Buff Orpington Chicks being targeted in pecking PLEASE HELP STRATEGY


10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
SouthEast Texas
I have a flock of 3-week old chicks. 6 rir, 6 br, and 9 bo. On Friday, i discovered 3 bo's with pecked/bloody tails or necks. At the time, i knew that the problem was overcrowding because our expansion brooder did appear when planned.

I fixed the overcrowding problem with a rubbermaid tub and a big cardboard box, and the pecking stopped.

24 hours after i sprayed the pecked girls with wound-kote, i put them back with the others and didn't have anymore problems. Yesterday, all 21 were moved to a GIANT new "transition brooder" we'll call it. They really have lots of room in there. They also have better light because it's outside. I just went out to check on them and found 5 bloody babies, all bo's again.

It seems to me that the bo's are just more interesting because their little feathers aren't camouflaged with dark color like the br's and rir's.

So i'm tossing around a couple of ideas: First, i'm tempted to separate the bo's altogether, but i realize that presents integration challenges in the future, so i don't want to go that route. My other thought......don't laugh...(o.k., you can laugh) is to start spraying their necks and tails with the blue wound-kote every couple of days to give them some artificial camouflage until they feather in, and their fuzzy feathers aren't so interesting to the other chicks.

I would love some advice here.

They should not be too hot; they're outside with lots of ventilation, and the high for today is 76. They should also not be crowded. That brooder is huge, something like 5.5 x 3.5 x 4, with roosts and air and everything.

Please tell me what you think.

Thanks, Beth

edited to change subject so someone will respond to my thread.
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...make that 7...7 of 9 bo's in the flock are now bloody (and now blue)

at this point, i'm thinking that i just may as well spray them all blue; most of them already are.
You might as well spray the rest blue like you stated - will not hurt them - unlike the pecking.

Are they on the ground with other things to interest them - grass, dirt, rocks, sticks. Do the BO have a place to hide - a board angled against the side of the brooder.

Wish I had better ideas. Poor babies! Poor you!

They are not on the ground. They are way off the ground. I put a little "jungle gym" in there, which is actually a shower caddie on it's side. They were all over it when they were in the little brooder; but now they seem to be ignoring it. I hadn't thought of giving them a place to hide. I'll try putting more distractions in there.
Not a bad idea.

There are just 2 bo's left in the brooder now. They are bigger that the rest and a little better feathered in. I don't know if that's why they're not being picked on. I'm watching though. And i checked and made sure that none of the other breeds are being pecked. I thought maybe it was just easier for me to notice on the buffs, but now i'm really sure.
O.k., well, that's what i did. The poor babies look like i bred a parrot with a buff orp! I'm hoping this works...if i reapply in a couple of days when it starts to wear off, i'm hoping they'll have a chance to let their feathers catch up and not be so interesting anymore.

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oh, that tub you see them in is just where they're resting.

i'm planning to put them in with the flock after dark tonight - after the paint is good and dry, and they have had a chance to rest.

then i will check on them again early in the morning and see how things are going.
Oh my goodness that pic is adorable ~ blue neck n tail Buff Orps.

You can dig up a clump of grass/weeds with dirt and throw it into your brooder - a couple even - it will give the chicks something interesting to do. An apple cut in half thrown in with them is good, half a cabbage. A low container with dirt/sand mix will let the little ones take a dirt bath and scratch it all over.
thanks for those tips! i will work on that. i put some stuff in earlier; so far, the plastic bottle is the most interesting to them! but i will start digging. thanks!

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