CHICK - Swollen Vent. One Already Dead....HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Masonic Chicken, May 15, 2009.

  1. Masonic Chicken

    Masonic Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Vernon/Bonifay, FL
    I came home from work today and had a dead chick in my brooder. I had only about 15 of the chicks in the brooder. Her lower back near and around her vent were all bloody. I buried her and assumed that they had a pecking war while I was gone.

    However tonight I notcied another chick kinda off by herself. I cornered her, got her out and her vent is all swollen and looks like leaking puss/poop. I can't tell. It looks read and raw. I decided to try and make sure there was no dried poop blocking her from using the bathroom. However everything looks clear. I inserted a q-tip just a lil to make sure.

    Any ideas here. I looked in a disease book but nothing.

    More info on them, chicks are around 4-5 weeks old. Only thing I did differently was alot them some scratch. Is it way to early...I am still pretty new here.

    I can get a picture if needed.
     
  2. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    It's cannibalism - when they start eating one another alive, starting at the vent. You'll need to isolate any that have any red or pink vent or injuries because that really sets the others off and if possible, try and observe and see which ones are the ones doing the pecking and isolate them.

    How large is the brooder? Cannibalism is usually due to boredom/overcrowding and/or protein deficiency. Give them something to peck at and scratch through - like a head of lettuce to peck apart. Scatter food on the brooder floor for them to scratch through, you can even bury it in pine shavings so they have to dig and scratch. Feed them scrambled egg to give them extra nutrition and protein.

    Best of luck. Once it starts it is hard to stop. Freeranging, or even letting them outside to run around also helps.
     
  3. Masonic Chicken

    Masonic Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Vernon/Bonifay, FL
    I will try to keep a better watch on them, this is my brooder, since you asked.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=175701&p=1

    I will go check all of them now, thanks for the heads up....geez I hope this works.

    As for grains you mentioned, what else can I feed them? I have them on chick starter and scratch grains. And EGGS????? Geez I will try it, seems like that would induce the cannibalism...but I will trust you, I will do that tonight too.
     
  4. kingmt

    kingmt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are just chicks. The egg is what they was eating before they came out. You do this for chickens also but never let them know that it is the egg that you are feeding them or they will start breaking theirs & eating them.
     
  5. chickenhick

    chickenhick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Virginia
    I feed my chickens their own eggs all the time, they love them, and they have NEVER broken their eggs themselves. I really don't think they know they are eating their own eggs. Scrambled eggs are great treats for them. ALso, when I looked at the picture of your brooder, I couldn't help but notice the wire floor. That just looks really uncomfortable to me and could possible cause bumblefoot problems. ANyone else here agree or is it just me? I think a solid floor with pine shavings would be a much better situation.... opinions? [​IMG]

    Also, I found this quote on another thread.....???
    "Crowding increases cannibalism. Inadequate feeder and waterer space increases cannibalism. Malnutrition increases cannibalism. Feeding pellets instead of mash increases cannibalism. Keeping the chickens on wire floors instead of on litter increases cannibalism. Using sand instead of straw or wood shavings as litter increases cannibalism.

    Low light levels can eliminate cannibalism. Birds become relatively inactive in dim light."
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  6. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    That's a wonderful brooder - seems nice and large for 15 chicks so maybe it's a boredom thing. I put my chicks in a wire bottom Chick-N-Hutch till they are 4 weeks old and the wire bottom keeps things a lot neater. I usually have them in a plastic brooder bin till they are a week old and then to the Chick-N-Hutch with hay on the bottom for another week, then just the wire for the last couple of weeks, then they are put out to freerange around 4 weeks sometimes sooner if it's hot. I add the hay when they are newly hatched just because their feet are so small they fall through.

    I did notice your heat lamps seem to be just suspended down, holding by the cords. You might want to consider securing them in some way. I always use wire and wire it to something, by the handle and one other spot just to be safe because if it drops it will cause a fire.

    As far as feeding them the eggs and whether or not they will recognize scrambled egg as being their eggs......well, let's just say they are not that smart. I often boil up a couple of dozen eggs and mash them up shell and all and feed to my flock - they go crazy. It's really healthy for them.

    Finally, if you really want to see your little chicks go crazy and give them something healthy to do and to eat. Stop by a bait shop and buy a box of crickets. Start by throwing them in one at a time and watch the game of football that takes place once the first little chick grabs it and starts running. Cheapest thrill and entertainment for about $1.50. Chickens really need protein from a meat source like bugs and crickets. I buy a box of crickets and toss them to my chickens when I want to have a good laugh.
     
  7. Masonic Chicken

    Masonic Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Vernon/Bonifay, FL
    Thanks for all the great info, I had pondered the whole bait thing too. I would assume worms are fine as well since they get them out of the yard. I will pick some up on my way home tommorow.

    I had read a decent amount, and for me, the wire floor seems best. So you think as this age the best thing is to go ahead and let them Free Range? I had planned on doing it, just wasn't sure if this was just to early.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    In one of the pics of your brooder, I noticed the chicks were all gathered at the end farthest from the heat. It was just one pic, I realize, and might not have any significance. But it made me wonder whether they might be a bit too warm?
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Probably a little early for true free ranging. But some time on the ground would be wonderful for them.
     
  10. Masonic Chicken

    Masonic Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Vernon/Bonifay, FL
    They were all running around, trying to get away from me and the camera...thats all.

    I have backed off the lights ALOT now anyhow, the temp has been around like 80-86
     

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