Baby chick feather pecking

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by andjesus4all, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. andjesus4all

    andjesus4all Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2015
    Reno Nevada
    I feel like I should not raise chickens, I'm always having problems. My baby chicks are pecking baby feathers, I noticed some bare spots on some. Am I worrying too much? Do they outgrow this? I know they have a big enough area, they are always scratching and moving around, have plenty of food at all times, even food that is all over the pen. I don't know what to do. As soon as their adult feathers come in, they will go outside. I have a red light for them, I see one chicken do it more then the others. I read to give them toys? It seems they are always playing. I need help please.. Thank you!
     
  2. E.G.Glayer

    E.G.Glayer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May be some that disagree, but... I have used Bag Balm to coat the affected area, with a heavy dose of black pepper added to stop feather picking. It has worked very well and the peckers seem to absolutely abhore the taste as they rarely go back for seconds after they get a little flavor. Its cheap and may be something you've already got on hand.
    Just my .02 good luck.
     
  3. andjesus4all

    andjesus4all Out Of The Brooder

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    Reno Nevada
    On your baby chicks?
     
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    It is mostly a space thing. How many do you have in how big an area?

    Even if it's not badly overcrowded brooders don't really lend themselves to enabling milder chicks to get away from more aggressive, especially if you have a mix of breeds with a mix of temperaments. Once they are outside and the picked on one can run and hide more easily it should hopefully calm down. I'd just be concerned the longer they are all in together the longer the bully has to learn bad habits.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    It would be good if you would also tell us how old the chicks are. If they're in the first few weeks, this problem is usually of very short duration. You might simply wait until they grow out of it.

    Recently, when my present batch of chicks were just a few weeks old, one chick was compulsively picking the down off the other three. I got him to stop by giving him a quick, but gentle peck with my finger on his back. I would sit and watch the chicks and whenever this chick began to wind up to pick a down bit, I pecked him with my finger right before he reached the down with his beak. It's called aversion therapy.

    It was just a couple days I needed to do this and the picking stopped.
     
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  6. andjesus4all

    andjesus4all Out Of The Brooder

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    2 weeks old and I have 15 and they can get out of the way , I can sit in with them in pen with room to run from me and to me that should be big enough. I hope they will stop [​IMG]
     
  7. andjesus4all

    andjesus4all Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2015
    Reno Nevada
    I find that the chicks can get away but don't care they are getting pecked, is that normal? I must not have watched my other batches as closely, I don't remember them doing that. I think I'm worry for no reason, but I have had some issues with my chickens, and I am just concerned about having a repeat of those same issues. Thank you for your support
     
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Not seeming to care they're getting picked bald is rather common behavior among chickens in general. When my chick was picking, though, the victim would emit a startled shriek, so I knew it was painful. But that's the exception rather than the norm. Most victims act like they don't care. I don't know why.

    That's why I try to stop the behavior before it becomes a habit. Chickens are to habits like the Kardashians are to media attention.
     
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  9. Cruzin4us

    Cruzin4us Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2015
    I have 3 1/2 week Golden Laced Wyandotte that has decided to be a feather picker. She walks around and pecks all the other chicks backs. My 28 other chicks are being constantly harrassed. We have a HUGE run as well as a house for them to roam around in 24/7, so I don't think space is an issue. Should I cull her immediately or should I separate her for a week or so? She goes out of her way to pluck feathers....isn't this a tad bit young to have developed this habit?
     
  10. andjesus4all

    andjesus4all Out Of The Brooder

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    Reno Nevada
    Chickens feather peck at any age. They do it a lot more, I think, when they are babies and out grow. If you have plenty of room and they are eating chick starter, she maybe the boss and it's a pecking order peck. It's usually not enough room or not enough protein in their feed. You could separate her, but it could stress her out, if she is drawing blood, I'd separate. You can wait and see what happens or get rid of her. I continued to give mine a bigger area every time it looked like there space was getting too small for them. I had 15. Got rid of the worst ones because of room. By the time they went out in coop, they do not do it much anymore. Still go eat fluff that flies off them while puffing out their feathers but now feathers they leave. So glad!
    Hope it works out for you.
     

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