Chicken Pecked Nearly to Death

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by applehousefarm, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. applehousefarm

    applehousefarm New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2014
    Last night when I went to put the chickens to bed I saw what I thought was a dead chicken. When I went over it was still breathing but lying on it's side and already a little chilled. It appears that the other chickens had pecked it so badly it had gone into shock. I brought him inside and realized it was my 3 year old's favorite (and mine). The wounds seem superficial and he made it through the night but he's so weak. I've been trying to give him water and electrolytes with an oral syringe but I don't think much is getting through. He's pretty drowsy but will wake up and make eye contact. It just seems like he's in way worse shape than he should be. He lost a lot of feathers and a little blood but no deep wounds or infection. I just don't know what I can do to save him and what I should do to prevent this from happening again. I have 2 dozen chickens. They were straight run and are now a little less than 2 months old. It's too early to start culling roosters, right?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Your chickens may be kept in too small of a space. I would let them outside, make sure they are getting a balanced 20% protein feed, and have soem things to climb on and explore. You also need to spend some time with them, and you may need to remove any bullies. It's not too soon to cull bullies, but most people wait until extra roosters are 10-20 weeks old to butcher. You may need to separate the aggressive ones into another area. Feed your chick some scrambled egg, get some BluKote to spray on any reddened areas, and be careful when you re-introduce him. Sometimes it's easier to put a gentle chick or two with them first, so he doesn't come back in as an only chick.
     
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  3. applehousefarm

    applehousefarm New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2014
    Thanks for the response. They've definitely got enough space. We have them in a large fenced in area but I wonder if feed may be an issue. We've been officially feeding them mostly at the end of the day to encourage them to forage more which they have been doing. We have a crazy grasshopper population and they're always scarfing them down. I'll have to take a look at the protein percentage. I'm just worried that the injured chick isn't going to make it even though his injuries don't seem severe. He seems like he's still in shock.
     
  4. applehousefarm

    applehousefarm New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2014
    *Update* Unfortunately Chipmunk (the name of the bird that was pecked) is no longer with us. I'm not sure if there was something internal going on or if he was just never able to recover from the shock but the wounds did not seem fatal. In any case I think we're going to spend tomorrow finishing their new coop and run and watching to see if any bullies need to be removed from the flock. It seems as though they're getting enough food but it is a chick feed (we think it's 16% protein but the bag isn't being helpful) so we'll try and remedy that and hope this doesn't happen to anyone else. Does anyone know if irridescent feathers can be a problem? This chicken had some gorgeous feathers that had a real shine to them and I'm wondering if that was part of the issue. Just trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Two month olds should always have feed available since they are growing like weeds. Many chick feeds are between 18 and 20 %, but layer is around 16%. Sorry for your loss.
     

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