it. Lamp in the house part, where they sleep or go to warm up. I move chicks out between 2 and 3 weeks old.
  3. chayton

    chayton In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2009
    Weatherford, TX
    this is my first attempt with chickens so I'm concerned that its too cold to put chicks outside. tonight its going to get down to 40 degrees and a stiff wind. 30's are predicted for the next couple of nights

    is this not too cold to move outside??
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    So long as they have a house and a lamp, they'll do fine.

    If you're worried, go out there and listen for them after they should be bedded down. Cold chicks squalk like the dickins!

    Go to my BYC page and check out my chicken tractor here https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=27985-chicken-tractor that's what I move mine out into. A 75watt red bulb hanging from the ceiling warms the little dog house nicely. If they are cold you can always bump it up to a 150 or 250watt bulb.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009

  5. KDbeads

    KDbeads Songster

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    Quote:My 3 week olds are in the unheated garage already in a big x-pen, no light/heat unless it gets below 40. I'm down in Mason
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    For the poor "picked on" guy. Get a little cage or make a wired off area within the larger one, so he can see and here the others, and he will be much happier. Sounds like they do need to get into a larger area--they grow sooo fast!!
  7. cook_kaka_ook

    cook_kaka_ook Songster

    Oct 29, 2009
    I think your pen is a little crowded for 20 chickens. You need to make it bigger ( at least 4 sq. ft/chicken) or free range them if possible during day light. Hang cabbage, apple or scatter grass clippings to keep them busy in the pen. They tend to become happy-peckers when they get bored (I pity the poor one who's last in the pecking order).

  8. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    They can start to pec eachother if they get overcrowded. Another thing that ma cause pecking like that is just a tiny "wound", its seems like they want to take out the weak or something. If one gets a wound, they all want to jump in and peck it. Removing it until the wounds are healing up (just like you did) is a good idea.
  9. Bedste

    Bedste Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    over heated and over crowded.... I use neosporin WITHOUT pain relliever and rooster booster on all wounds/ anytime I left the light on too long mine would start bleeding on the shoulders and on the tip of the spine nearest the tail. Anytime the others see blood they pick.... had one die this way.... but they did not eat her.

  10. chickenmeadow

    chickenmeadow Crowing 9 Years

    Jun 14, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    My Coop
    Consider changing the color of you light to red (like a red heat lamp instead of a regular white one), may be less irritating to the chicks & more calming. There is a wound topper to keep the others from pecking, helps the wounds heal & they don't like the smell or taste (the name escapes me now); sells at my local livestock feed store. Maybe a poultry flock block (a compressed block of grain & seed with molasses) would make them happy & occupied, I use one when introducing new chicks to the flock if needed & keep one in my young xtra rooster pen which keeps them busy. Good luck.

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