Bloody toes?!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cole74, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. cole74

    cole74 Just Hatched

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    I have a brooder with 26 chicks in it, barredrocks, white leg horns, Rhode Island reds, and I think ISA browns, I found three barred rock chicks being attacked by all the others with the tips of there toes completely eaten off and blood all over... why is this happening?! Oh also, I removed the injured chicks into a small tank with another lamp and cleaned there wounds with hydrogen peroxide.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    It sounds lilke you either have super aggressive chicks or they are bored with not enough space. Lack of space is likely the issue. If you can, seperate some of them into different brooders, or get a bigger one altogether.
    If you don't think that space is the issue, could you post a pic or two? Of the brooder and the injured chicks.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    How old are they, what are they in for a brooder, what are the exact dimensions of the brooder, what are you using for heat source, what is the temp under the heat source, and what is the temp at the opposite end of the brooder? What are you feeding them? Protein content? Feed in front of them all the time?
     
  4. BirdsNRabbits

    BirdsNRabbits Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with above posts. Main problem would probably be overcrowding in your brooder which would cause boredom. Chickens can do some awful things to each other once they get a pecking order established and are bored. I'm surprised your Barred Rocks are the lower on the pecking order as mine are usually near the top. Anyways same questions as above, What kind of brooder is it? How Big? What are they being fed? Maybe if they continue doing this you can add some things for them to do? Toys, small treats etc?
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Twenty-six chicks in a brooder sounds like there's a good chance overcrowding is your cause of this tragedy. You would need a very large brooder for that many chicks or the best brooder would be the coop or run for maximum space. Chicks need a minimum of a square foot of brooder space each.

    But breed temperament can also play a role in aggression, in addition to individual temperament. You may be able to re-program or discipline this destructive behavior if you are determined and consistent.

    Linked below this post is an article about stopping aggressive behavior in chicks. I also give several suggestions on how to improve the brooder to discourage this behavior.
     
  6. cole74

    cole74 Just Hatched

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    The chicks are about 5 days old, and living in a three foot by three foot wood box. A heat lamp is above a quarter the enclosure and is normally 94.3 underneath. In the un heated part of the box is about 70.8 degrees.The chicks always have food but i just noticed it doesn't give the protein content, it only says chick start n grow. We are not gonna keep all 26 chicks 20 of them are in the process of being re-homed, i only ordered so many cause the hatchery had minimum order of 25.
     
  7. cole74

    cole74 Just Hatched

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    Oh actually the food is 16% protein
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    In the mean time, your chicks are WAY over crowded, and while you are planning to rehome a lot of them, they all are being trained in aggressive behavior, which is sometimes impossible to stop once it gets started. The Mediterranean breeds are more prone to aggression IMO (leghorns). The heat is too high, which is often also a reason why this behavior starts. Decrease the heat until you find a level at which they still run around, do not pig pile under the light, do not hover at the far edges of the brooder away from the light. In a box that small, the feed and water take up a considerable portion of it, making the crowding even more evident. My recommendation is to immediately put them into a larger space, as Azygous says. This could be as simple as a large cardboard box. Check with an appliance or tool store. What is your light? White? That also makes aggression more likely than a red one. Check out these 2 sites/articles. Both go a long way toward stopping/preventing aggression. That protein is too low for chicks. Wishing you the best on getting a handle on this problem.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  9. cole74

    cole74 Just Hatched

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    we live in New Mexico temps are 50 during the day and 30-40 degrees at night. Could we put them in the coop outside? they'll have plenty of room. If i'm understanding you, the chicks having plenty of room is a very important factor. Would this solve all of our problems?
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Placing them all in a secure place in the coop with plenty of deep bedding for insulation will solve the brunt of your problems. Make sure there are no drafts.

    You still need a better feed. 16% is okay for fully grown chickens, but developing chicks need a minimum of 18%. I would use up the chick starter you have but supplement it with an adult all flock ration of at least 18%, mixing it in together. You can also ferment the two feeds and get even more nutrition from it, as well as eliminate waste.

    First, before you move them, decrease the ambient temp in their indoor environment, open a window or turn off the heat to the room. after a few days acclimatizing, they should be able to handle the cooler temps outdoors with flying colors as long as they have a good heat source to warm under.

    Make sure you place the heat source well away from tight corners so some chicks don't get shoved into them and smother. This is a common problem with as many chicks as you have when chicks are competing for warmth. Watch their behavior and adjust the heat lamp until they're moving freely about and not piling up directly under it.
     

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