3 wk olds picking!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenfever, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

    644
    10
    141
    Jul 22, 2008
    Arizona
    OK, I have two young children and think I have been more stressed out and worried over these chicks in the last 3 wks than I ever did w/my kids. [​IMG]
    I went to check on chicks last night after being gone all day and during the day they picked all the tail feathers off of 4 out of 5 of my BO's. Two were bleeding!! I have 21 chicks in a large box about 16 square feet. They are in the garage during the day. Light off, fan on, garage door open, it gets to be about 90 during the hottest part of the day. Plenty of water and food. Are they getting too hot, too crowded? I was very upset when I noticed the picking.
    I don't know who is doing it and the strange thing is out of cochins, BO's, Blk Australarps, and EE's, the BO's are the only ones being picked.
    Any ideas what I'm doing wrong? Should I just move them to the coop outside?
     
  2. Pullet Pimp

    Pullet Pimp Chillin' With My Peeps

    303
    1
    129
    Jul 1, 2008
    Ohio
    Sounds to me like the thing that really stands out is the amount of room they have. I have 24 chicks about the same age and I give them about 60 sq feet of brooder space and have no picking problems. I don't think the heat is too much of a problem. They just don't have any place to escape a bully. Pecking order is one thing but if they are bleeding you might want to remove the injured because they will just keep picking at the scabs and things could get worse. Could you expand their space? If you moved them to the coop are there adult birds out there also that would pick? If not, and you can't expand where they are now I would move the uninjured birds and keep the bloody ones inside until healed.

    ETA: Are your night time temps mild as well or does it get too cold for the chicks to be in the coop? At three weeks they don't have all their feathers in yet, so the night time temps may be a factor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You need to get the pecked birdlets away from the others, and to treat any red picks with no-pick solution. When you separate them, be sure to check to see none of them are pecking each other too (mimicry).

    Do you also think they are too warm?[​IMG]

    Some folks give the birds plastic jugs with ice inside, milk jugs work well just don't freeze them until they split, leave room for expansion. That way the chicks can go to the coolness if they need it.
     
  4. simba49450

    simba49450 Chillin' With My Peeps

    160
    0
    119
    May 23, 2008
    Michigan
    hi there

    if you are talking about buff orps, then they usually get picked on cause they are so docile,and sweet. you can put that blue kote stuff on. make another area so you could split them up. even though you have a fan on they still produce a lot of heat. you could also get several totes and put holes in the lids and keep them in the house if you have air conditioning or central air. i did that until they out grew the totes. if you have the room separate them so they dont feel as cramped and use the totes, the ones with locking lids work best, and they are easy to keep clean.
     
  5. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

    644
    10
    141
    Jul 22, 2008
    Arizona
    So you think not enough room? I feel terrible. [​IMG]
    I don't really have any way to expand, that's why I was thinking of the coop. These are my first chickens, so coop is empty. We did just get a large kennel up for the run attached to the coop, 300 SQ ft. You think they would be OK out there? Weather here like I said highs around 90 and we are getting occasional thunder storms and wind from monsoons, they would have coop for shelter and a tarp over run for shade. They just still seem so small to me to be going outside.
    What do you think?

    Ok so the totes, I could try that. And this stuff you are talking about to put the on the picked areas, where do you get it?

    Yes, buff orps
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  6. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
    3
    131
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    It sounds like it is too bright. I would try and close off as much natural light as possible and put red light bulb(s) in the brooder area.
     
  7. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

    644
    10
    141
    Jul 22, 2008
    Arizona
    It can be too light?? I didn't know that. If I close everything off they will be too hot.
    They do have a red brooder light at night.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  8. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
    3
    131
    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    Oh yeah, too bright always got my chicks to peck. Twice the red on my bulbs would burn through and I would find my runt's toe picked bloody. Soon as I changed the bulb and it was red light only again, they stopped picking.

    I don't know what to suggest if it will be too hot in the garage with the door closed. Maybe move them to the coop with a heat lamp (with a red light bulb of course). Maybe you can cover some of the brooder box to create a dark area the picked on can hide in.

    16 sf for 21 birds is probably ok but will get cramped real soon. If you have a coop ready and you can supply heat (if it gets below 80 at night), then I would put them in. Having an outdoor run will also give the more advanced and aggressive birds something to pick at besides the other birds.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by