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4wk old chicks pecking tail feathers & some wing feathers.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by myretrieverotie, May 11, 2011.

  1. myretrieverotie

    myretrieverotie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2008
    I know I'm not the first with this problem, but I'm just not sure where to start. We have 4wk old chicks (Black Astralorps, Golden Comets, & Aracauna). Today I found 5 (all Golden Comets) with tail feathers pulled out. One girl's vent area was completed pecked free of feathers & bleeding. I have separated all the injured chicks. The worst is by herself. It was hot here today, almost 90. There are 24 in a 4ftx4ft brooder in our garage. This morning I opened the garage door to get some fresh air to them & cool of the garage a bit before the heat of the day. I shut the garage door after lunch & found the hens injured. There is a lid on the brooder to keep them in & predators out. The thermometer in the garage is reading 80 degrees. I turned back on their red heat lamp but moved it higher. Everyone seemed calmer after I pulled the injured ones out & turned on the lamp. The plan has been to move them to their portable pens this weekend. We are moving that up to tomorrow to see if they are doing this because of overcrowding. I'm not sure who is doing the pecking - I saw the Black Astralorps doing some but couldn't tell which one for sure. I also noticed a couple of chicks eating the broken feathers off the floor of the brooder before I could get them picked up. I would appreciate any ideas as to what to do.
     
  2. busdriver9799

    busdriver9799 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2010
    We've had that same problem. All we could do was seperate the injured. In fact we had two so badly pecked they almost died and they're crippled to this day. My daughter took care of them and they're fine now, but were never able to rejoin the flock. So I'd say seperate.
     
  3. myretrieverotie

    myretrieverotie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Thanks! We've got everyone separated out. And so far, I don't see any new chicks that have been pecked. This is our third flock & we've had issues with older chickens doing it just not as little ones.
     
  4. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2010
    Clinton, OH
  5. myretrieverotie

    myretrieverotie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Thanks for the link. Great article! I am very tempted to stick them in one of the horse stalls until their pen is ready this evening. In the mean time, they are keeping me busy supplying them with grass clippings & small sticks. I think it's helping by giving them a healthier outlet for pecking.
     
  6. confusedturtle

    confusedturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Virginia
    Thank you for posting this. I bought 2 chicks today, a GSL (about 2 weeks?) and a BSL (about 3 weeks) and the BSL pecked the heck out of the GSL's wing. After reading that article I am sure it is because the two were being transported in a small box for over an hour [​IMG] closer to 2 hours [​IMG] Where I bought them at the BSL's were begining to peck at eachother, they were all the same age and in a very small short brooder, so that explains why they were doing it. I will follow the advice in the article and do my best to stop this issue. Thank you so much for posting that [​IMG]
     
  7. myretrieverotie

    myretrieverotie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Good luck! I ended up separating the injured ones out until they were healed. In the meantime, we got the rest in a larger pen in our barn & gave them hay &/or grass clippings to give them something appropriate to peck at. My 5 yr old son swears they love the dandelions & gave them plenty of those. We had a hot streak before they were old enough to be outside & put a fan on them. They did great!
     
  8. YooHwa

    YooHwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2011
    I'm not sure, but research "cannibalism" (did i spell that right..?)

    If they are kept in too bright place, they are stressed therefore pecking others.

    I saw this problem in Korean Poultry Cafe and they said the best thing is to do is separate them.

    Let me see if I can get some more info.
     
  9. YooHwa

    YooHwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2011
    canibalism

    cause:

    1. kept in too bright place
    2. kept in place where temperature is not stable
    3. kept in place where it is too noisy
    4. kept in place where fresh air cannot be transferred
    5. lacking protein
    6. lacking salt
    7. stress from too high temperature



    This is what causes canibalism.
    Canibalism can be seen by chicks pecking on each other (usually around their butt).


    This is what I translated from the Poultry Cafe. (written by Mr. Suk Hee Lee)
    I'm not really sure if your chicks are in canibalism, but this may be possible.
    See if any of these causes meet your poultry
     
  10. Speck & Gerard

    Speck & Gerard Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    I've only seen it in over crowding situations, but there is a medication you can get at the feed store to smear on where they're getting pecked at that is supposed to keep the others from pecking them. i'm not sure what it's called, can't remember, but it's something to check into.
     

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