barebacked chicks????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bdagenais, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. bdagenais

    bdagenais Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    I have a group of 32 chicks that are 8 weeks old today. I noticed on their backs that some are bare or looks like new growth of adult feathers. Is their backs the last to fill out with feathers or is this something I should be concerned about? In all other aspects they are fine and healthy. These are a mix of RIR, Red Star, Austrolorps (sp???), and Black Wyandottes. Sorry no pics. Technically Challenged!! Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Elizabeth
     
  2. farmergal

    farmergal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Spend 10-15 minutes watching your chicks' behavior very carefully. My guess is: they're pecking each other. Do you see some running around with feathers in their mouths, being chased by others, and then eating the feathers? Can you catch one of them in the act of grabbing a feather out of another chick's back?
    I have this problem with mine (who are 5 weeks). A few of my girls look exactly like you've described yours. I've separated out 2 of the most aggressive peckers (mean little RIR girls who just like to pick on my sweet, easygoing EEs.) This is important because pecking can be a learned behavior -- so if you can isolate the ones who started doing it, then it might not spread to the rest of your flock.
    I'm also going to be supplementing their feed with some protein in the form of sunflower seeds and yogurt. (Sometimes a lack of protein results in pecking/feather-eating behavior.) You can also put "saddles" on them so they won't be pecked; I haven't tried this yet. Also, make sure they have enough space and entertainment. Sometimes they'll peck at each other if bored. For mine, treats like zucchini and sweet corn seem to distract them from feather-eating.
    (I've been researching this topic a lot, so most of this comes from other BYC threads and google searches, just so you know!)
     
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    I agree..... watch to see if there is picking.
     
  4. I had some I had to duck tape their back, but it was due to a LOVING roo, they just sorta look strange with abare back [​IMG] marrie
     
  5. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    Maine
    Quote:I can't see how duct tape is beneficial [​IMG] It has a pretty harsh glue on it...


    What color is your light? I have red lamps and haven't had a problem with pickers yet....
     
  6. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Quote:I can't see how duct tape is beneficial [​IMG] It has a pretty harsh glue on it...


    What color is your light? I have red lamps and haven't had a problem with pickers yet....

    Not really. The duct tape they sell around here is actually very weak sticky wise. It's stong enough to hold things together, but when put on feathers and suck it falls off alot of the time.

    I had a Tyson Chicken fall off in front of my house and when she fell her shoulder was cut open. The bone in her wing broke and was sticking out. It was fine and not really bleeding until I put her in a cage and she began flopping around. It began to bleed really bad so I wrapped it in gauze really good and duct tape the gauze to her. After a fe hours the duct tape stickeyness wore off and the next day it just slipped right off.
     
  7. bdagenais

    bdagenais Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Jul 18, 2008
    Spring Hill, FL
    Quote:I can't see how duct tape is beneficial [​IMG] It has a pretty harsh glue on it...


    What color is your light? I have red lamps and haven't had a problem with pickers yet....

    Thank you all for the info. I currently have them in a section of my enclosed garden with an area of about 20' x 20'. I also have a covered pvc/wire enclosure for them to use at nighttime as a roost inside the enclosure. It is covered with a tarp and has a red light on all the time for them. I live in central west Florida so the nights have been low 60's to high 50's and the days have been up to the mid 80's. Not real bad weather. I have spent some time watching them and have not noticed picking. Maybe they are not doing it when I'm around???? I have been trying to throw them veggie scraps during the day so they have something to pick on other than just grain. As I said before they are 8 weeks old and I am still feeding Starter/Grower. Should I change to a higer protein feed?
    Unfortunately, there are way too many to "saddle" unless I can find a decent price in "bulk". And I am not too sure about the duct tape. Ours seems like it would stick forever or pull the new feathering out when removed. I will continue to check for pickers and more info. All help is appreciated.

    Thanks
    Elizabeth
     

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