Chickens drawing blood at 2 months old. Please help.

Velvethammer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
11
0
22
I recently bought 4 chicks from a local farmer who had no idea what sex they are. Ive had them in their coup for about 3 weeks now and everything has been fine until today when i got home. One of the chicks whole face was covered in blood. A second chick also had a little bit of blood on its face. The other 2 were perfectly fine. I read that i should put toys in their run to keep them occupied so i put in a swing and hung some lettuce for them to peck. I still have no idea what sex they are. Would this indicate that the 2 that are fighting are roos or is it just normal pecking order behavior? My wife is pretty beat up about it and i have 3 black sex link pullets that I was hoping to introduce to the other 4 once they got bigger. Any advice on what I should do? My wife will die if the older chickens kill the younger ones as she has really bonded with those. Thanks for your help
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,900
11,172
636
western South Dakota
Do they look like they have been fighting? Are there feathers everywhere? are their bald spots where feathers have been pulled out? Was the bloody one hiding?

Is it possible that the chick stuck his head through the fence and scratched himself when pulling it out?
I had a hen do that, and about tore off her ear patch and it bled pretty good.

Perhaps I have misread you letter, but it really does not sound like fighting to me, but i could be wrong.

MrsK
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,057
581
Southern Oregon
Doesn't mean they're roosters at all.
My first thought with chicks pecking each other is space. Crowded birds behave badly. How much space do you have for how many birds?
 

Velvethammer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
11
0
22
There are feathers on the ground and the bloody one's feathers look very ruffled. The two that looked beat up are more timid than they were before this happened, however the less bloody one still pecks the other one and it seems like it cowers down from the other chicks. As far as space they have a two story house thats eight square feet on the bottom floor and 4 square feet on the top floor. Their run is 16 square feet. I am going to take out all the roos once i know what they are and keep 4 hens max. If that seems too small I could cull it down to 3 hens.
 

keesmom

Free Ranging
12 Years
Jul 28, 2008
10,711
4,648
531
MA
Any chance a critter got in? Three week old chicks don't fight like that. Have you cleaned up the bloody ones? Chicks will keep pecking at that blood and may make things worse.
 

Velvethammer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
11
0
22
The only critter that could have got in would be maybe a snake or small mouse. The entire coup is enclosed in 1in chicken wire. The chicks are about 2 months old not 3 weeks. I have had them for 3 weeks but they were about six weeks old when i got them. I will make sure to clean them today.
 

proxieme

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 28, 2012
44
1
31
Did you check their combs?
We have two Welsummer hens on different ends of the pecking order, and our top hen used to mercilessly harass the omega.
She'd even jump and attack as if she had spurs whenever I put everyone out in the big mobile run.
Jerk biddie.

Anyway, one day th clipped omega's comb.
It was a little cut, hard to see, but it bled all over just like a human head wound.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
78
283
Wisconsin
4 square feet per chicken in the run, for 2 month old chickens, is crowded. Especially if they are high strung or you have cockerels in there.
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
517
328
Ohio
The only critter that could have got in would be maybe a snake or small mouse. The entire coup is enclosed in 1in chicken wire. The chicks are about 2 months old not 3 weeks. I have had them for 3 weeks but they were about six weeks old when i got them. I will make sure to clean them today.
Just so you know, mink or weasel can get through a 1" x 1" hole. And if you mean actual chicken wire instead of hardware cloth, almost any determined predator can get through chicken wire.

This wasn't a weasel attack, or the birds would be dead. But I didn't want you to think that they were safer than they really were.
 

Velvethammer

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
11
0
22
Well the chickens seem to be happier today with all the new toys i put in so hopefully that will fix it. I cleaned up the bloody chicken so it wouldn't get worse. Im growing TONS of salad greens in my garden and have been hanging them in their run. I replaced the nubs left after the chickens were done with it twice so far. I also stuck another roosting pole in their run and im going to install another in their house this weekend. No money to build a bigger coup at the moment but i have a good home lined up for the chickens im going to cull. Ill try only keeping three chickens with my current setup. As for weasels and minks, I live in Pensacola Florida in a suburban neighborhood. The only other wildlife i have seen around my yard are possums and snakes so hopefully thats all i have to deal with besides the occasional hawk. I think the biggest threat to my chickens will turn out to be my neighbors but two of them are cool with them not sure about the others yet im hoping a few eggs and a conversation will keep them from complaining to much as long as the noise stays at a decent level.
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom