rehric00

Songster
6 Years
Apr 3, 2013
230
12
101
I have baby chicks.. 16 of them. They are 5 weeks old and in the outside coop. It is 8ft x 8ft. My Welsummers seem to be growing slower than the others and are also missing feathers on their backs- like they are being picked on. I have 4 austra whites, which I believe to be the culprits. I have had leghorns in the past- so I know their demeanor. The austras also seem to be the more confident of the group and one of them was even sparing with the baby cakes treat I put in there :lau .. but on a more serious note- these should all be pullets. They came from Cackle Hatchery- I am just concerned that the Welsummers are supposed to be a heavier bird, but are growing slower and being picked on.

Any remedies? They have enough space and I gave them treats to keep them occupied.... I feel bad for my poor Welsummer babies and they are looking kinda rough.
 

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
75
216
Olympia WA
From what I have seen of the Welsummers, they can be a bit slower, and are very sweet and docile, so they might be at the bottom of the flock. I had one that almost didn't make it as a chick, but she is catching up fast.

Do they have any outside run area yet? Can you watch them for a while to figure out what is really going on? Can you section off an area for the austra whites if necessary?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,648
24,575
912
Colorado Rockies
First of all, don't worry about the Welsummers growing. They're a leggy, slender breed, and don't fill out until the end of their second year. They are a breed that can be sexed accurately upon hatch, so they should be all pullets.

You need to do a "stake-out" and see if you can discover the feather picker. Feather picking usually picks up in the afternoon, so that would be a good time to get comfortable and watch your flock.

Once you identify the culprit, you might be able to discipline the behavior by poking the chick on the back with your finger each time you see it go after another chick.

If this doesn't stop the behavior, then you can try isolating the culprit in a "jail" so she's separated but still can see the others.

Are these chicks allowed outdoor access? If not, maybe they need the stimulation of being allowed to romp outside each day. They're old enough for a run.
 

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