Any experience with peeps wounding each other

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sebspeeps, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Sebspeeps

    Sebspeeps Hatching

    Apr 9, 2009
    Hi! I'm Jenn! New to urban farming and raising chicks - and very excited to be doing so.

    I just brought home 6 Australorp chicks. They have seemed happy and healthy, but today I found two with bloody wounds. The wounds are small, but I don't want them to get infected. One of he peeps has been much more agressive than the others from the beginning and I believe she's picking on the others. I know that they are establishing pecking order, but this seems more violent than what I was told to expect. I'm wondering if part of it is the rubbermaid tub I'm using as a brooder being too small. I've split the 6 into 2 tubs in the hope that this will calm things down. Any experience with this? Should I be doing some wound care?

  2. willowcol

    willowcol Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Macclesfield NC
    A few weeks back I had a EE peck the heads of my polish chicks. hey were bloody and missing feather poor things. I seperated them and just watched the sores. I never had to put anything on them, though I guess you could put some antibact. cream on as long as it doesn't have the topical painkiller in it.
  3. ewesfullchicks

    ewesfullchicks In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2007
    How alarming for you!

    I raise my brooder chicks with plenty of space, and have a red heat lamp on them. That way - any red-picked area won't be a source of more aggression for the other chicks.

    However, if you see the picking continue, you'll probably need to separate them for a while, until there is no more red area on the victim chicks.

    Rosharon, TX
  4. journey11

    journey11 Songster

    Feb 14, 2009
    Yeah, they'll pick if they're too hot, too crowded, if the light is too bright, bored, etc. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. You don't want them forming any bad habits. Make sure they have plenty of room to get around and away from the heat if they need to. I think it's 1/2 to 3/4 sq foot per bird, but I like to give mine a little extra so they can grow into it. Keep the room they are in dark (this keeps them from getting too hyper). Use a red brooder bulb instead of a white one. Give them some fresh grass clippings to pick at every day. I gave mine last year a shoestring to play with. Also a couple worms/bugs thrown in daily give them something fun to do (and tasty to eat--lots of fun to watch too). If they've already picked sores on each other, you'll have to run to the feed store and get you a salve to deter picking (tastes bad and helps the spot to heal). Black salve, pine tar, etc. Hope this helps!
  5. ears73

    ears73 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Westchester, NY
    Oh my, Sebspeeps! Your first post!! [​IMG]

    Hope the chick pecking gets under control quick... I have aggressive chest bumping, but so far no pecking. Good luck!
  6. Sebspeeps

    Sebspeeps Hatching

    Apr 9, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback!

    I've got the red bulb and today put them in a much bigger tub. It's 170 L for 6 chicks. However, I'm still witnessing one of the chicks, whom I've named "rooster" picking on the others. Especially the other chick who is a little bigger. She's looking very dejected and a bit withdrawn. There are multiple places on her body where there are feathers missing from what appears to be pecking.

    I'm really worried about this dynamic. If I separate the one who is being a bully, I fear they will be even more agressive when I return them to the group.

  7. firedove

    firedove Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    Many people have posted about successfully putting agressive peeps in "chickie jail." Get a small clear plastic container and place it in the brooder. Put a small dish of food and water in it and put "Rooster" in there. He will be able to see the other chicks but not pick on them. Make sure you place the "jail" close enough to the light that "Rooster" can get warm. You need to protect your other chicks. Being pecked all the time can lead to stress and stress causes hosts of problems with little chicks. Try letting "Rooster" out from time to time but as soon as you see him go to pick on someone put him back in "jail." Your other chicks will be much happier and as a result healthier too.

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