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Are my chicks pecking/pulling feathers?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Muddy, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Muddy

    Muddy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Alabama
    This is our third time raising chicks, our first time raising ones we hatched ourselves. Most of them are mixes, as we have one rooster and 4 breeds of hens. They have reached that awkward stage where they are about half adult feathers and half down. Well a bit beyond that now. (They grow so fast!) I've noticed some look pretty rough around the hind end, though. One has no tail feathers at all. Overall they look healthy. I've been watching them, and haven't noticed any real pecking while I observe, no pulling feathers. But I don't watch them all day, and when I show up, they are mostly interested in food or water, even if they still have enough of those things. So they are fixated mostly on me while I'm watching them.

    Are there clear signs of pecking that make it unmistakable? Should I just pull up a chair and watch them for a few hours? If I do catch one that's pulling feathers, what should I do?
     
  2. Muddy

    Muddy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Alabama
    I apologize if I missed it. I'm sure it's here. But my search didn't turn it up. I'm still learning a lot of the terminology here and the set up. There is so much information and experience here it's a little overwhelming! You guys are really amazing here!
     
  3. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    A few things to consider that may help. Are you using a white bulb? If so, switch to a red one. Are they crowded? As they age, they need more and more room, and being crowded can make them feather peck. Even adult birds will do that. Are they bored? Try making them little perches, giving them a chick block, buying a small treat ball made for bored puppies and fill it with treats.
     
  4. Muddy

    Muddy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Alabama
    I have been planning to give them more perches. I hadn't considered that as an issue though.

    Thank you for the suggestions. I will try all of them. :
     

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