cannabalism in chicks


In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 13, 2013
I have three batches of about 3 chickens each. All are different kinds about 5-8 weeks. They will eat each other up if we don't keep them separated.
I can't keep building coop for every kind. I have 3 andalusian, one male RIR, 3 white leghorns and 3 dark brahams. They are a bloody mess in one coop being 2 white leghorns females and 1 male. What can I do?
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Those breeds should all mingle well together. Sounds more like a space issue. Give us detailed info on how you're keeping them, pics if possible.
I have them in a coop that is 6' long, 30in. wide of which 4' is a runner and the other 2' is boarded around the sides for a means to get warm on cool nights. The side next to the run is open completely. We now have them separated in storage crates, but I can't leave them like that. All seven of the 1/4 grown little ones have bloody sports where the others peck. They will peck their kind. Doesn't matter to them.
When my chicks were ripping each others feathers out somebody told me to get blue spray or wound kote and spray it on them. after the first application all of it stopped.
The only reason I've ever heard for cannibalization like this is overcrowding, but that doesn't seem to be your issue. I'm kind of stumped. You could try to see if they make peepers that will work for birds this small--I know they use them for game birds all the time. You'd only need to put them on birds that have blood on their beaks. (You will get some innocent birds, since some that are picked on will have preened that area and have blood on their beaks, too. But peepers aren't permanent and don't hurt the bird). Leave the peepers on for at least two weeks or so, then take them off and see if the behavior has stopped. If it hasn't, you just put the peepers back on. You can either get peepers with pins, or without pins. The Pinless Peepers go on easier but also fall off easier. Most poultry supply stores sell them in packs of 100, but I've been told you can get small lots on eBay.

Sometimes one bird will be nasty and start pecking, and then when they open up a wound on one of the other birds, the flock members will join in on the pecking because chickens will reflexively peck at the color red. Using BlueKote will do two things--help keep the wounds from being infected, and get rid of the red color.
Just had my first issue with this. Had the back side bloody by the time I seen it. Put Prid salve ( Best stuff in the world) on the wound and let set for and hour. Then I grabbed the vapor rub and smeared up its feathers and where they had pulled them out. put it back in the coop and they ran at it and then just backed off. I use the vapor rub on my dogs when they come in heat too.
Yesterday I put 3 Dark Brahams and a small RIR rooster in my coop with 13 Golden Comets and 3 Dominiques. All hens, no roosters. They have almost killed the newbies in 24 hours. I can't build coops and runs for every chicken I want to add. This is about 3 times I have posted and nothing helps. Surely someone can help me. Thanks.

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