CANNIBALISM IN CHICKS

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Glenda L Heywood, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,436
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    Apr 11, 2009
    The post that the lady is having problems with cannibalism in her chicks is quite long now so will put this experience on here for those who have the problem may want to use

    I read this from RPB2 and it fits this situation perfectly

    lafleche49" <[email protected]>: [email protected]
    Hi

    I had something very similar happen before when I got a
    straight run order of 25 Redcap chicks from
    M-M-----. I had taken
    them to a 6 X 8 brooder house with a red bulb for heat. I gave them clean water slightly on the tepid side and high pro starter crumble
    mash.

    Everything was just fine and then as if on cue they began ripping and grabbing at each other's wings, toes, beaks, and pulling fuzz. I
    wasn't about to let this continue so I remembered what an older woman had told me that might stop the pecking.

    I went to the house and got a can of that blue eye spray that they use on cattle to
    repel flies and promote healing. It also dyes birds dark purple and this usually stops the worst bouts of pecking even after a bird has
    a raw spot on them. That didn't work and they went right back to fighting again.

    I went to the house and came back with a sifter partly full of flour and dusted the whole bunch until they were completely white. This
    old remedy is supposed to confuse them and make them stop pecking but in this case it didn't stop a thing. They just kept right on
    attacking each other.

    I decided to put them in the dark so they couldn't move around or see to fight by confining them to a chick box covered with a heavy towel. I left them that way for about an hour and felt it might be safe since they had calmed down to let them back out into the
    brooder again.

    The minute I let them out of the box they attacked each other like fighting cocks in the pit. To be real honest the thought of ripping
    their little heads off and leaving the bodies piled up in the box was real tempting.

    Instead I just threw up my hands, unplugged the heat light, closed the door, and went about my work outside as they slowly chilled. It
    was in the low 60s outside and that is pretty chilly on a newly hatched chick.

    I was really ticked and was of a mind to just let
    them die from hypothermia and be done with it. Then I decided that would be cruel and a waste of money and maybe they had stopped their
    stupidity.

    I opened the brooder door and there they were huddled up in a knot in the small spot on the floor that had last been warmed by the heat
    lamp. You could have covered all 25 of them with a small baseball cap they were so tightly packed together to stay warm.

    When I turned the brooder lamp back on, as soon as they warmed up, they started eating, drinking, and acting like normal chicks.

    There is a bad side to this and I know it had nothing to do with a lack of anything. When these chicks were barely old enough to let
    out to run the yard they attacked another of their number and ate it's rear end out while they were outside on green grass.

    A few days later they killed another one while I was standing right there and watched them do it!!! They literally ran the unfortunate bird down while pecking at it's rear end like a group of Pirannas attacking a bloody spot on an injured animal.

    I picked up a small cage and easily gathered up every Redcap that was attacking the bird because they just kept on pecking as if I
    wasn't even there. I nipped their beak tips back to soft mouth tissue with a pair of toe nail clippers and this stopped the behavior for a while.
    A few more weeks passed and I found a Redcap
    pullet at the edge of the yard with her rear end eaten out. I again tipped their beaks and decided to cull out those males that had
    previously been involved in the other altercation.

    That left me with roughly 5 males and 10 females. Evidently I had eliminated the worst of the group when I made fried chicken out of
    the excess cockerels. However I knew that every chicken in that building had been involved in the day old fight so none were above
    suspicion.

    Going forward a few months I lost another pullet to the ole disappearing anus trick and still never caught the culprits that did
    it. So I picked out the dominant and meanest male and sacraficed him to the noodle pot.

    By the time the pullets started laying I noticed
    that they had egg yolk all over their faces most of the time. I tipped their beaks again with toe nail clippers till they bled a little and that stopped the egg eating for a while.

    Then one day I was out in the yard and was hit in the back of my legs by a mature size Redcap cockerel who evidently thought he was going to get away with it. I put him in a single cage by himself and figured that would be the last of that. Before it was over I had ALL of those Redcap males in separate cages for sneaking up and flopping people.

    The story doesn't end here because I also bought an order of RC Brown Leghorns from
    M-M----- in a straight run order of 25 chicks
    and raised them separate from the Redcaps. There wasn't any bad behavior in the early stages with the Leghorns.Then when the males
    got a little older they began hitting people in the backs of their legs the same as the Redcaps had done the month before. The pullets were also egg eaters.

    Much of this boils down to the fact that hatcheries usually debeak their breeder chickens to prevent feather eating, egg eating, and cannibalism in the quarters of their confined flock breeding areas.

    This eliminates the need to cull out those individuals that would have done this type of behavior under regular circumstances. It also
    increases the chance of selecting birds out of parents that are bad for this behavior and can't be detected because they have been
    debeaked and are incapable of these objectionable acts.

    When chicks that still have plenty of nutrition left in their bodies become cannibalistic and extremely agressive I think it points back
    to poor selection practices or a total lack of selection against bad behavior traits. Dean

    I think this says it all for the cannibalism of chicks

    as well as it is inherited from the parents and nothing will do away with it
    So then if one has this type of chicks I would dispose of them asap to do away with the bad effects they cause the whole bunch of chicks
     

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