blood and picking feather

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jak2002003, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,790
    436
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    My chicks pulled out the tail feathers of one chick and pecked a wound into the tale base until it bleeds. It happened over just one day. The chicks are about 3 weeks old.

    I took that chicks out, and now they are doing it to another one. I took that out, and they have now started on a new victim.

    They are being brooded by a hen, and they are free range in the day and in the coop at night. There are 12 of them.

    They are selecting only one chick to do this to, and when that chick is removed they choose another one.

    I have never had this problem before.

    What is going on?
     
  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,712
    83
    158
    Jul 22, 2013
    What color of heat lamp are you using?

    How big of an area are they in?

    And I'm going to say you probably have one chick that is starting this and then after it's bleeding all the other chicks attack. They will happily kill each other. Watch them until you see the first one who pecks and get it out of there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,790
    436
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    I am not using any light. They are being brooded by their chicken mother.

    Most of the chicks are spotted brown colour, and the ones that are getting attacked are...

    my only white chick,
    Then a buff,
    then the second buff one.

    They seem to go for the lighter coloured chicks.

    The ones left now are all the same colour.........so I will have to see if they still do it.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,056
    7,620
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    That is strange... I've kept different coloured chicks together in brooders and with mothers before and they didn't do this. It may be curiosity, chicks do like pecking things, and with the paler coloured chicks their little tail feather pins may just be standing out too much to resist. How much space are you keeping them in? Have they got enough space to run around and things to amuse themselves with, other than each other's tail feathers? If you'd like to put them back with the hen, what you can try and do to stop them pecking the others' wounds is cover the area with some Blu-kote, it will mask the redness and blood. Good luck!
     
  5. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,712
    83
    158
    Jul 22, 2013
    When I first got my chicks I had read that chicks like to "attack" anything that is different, one reason why I was concerned about getting different breeds. Sounds like that is what was going on with your chicks considering it's the few that looked different who were being pecked. Update soon and let us know the the chicks that look the same leave each other alone.
     
  6. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,790
    436
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Well no more feather picking so far. I have put the white one and the 2 buff chicks in with a hen (who is broody). They are re growing their feathers, and the wounds have almost healed up.

    The other chicks are with they mother hen in the main coop.

    They all free range every day, and the coop is huge, with roosts, a big tree root stump, and the small chicks can even go in and out of it through gaps in the bottom of the door!

    I have raised a lot of chicks over the years, and each batch has different colours......I have different coloured hens and roosters together. This is the first time this has happened.

    I did once have one hen keep attacked the only black chick, and she sprained its wing, and pulled out feathers. I had to take that chick and raise it myself. But I think she did it as at the time there were 3 hens with chicks, and the black one was not hers. The chicks used to all group together and the hens brood them in a big pile.

    I suspect that its just one chick doing it, and then the others join in when they see the blood (like someone advised me above). If I find the culprit he / is going to chick 'jail'.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by