chick picking

dfvellone

In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 17, 2008
22
1
32
My one week old "Red Ranger Broilers" started picking each other yesterday. I discovered two chicks, one of which had the majority of one of it's wing feathers picked clean and was somewhat bloodied, while the other had some tail feathers picked and was also bloodied.

I immediately reduced their numbers by adding another brooder even though they had ample space, separated out the injured birds, and offered them only day light.

There is more than ample feed and water trough space, starter is minimum 18% protein, temperature is perfect, and I can't pinpoint an aggressor. This am. I found another with a bloodied tail!

I've raised chicks for years under the exact same conditions and have never once had a picking problem.

I'll try distractions like chopped fresh greens, but what might be going on???

Thanks
 
Last edited:

dfvellone

In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 17, 2008
22
1
32
The chicks have 1 square ft/ bird for space and I never use heat lamps but instead use hot water bottles since I'm off grid and can't run heat lamps. They're provided with good lighting and they neither huddle nor exhibit any overheated behavior. They're conditions are ideal as they have been for the many years I've started chicks in the house and never had a single picking problem. Nothings changed - I monitor the brooder temp closely as well as the chicks behavior so that their comfort is good. They have fresh air, good lighting, good feed and water, plenty of space but they're still picking - I've got three bloody tails so far in addition to the chick with the bloodied wing (who is doing well). If it were warmer out I'd move them to the large outdoor brooder hoping something might change.


When I found the first chick that had been picked I immediately reduced their number in the brooder giving them more space, and I offered only day light (there's great window lighting in the part of the house where they're located). They left each other alone and went about their normal feeding, drinking, scratching, and napping routine, but then I'd hear a loud peeping and find another bloody tail. I blue-koted each one and separated them and the peace help for a bit then two more times! I cannot see that there's an aggressor. My pullets are housed in the exact same situation and I'm having no problems with them.

I've raised rangers before but never from Murray Mcmurray who offered them for the first time this year. Not sure what to do at this point.
 

dfvellone

In the Brooder
11 Years
Dec 17, 2008
22
1
32
Any insight regarding this issue that's still going on a bit would be greatly appreciated.

The picking has now begun in my pullet brooder which is roomier yet! It's not getting out of control by any means and the blue kote is immediately stopping it, but it's persisting with another couple of chicks bloodied every day. I've marked the suspects and there's clearly no aggressor.
Optimal heat, not overly bright, and starter that claims 18% minimum protein. All I can figure at this point is that though the starter claims 18% minimum, it's below that enough to encourage picking. It's Purina started which I've never used before. I always started on Nutrena's Nature Wise Starter but was in a pinch this year and couldn't get to my feed mill.
 

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