4 wk old chick pecked by other chicks


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 13, 2011
We got home from grandaughters ball game tonight to find one of our chicks with the feathers off her head and some blood. She was eating and drinking. I put some triple antibiotic ointment on her head and when I put her back in. 2 of the others attacked her. I put her in another box by herself and she was so upset. She seems to be really stressed. Is there anything else I can do?
BLU-KOTE is a wound dressing (which stains everything) which will help keep the others from pecking her head. Any ideas why the others went for her?

Are they getting too many hours of bright light? Too many treats and not enough protein? Other sources of stress?
I'm not sure what brought it on. They were fine. I came home after about 2 hrs. and her head was all red and feathers gone. They haven't had a lot of treats. Mostly just chick crumbles. They are in the garage. I left the heat light off one night, it was really warm. Otherwise I have a red heat light on them at night. I've had them out in the yard only couple times. We've had too much rain to let them out as much as I would like. Right now, she is in a box by herself. She seems to be doing better. I'll just have to let her heal and watch them closely when I put them back together. I'll be off work next week and we will finish the new coop. I may have to fence off a place for her in the new coop so she won't be picked on. After I put the antibiotic ointment on her and put her back in two others went after her. One just bit onto the back of her head and wouldn't let go. The ointment made her head look shiny and more red. That probably didn't help. I think the one that went after her may be a roo. I will have to get rid of him anyway. I'm new and haven't been able to post any pictures. I may have more than 1 roo. I've been looking at other posts and pictures. They must be too young to really tell cause everyone doesn't always agree if a bird is a roo or pullet. What is a good age to be really sure?
Perhaps they are just too crowded and getting bored - do they have a dusting box for entertainment - that might help in the interim. The new coop will fix that. Once a wound appears, it is irresistible to chicks to peck it. Their tiny brains just see food.

I think you might be able to post pics by now? Isn't it 9 or 10 posts before you can post a pic? I don't recall. (You can post a link to pics anyway if you want). How early they can be sexed depends on the breed; some are easy and some not so easy.
Thanks for all the replys. I'm thinking it was caused from over crowding. I've been keeping her separate. I put them all outside yesterday. It's funny, they didn't bother her. I was keeping a close eye while we were working on the coop. She's healing nicely. When I put them back in the garage for the night. She was very vocal again wanting back with the others, but they went after her again so she had to be alone.
Ok, I put them outside, they left her alone. I put them in their new run, they left her alone for a day. Now they're back to chasing her. She's terrified. Trys to get out when I come out of the run. I have to separate her so she can eat. She has healed, although she has a bald head. It doesn't look like they have pecked her anymore. Is this going to go on forever? It's no way for the poor girl to live. She spends her day running away and going from one perch to another.
They are going after her bald head.

You may need to house her next to them but not with them until she has feathers again (could be months until next molt). You might consider getting her a short, partially blind, mellow companion - like a Silkie hen.
Am sorry to hear of the trouble your going thru. Your going to have to saperate her until she heals r else they'll keep bullying her until they kill her. When you saperate her you may want to put another one in there w her so shes not so stressed, put one of the nice ones w her. You also may want to put some soft music on for her and see if that clams her down. When she heals put her back w the flock a few times during the day but make sure your watching them to see how they interact w her again. I had this happen to me but my was the other way around she was a bully and I had to saperate her untill she started laying, then I slowly added her back in. There is hope. It's going to take time. Please let me know how things turn out.
They will go for the blood, even if it's not actively bleeding. You NEED to put some Blu Kote on it before introducing her back in. And if they go after her again, take her out and keep her separate. Yes, it could go on until they kill her. At the very least, keep her apart from the others until her head is feathered again and she's completely back to normal.

I've got one on daytime quarantine- they left her alone all night because they were roosting, but back outside in the morning, they went right for the injury.

Just my .02, ymmv.
Good luck!
I am keeping her separate unless I'm out there. They are in their new run and are doing a little better. I have to make sure she gets enough to eat because she won't eat when the others are. I fixed her a separate dish. She is healed. There's no blood. I'm just wondering if feathers will grow back? We're almost done with the coop. I wish I could figure out how to post my pictures. Took some good ones today. And I did find a buddy for her. One of the bantams is a brahama, I think. She is very calm and doesn't pick on her. I let the two of them out in the yard while we were working.

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