Chicks eating each other....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PeeperKeeper, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    At one week of age, I started finding chicks with their tails being picked at and bloody. We realised we needed more room for the 90 little fur balls.
    We did find that there was one chick that seemed to always start the pecking. It would even turn up it's beak to starter feed in favor of some one else's tail feathers!
    This chick was very evasive, hard to catch and I'm not sure I've caught up with it yet.
    We have them in a larger pen, fed occasional suet, and watch closely.
    Still last night 2 chicks ended up with bloody tails! [​IMG]
    What I did discover is: Desitin or generic zinc oxide, diaper rash ointment doesn't taste good and covers the red bloody areas very well.
    If I catch the one that's doing the damage... Well, it wan't be doing damage much longer. [​IMG]
  2. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    I hope you caught the right one and it stops. Are they still under a red heat light or are you warm enough to not need one already?

    I've got one that's being picked at right now and have a post up asking for help, too.

    Good luck!
  3. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK so I'm BUMPING myself up here! Anyone with any new ideas on this subject? Or do I just have a renegade cannibal chick on my hands? [​IMG]
  4. DCS

    DCS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2008
    I had a turkey poult with a bloody rear end yesterday - although it looked like one guy started it and everyone else was curious enough to join in.

    I squirted some Blue Kote (it's a purple dye that coats to protect the wound) on his fuzzy butt, and so far, the others are leaving it alone. I got mine at Tractor Supply for about $5, and it was worth it. I had used it previously on a hen who was getting picked on, and it worked like a charm.

    Something to try...
    Good luck,
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I had one batch of badly pecking chicks and it was solved easily. I just added a stick. [​IMG] They had something entertaining to look at, peck, and step on. It took several days before they lost interest and by then I had them in a bigger brooder, under a red lamp, and started giving them treats from the garden as well as their brooder gaining items like bricks to set the water and food on to keep it clean. If you are feeding them high enough protein then pecking chickens tends to be the result of boredom which can be both too little space and too little to do. I found my chicks that I brooded in in aquariums in the livingroom with the tv frequently going and people and pets moving around actually bothered each other less. They'd even gather at the corner of the glass to watch everything. The ones I brooded in the spare bedroom with no commotion at all are much more likely to start pecking each other if not given space and objects for entertainment. Chickens do get bored.
  6. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks to everyone's response. We'll be trying you suggestionss! [​IMG]
  7. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2009
    Okay take this with a grain of salt as I don't even have chicks yet, but my suggestion (if they can have treats already) is to go to the nearest pet store and buy a couple (maybe 1 cricket to 5 chicks or so) of small sized crickets. My guess is that they'll go nuts chasing the jumping critters and leave each other alone. Unless they are in your house wouldn't want escape crickets-trust me I used to work at a pet store, escaped crickets are elusive little buggers!

    I'd still do what other people are saying though about the BluKote as it seems many people swear by it. And I've read that if you still have the red lamp on them it makes it so they can't see the bloodied area as well so they leave it alone.
  8. claud

    claud Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    The two biggest things that can start cannibalism are overcrowding and too bright lights. Other than that try what others have said.
  9. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Like others said - more space and something to do.

    90 is a whole lot of chicks. What size are your brooders? Are you using red heat lamps.

    Do the chicks have something to scratch?

    I only had 10 in a 169 gal stock tank with roosts, a rock near one of the red heat lamps that would hold heat was popular. I would spread a little cracked corn scratch twice a day for them to scratch for something.

    My ten are still alive and healthy and out in the coop for 2 wks now.

    My chicks NEVER picked on each other.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009

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