6 week old Chicks Pecking each others (Eyes and combs)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KWChicks, May 18, 2011.

  1. KWChicks

    KWChicks Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 18, 2011
    I have 6 Buff Orpington's that are now a little over 6 weeks old. They are quite happy (or so I thought) in THE GARDEN COOP. They have good protein food, plenty of water, fresh air, scratching, worms, ants and fresh produce snacks. The two largest ones have done some dancing around each other etc since they've been in the coop but nothing violent. Today we returned home to both of them having the area around their eyes pecked and bloody and their combs are pecked as well! I have been searching online and am quite afraid of what I am reading...

    I have two questions:

    1. How can I help them not peck at each other (they apparently are both doing it, it doesn't seem to be one dominant over the other).
    2. How can I treat the wounds so they are not beacons that encourage more pecking.

    This is our first flock.

    Thanks -

    Traci
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    OK, some questions, is that alright?

    1. Are they all the same age?
    2. What are the breeds of the abusers and the victims?
    3. How much space is available to them?
    4. Do you still use a light on them for additional heat?

    Thanks
     
  3. KWChicks

    KWChicks Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 18, 2011
    Thanks for the response:

    We have 6 and they are 6 1/2 weeks old.

    3 Buffs
    3 Rhode Island Reds

    I just checked on them (again) and it is two Buffs that have injuries and 1 Red. They are pecked around the eyes and a little on the comb. They do not have lamp on them - they have a fresh air coop. (they had a red light as chicks in the brooder).

    I do not know which one is doing the abusing, I thought that the two Buffs were at each other - but now I don't know. The space is considerable (the coop is meant for 8 grown chickens and we have 6 still chicks in it) - with roosts, a hen house, a dirt floor and lots of nooks and hide spots. The run is about 10 ft by 5 ft. (not counting the hen house). There is plenty of fresh air and sun/vs/shade options. We have a good quality feed, plenty of fresh water and snacks of apple cores, strawberry tops, worms and ants.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    OK, thanks for the data. Gonna go out on a limb here, so bear with me. It doesn't sound like mutual pecking. It sounds like there is one stinker in the bunch. I'd recommend you spend some time observing the behavior. Whoever it is will show herself/himself. If you can observe them through a window, when they are active the pecker will demonstrate for you. You need to identify the culprit. Again, just a guess, but this sounds like the work of one bully.
     
  5. KWChicks

    KWChicks Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 18, 2011
    Thanks! I will watch them more closely!
     
  6. KWChicks

    KWChicks Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    May 18, 2011
    Interestingly, there has been no further pecking. The pecking was Wednesday. I purchased cracked corn on Thurs. am and spread some about and checked on them throughout the day. The wounds healed quickly on all three, there has been no further attack and they all seem to be happy together. Keeping my fingers crossed that this was some bizarre situation and that the cracked corn helped distract the "pecker". [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by