Butt picking babies


Chicken Maiden
9 Years
Jun 14, 2010
Hey Peeps. I have to leave my computer, but wanted to ask about this. I have 27 chicks in a barn area of 4x12. They are going on 4 weeks old. They have an outdoor access hole with a run of 6x6. I am starting to see picking on the vent area and tail feathers of my 4 Cornish Rock Cross chicks. The others that I have are all mixed EE's. My light is probably too hot, but it is 38 in the mornings and 80 in the afternoons! Hard to regulate the temp. Their feed should give them plenty of protein. Do you think crowding is an issue?

I appreciate any ideas..
Uhhh yup. 4 x 12 = 48 square feet. Minimum square feet in a COOP is 4 per bird, which is an easy calculation: you should have no more than 12 chickens in that space.

Minimum square feet in a run is 10 per bird, which means your outdoor run area supports 3.6 chickens.

So you definitely have a crowding issue!
I don't want to argue - because I am certainly not an expert, but don't those 4 and 10 sq ft requirements apply to fully grown LF? If the chicks are only 4 weeks old, surely they need less space than that. Right?
True. Day old chicks can get by with 1 sq fr per chick, but it gets bigger quickly -- I've forgotten the formula. They sound either crowded or hot to me, maybe both. One thing about providing more space as they would have a better chance of being able to regulate their own temp by moving toward or away from the warmth.
I measured my space and it is 5x15. The chicks will be 4 weeks old Friday. I had two heat lamps, but have unplugged one, and they seem fine. No huddling. Usually a few are outside and can come and go if they please. I will find a way to increase their space. The chicken coop (part of the barn) is 15x30 and their fenced in area is 300x400, so once they are turned loose with my 6 adults and 6 bantys they will be fine. I just need to rack my brain for the interum. My laying boxes are along one wall in the coop, so it makes it difficult to increase the chick area. The floor is concrete, so I can't drive a post in there. ARGH!

Ah well, where there is a will, there is a WAY!

Thanks for all the imput!
Hello Ironmaiden-

Another thing that comes to my mind is, give them a quick check for parasites just in case......

Hey, just a bit of trivia regarding your screen name.......I don't know your age, but I'm 46, and when I was a teenager, there was a rock group called Iron Maiden. My boyfriend and I went to a rock concert--it was Judas Priest and Iron Maiden opened up for them. They had this huge robot, (he had a name, but I forget it) and this robot shot fire out of his mouth.......Wow, seems like so long ago.......very heavy metal at the time.

Just wanted to share!
I will certainly check for parasites when I get home. (Check the chicks that is..)
I use DME, and change litter frequently, but you never know.
Girl! Back in the DAY! I don't think Priest's metal monster had a name, but IronMaiden's mascot is Eddie. I have seen both bands several times and they are both still touring. Maiden rakes in millions in Brazil. Can't imagine how they do it. They are going on 60 surely. I'm 43. I think.. try not to notice birthdays anymore.
Isn't that something? Seems sooo long ago, doesn't it? LOL And some of these bands are sooo popular still, like ACDC....my kids can't believe I was rockin' to those bands when I was 15 years old. Oh how time flies! Yes! that was the robot's name! EDDIE! Your memory is much better than mine! LOL

Well, you take care and I sure enjoyed our little walk down memory lane!


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