Agressive Male Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gracie123, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Gracie123

    Gracie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    We've raise hybrid chicks a few times and never had any problems. When a fox wiped out our entire flock last year ([​IMG]) my kids wanted to get 'mega hens' aka Orpington's, so we bought some eggs online and stuck them in the incubator.

    We had a pretty low hatch rate and only ended up with five chicks, but after 24 hours we woke up in the morning to find one of them appeared to be folded in half. On closer inspection, she had two broken legs. My daughter made her a 'private nest' in a tissue box and hand fed her water with a syringe, but she never recovered.

    48 hours went by and we woke up to another, previously healthy chick, in the same state. The other chicks keep jumping on it and are being really aggressive. We separated her, but she only survived another two hours.

    Is this a breed issue? Are Orpingtons unusuallly aggressive as chicks? I had read the opposite was true, but I have never had chicks get injuries like this before. They are also the loudest bunch we have ever had and stand very upright squawking the minute you walk in the room. I'm starting to think we have three roosters left.

    Should we try again? Or should I go back to hybrids...?

    Do Orpington's need some kind of special care that I was unaware of?
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    What is your brooder setup? Where is it located?
     
  3. Gracie123

    Gracie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    It's an XL dog crate with Perspex added inside to about half way up (so that no one can get caught on wire etc...) and an electric hen.

    The floor is newspaper, covered with kitchen towel, covered with chick friendly sawdust.
     
  4. MerleMice

    MerleMice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's really weird about the legs, could you share a photo of your setup?

    The only other thing that comes to mind, is there any chance you're children are handling them a bit roughly when you're not around? No other pets that could have access? I only ask because the only time (in ten years) I've had a newly hatched chick with a broken leg, it was my own doing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  5. Gracie123

    Gracie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    The really interesting thing is that it keeps happening over night! They're fine when I go to bed at about 10:30pm and then when I get up in the morning they're crippled. The kids are asleep when it happens.

    It's bizarre because, whilst I do have a dog, he sleeps upstairs and the pantry door is closed, so he couldn't access them.

    We also have gerbils and a leopard gecko, but they are contained too [​IMG]

    They are incredibly rough with each other, but interestingly the one who is the most aggressive (pecking others faces and jumping on them - almost like trying to mate!) is the one who's legs looked a bit off this morning. I've separated him/her with cardboard from the others and given own food and water. It's still waddling around, but not standing on it's legs like it was yesterday. It's desperate to get back with the others and they all just stand at the cardboard chirping at each other [​IMG]

    I'll get a photo when my phone charges up to show you.
     
  6. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Is the brooder in a garage or outside building? Do they have light at night? If not, then I suspect you have a rat or other small predator going after them. Chickens can't see in the dark.
     
  7. MerleMice

    MerleMice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hm, I've got nothing better, though I'd think a rat would run off with it.

    Have you looked into splinting the legs? Nothing came up right away in the Google search for chicks, but there is some stuff on adult birds that might be helpful depending on where the breaks are happening.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  8. Gracie123

    Gracie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Gracie123

    Gracie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2017
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Gracie123

    Gracie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    They're in my kitchen, so I hope there's no rats!!

    I haven't seen any signs of any other animals.

    I do turn the lights off at night to help them sleep. Should I not be doing that?
     

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