are my chicks in puberty and hormones raging

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by france4862, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. france4862

    france4862 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have chicks that are about 3 weeks old and others about 2 weeks. There seems to be a bit of bulling going on in brooder. The brooder is 6 feet long and I have 28 chicks.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Starting the pecking order. Seems a bit early.
    At that age heavy breeds need 1 sq. ft. per bird. Bantams 1/2 sq. ft..
    You don't say how wide it is. It's 6' by what?
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    They are not experiencing anything hormonal at this age. Your brooder is 6 feet long by how many feet wide? At three weeks old they are getting pretty big already and you would need a lot of space for 28. I would get them into a larger space asap, even if it's just in a temporary pen for a few hours a day until they can go into a coop. At this age being cooped up in a brooder, even with sufficient space, is just plain boring. If space is tight things go bad quickly. You want to head off pecking problems before they become a bad habit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  4. france4862

    france4862 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Brooder is 3 ft wide. I put more feeders this seemed to calm them a bit. in
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    They're way too crowded. You need another brooder soonest. You'll start having chicks attacking each other and bloody diarrhea issues if you keep them this crowded.
     
  6. france4862

    france4862 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know I'll have to do something soon. But unsure what to use temporary.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you have some kind of outbuilding with electric or one you can run an extension to?

    I always use an outbuilding as a brooder house. If I have a lot of chicks or it's real cold I use a hover with 2 heat sources under it, otherwise I just hang one lamp so they can get warm but have plenty of space.

    [​IMG]

    The group on the left was two days away from going to their growout pasture pen as they were no longer hanging near the heat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I kept 28 chicks in a 5’ x 3’ brooder until they were 4 weeks old. They were getting crowded but there was no bad behavior going on. That group was all the same age and almost all female. (5 male – 23 female)

    I kept 21 chicks in that same brooder for the same time period. Again they were all the same age but most were male. (17 male – 4 female) It actually looked more crowded than the 28 mostly female and behavior was getting a little rowdy. This group needed more room than the other by 4 weeks of age. Different flocks have different needs. Both those groups were full-sized dual purpose breeds for what that is worth.

    I don’t know what you mean by a bit of bullying. Some pecking isn’t unusual at all at that age. They are setting up the pecking order. That is perfectly normal at that age and even younger. But this past summer I had a chick being raised by a broody hen with lots of space kill a sibling and, at two different times, seriously attack another and different sibling. I was able to interfere those two times and save the chicks. All this happened before they were two weeks old, under a broody and with plenty of room. They were all male by the way, the attacker and the attacked, at least the ones that survived. I’m not sure about the sex of the one that died. At younger than 2 weeks! Coincidence?

    That chick would continuously peck the other chick, chasing it if it had to, until finally the other chick would just stand there and take it. The broody did not interfere. I’ve never seen that vicious a chick before, especially at that age, and I’ve been doing this a while. The different personalities can come into play too.

    I’m not trying to panic you by relating that story. Even in the best of circumstances, plenty of space under a broody, you can have bad things happen. I strongly suspect what you are seeing is just normal social interaction between chicks as they sort out the pecking order. As long as it is not a continuous attack or they are ganging up on one it’s not a big deal. The more crowded they are the more likely it is to become a big deal.

    I don’t know what your plans are for those 28 chicks. Are they destined to be one flock? If they are, it sounds like you’ve got them integrated and I’d hate to separate them and have to integrate again later. But if they have different destinies, maybe you could separate them. I’ve done that before, put most of the males in my grow-out coop and leave the females and a couple of males in the brooder in the coop. But the males were sex links, destined for the freezer. You may not be able to sex yours.

    I don’t know where you are keeping them or what your current brooder looks like. Some people use a cardboard box in the garage as a brooder, often an appliance box. For them to add more room all they have to do is get another appliance box and tape it on. Maybe that will spark an idea for you.

    I like the outbuilding idea if you have something suitable available. A lot of us don’t have chick in the house at all but raise them in outbuildings in all types of climates. My brooder is in the coop. But it can be a bit challenging this time of year for some people. You need a predator-proof building or room that is draft free at ground level, has some ventilation, and the ability to keep one area warm enough. You don’t have to keep the entire area the perfect temperature. A broody hen doesn’t heat up the universe for her chicks. She provides a warm spot for them to go when they need to warm up. You can use the same general principle. With 28 chicks, maybe you can sweet-talk ChickenCanoe into giving you some details on that hover. For that number of chicks it sounds perfect if you have a suitable place to put it though you may be surprised by how soon they are on top of it instead of under it.

    I don’t think you are in dire emergency mode yet but you do need to think about your next phase and that will require more room. Good luck with it.
     
  9. france4862

    france4862 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just separated them today 12 in one and 16 in the bigger brooder i hope they don't have issues when I get them back together. Maybe i should switch a few daily to keep them socialized
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's not a bad idea but pecking order isn't really happening till after about 6 weeks. When do you plan on putting them in the coop?
     

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