Chickens eating another


8 Years
Apr 17, 2015
We have 18 growing chicks, about 8 weeks old. We just made the horrifying discovery that they were eating one of their own. I removed the victim to hopefully heal but.....what about the rest of the flock? Why? and will they continue to eat one another?
I'm glad you got the victim out of there. Chickens will always go for blood, or any red spot. Keep the injured bird separated while it heals. What are you feeding them? Do they have enough space?

And welcome to BYC!
We're feeding them grower feed, Dumor brand. They also get greens in the form of grass and the like. We were hoping they had enough space but I don't think they do. I couldn't guess measurements, I'm bad at that.

If we add on to their run a fair amount, should the eating stop? My concern is that once they get blood, they'll have an acquired taste. Yes? No?

And thank you for the welcome! :)
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They need about 4 square feet per bird inside, and about 10 square feet per bird outside. I'd give them as much run space as possible. I wouldn't say it's an acquired taste, but they will always go for a bloody spot. Some birds are a bit more aggressive than others, so giving the ones that are lower on the pecking order places to hide, and space to get away helps.
Try to give the chicks some sort of approved activities to give them something to do besides eat each other. My chick pen is a touch small for my 10. It has netting across the top so I give them branches of varying heights and thicknesses to climb, roost and play on. One is even a swing. They love it and it's great watching them all play or roost together. I move the branches or swap them for new ones every few days to keep it fresh and entertaining.

I also dump dried leaves, untreated grass clippings, straw or a few good scoops of compost on the ground in their run. This gets raked into a pile twice per day and flattened in no time. :) Once it starts to smell it gets scooped back in the compost bin and the babies get fresh, new stuff to scratch through. Rake some seeds or treats into the pile so they can uncover "prizes" to keep busy.

Also consider an extra hiding spot. My chicks rarely go in the coop during the day. They prefer the top half of a large dog kennel with straw bedding to nap in.

Good luck!
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Thank you Mr Chicks and Kay Crowe. I KNOW they do not have 10 sq feet apiece outside in their run so I need to get to work on that today. I suppose they would get bored in there, huh? I'll try to liven things up in there for them and give them stuff to do. I never would have thought of that! Thanks!
We expanded the chick's run massively today. They have space galore! I wanted to clarify, we should not put the pecked at chick back with the others until he/she's completely healed up?
The pecked chick can't have any bloody spots on it, or they will go right back to it. Make sure to watch when you do put it back.

Good job on expanding!

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