Chick pecking at other chicks' wings

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Slingha, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Slingha

    Slingha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2014
    I've got a barred rock chick who seems to like nothing better than pecking other chicks' wing tips. How do I stop this? Any help appreciated. They are in a brooder with plenty of room to run under a red infrared heat lamp.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Probably that chick is distressed in one way or another. Often the cause is boredom, or your brooder may be too warm. Also, if they have light 24 hours a day, especially ordinary rather than red light, this can overstimulate them. (If you have a red heat lamp, supposedly this does not disturb them. I don't know whether the book is realy closed on this, though.) Is the heat set to one side so they can get away from it if they want? Many people find that chicks do not want temps as high as the 90 degrees the first week and degrees less each week. I always had to keep them cooler than this or they would move to several feet from the heat lamp.

    You say you have plenty of space, but I'll just say anyway that they should have about 2.5 sq ft per chick from 4 weeks on -- and really, they can't have too much space. Different areas with hiding places are good if you can manage it. Boredom may very well be an issue -- what is natural for them from about 3 days of age on, is to be able to forage, to learn to scratch and peck, with mama available for warmth whenever they want to run back under her. You could try "toys" -- things to jump up on, small roosts maybe made of a couple of small branches, a stuffed animal, a chunk of a cabbage or some other food tied so that it hangs down and swings when they peck it, a mirror designed for bird cages, a "dust bath" if they are not on sand, maybe a small area of sand, wood ash, etc. that they can dust bathe in. I'm sure there are 100 other ideas out there; you get the idea. Move things around every day or two. If possible, take them outdoors for short outings -- you will need some sort of temporary fence so they don't run off. Maybe let them explore your hand by mostening a bit of feed and laying your hand in their brooder, palm up, til they get used to you and walk or sit on your hand.

    In the end, if nothing else works, sometimes one bird just can't be managed -- but hopefully, it won't come to this. Good luck!
     
  3. Slingha

    Slingha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2014
    Thanks for the response. It's a red bulb. I'm 98 degrees under the bulb down to 75 at the furthest point from the bulb. Chicks hatched on Monday. All peeping happily it seems.

    Maybe I'll try a toy or 3. Someone mentioned either a paper towel or toilet paper tube. Any other suggestions?
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    95 is the max I've ever seen recommended. Lots of sources recommend starting them off at 90.
     
  5. Slingha

    Slingha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2014
    I just raised the bulb. I'll see what the thermometer comes up with. I'll target 90-93 and see how they do. I did have it at 95 when they first arrived and they were huddled together. 98 was the lowest they would move freely around the brooder
     

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