7 wk old chicks some are pecking others until they bleed.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TxChiknRanchers, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    These chicks (19) are being fed Starter/ Grower crumble feed once in the morning( 0700 )and in the evening (1700) with food available except at night in the coup.

    We have found that there are a couple that are very agressive and constantly go around pecking the others on the back near the tail feathers. I saw one today actually pick off a feather and eat it!
    Is there some deficsency (sp) in diet that could cause this or is it the room available. They have a small starter coup( 3x4) and a 6x8 covered run. Some of the chicks have started to get sores in that area. Even one of the perpetrators is getting a bad spot. not all get picked on and not all are pecking.

    We have isolated the ones with the worst problems and even removed one from the others that seemed to be the worst offender.

    Any suggestions or remedies would be appreciated.
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    First thought is that they are not getting enough protein. How old are they? Chicks should be on the higher protein chick starter feed. What you're feeding them is a lower percentage.

    The second thought is do they have plenty of space?
     
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    Leave feed available to them all day. Try and throw some grass
    clippings, spinach, vegies, etc. in the run. It may keep them occupied.
     
  4. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
    NC
    You could try putting a red light on them...

    I've heard that helps. Although I've never had your problem.
     
  5. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    They are 7 weeks old. Thought of possible space problem so have built another run and coop and isolated the ones with the worse problems and will go from there. I will also check to see if there is higher protien feed available, and add some extra protien to the diet.

    This is very puzzling ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2007
  6. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Not really puzzling. Feathers are packed with protein, that's why when you see them doing it then you suspect that they are not getting enough in their normal diet.

    They will also do the feather picking if their space is too confined.

    So if you have both scenarios fix them and the problem should end.
     
  7. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Thank you for the help. We spent the weekend building another coup and run. We do move the the coup and run every other day to fresh turf. and although we put feed out twice a day there is usually residual that stays available continualy.

    Will continue to add protien and monitor the progress. This chick raising thing is a learning process. Still trying to make the learning curve......curve

    Thanks again
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  8. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    I noticed the feeding twice a day, they need free choice feed out at all times even when they are adults. So raise your protein percentage to 24%, leave the food out free choice and you should be OK.
     
  9. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Must have not made myself clear in the original post... Sorry. The chicks had food available always except at night, we only keep water in the roost. we fed twice a day but the feeder is an 11 pound feeder and it always had feed in it after they had eaten their fill. We really thought that the feed we were sold was the good stuff, go figer! Sadly we were slow in realizing that the "butt" pecking was more than just chicks being chicks. hopefully all will recover and resume life with feathered rear ends

    Hoping the extra protien we're adding works and we are proceeding with a better understanding of their dietary needs .

    Thanks
     
  10. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    Do you have a light on in the coop at night?
    If you do, they will get up and need feed at night.

    If you don't, they will be up at the crack of dawn and be hungry. If you don't leave food out for them 24/7, then you need to be up at daylight to let them out to eat.

    Since you don't feed them free choice, some may not be getting enough to eat with only one feeder. If you don't intend to feed free choice, you will need to get enough feeders that every chick can eat at the same time.

    I agree with the posts that said you need a better quality feed. As you are learning, the feed store employees often don't know anything about feeding chickens. They are not your best source of information.

    I personally free feed my chicks and laying hens.

    Jean
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007

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