cannibalization of 6wk old chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sandrachx, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    last weekend we moved our 36 chicks from the large box in the garage to their 8x8 coop. yesterday i found 1 chick who was pecked hard removing most of her back feathers and flesh of a wing. i removed her and put her in a cage by herself with feed, water and antibiotics in her drinking water (tetra-something). everything looked fine when i opened the coop this a.m. - within the last hour i've found two other chicks aggressively pecked with feathers removed and bleeding flesh. all the same breed (jersey giants) have been injured; the tetra tints (TSC hybrid) are fine. what's happening!!! what can i/should i do? please don't leave me hanging here . . .
     
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Sounds like they are board and start pecking once they see blood they won't stop. I would check all the chicks over for wounds. I would also watch and see if you can figure out which one is pecking the others.
     
  3. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2011
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    Could be that their seeking protein. A red heat lamp/light will mask any wounds on them, also a purple antibotic spray will cover up the scabs/wounds.
     
  4. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the red lamp!! A great way to hide things from pickers. Give them other things to do too. (scratching for food, etc.)
     
  5. pipersong

    pipersong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2011
    I'm very new, so fair disclosure there. My chicks are almost 6 weeks and I noticed one mean girl pulling tail feathers out and making others bleed. She was just focused on going chick to chick, pulling tail feathers. She actually got most of one of my RIR's tail feathers out while I went in for a minute. We isolated her for almost 10 days, holding her a lot and giving her attention, and then started putting her in a little while at a time. (boredom didn't seem to be her issue...just pure meanness!) When she picked, isolation again. Then we noticed she started to get the picture. We put her back in gen. population (sorry, we're a law enforcement family and use jail terms haha) but with a squirt bottle in hand, we gave her a little squirt whenever she'd peck. The other girls started standing up for themselves too. They have been all back together for about a week, and nothing beyond the peck on the back or exposed not-yet-feathered spots has happened. I was panicky, but I feel a bit better now. Hope that helps a little! Again, very new, so I probably made mistakes...but it worked!
     
  6. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    also make or buy them some suet cakes... gives them something do to.. Give em toys!!!
     
  7. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    wow - that may be the issue. when they were in the box in the garage, we had a red lamp on them at all times (cool and damp garage from all the weather fluxuations). when we moved them to their new, dry wood coop, we did not put a lamp in. just depended on natural light during the day. we'll be putting in a red light bulb this afternoon. also, husband has gone to tsc to get blu-kote to treat the injured ones.

    the one that has such a large section of feathers - do you think they will grow back? do you think she can ever be reintroduced to the flock?

    thanks for your help in figuring this out!
     
  8. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    Quote:i have 36 chicks - 14 white/22 black. it's hard to tell them apart, let alone figure out who's doing what! makes me really wish i could afford a chicken-cam . . . thanks for the input. very much appreciated. now to find those squirt guns :)
     
  9. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2011
    Wisconsin
    Quote:I've had hens with large area's of feather loss on their backs due to the roosters, and yes, they grow in. I wouldn't reintroduce them until you have the blu-kote on, and the wounds are at least to the scab stage.
     
  10. Balbinka

    Balbinka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2011
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    They are in too small of a space...
    An 8 x 8 coop with thirty six chickens is not good.

    My coop is about that size and I only have twelve chickens!

    I've heard recommendations for hanging a head of cabbage over the chicks so they have something to play with.
    Good luck, but I really do think they need more space!
     

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