Chicks fighting already...thoughts?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Freedomspride, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Freedomspride

    Freedomspride Hatching

    Jul 10, 2008
    I am new to the forum and new to chickens as far as owning them (have worked with them for years). We got our first 14 new hampshire reds on July 3rd they were born July 1st. So they are 17 days old today. They have had a 3 ft by 4 ft brooder (2 ft high) wood sided with wire bottom and top since they came to us. We got 3 roosters and 11 hens, my husband choose odd numbers, thinking we'd lose a couple (at least) in the transport and the first couple weeks if something happened we'd still have a ok sized group. Well tonight when I went down to do the barn and checked them over, one of the hens had been beat up, has a small open wound to neck, all feathers pulled out and skin raw. Two of the cockerls seem to be fighting already, nothing serious but like you see two older cocks fighting jumping up with their feet. I know it's more one than the other who seems to be a real jerk, the third cockerl so far seems pretty mellow. The hen that got beat up seems to be one of the smaller ones, perhaps why they got her? We separated her and put one of the other smaller hens in with her for now to see how she does. Aside from the wounds, seems ok behaivoral wise.

    So my questions are, what would you do? Do you think that size brooder is not enough? It seems fine. I'm sure 3 cockerls isn't good, and we have discussed we will probably pick just one to keep and sell or cull the other two but to me seems stupid to do it now (culling) as they are barely 3 weeks old. Plus chance they may improve once they move into their stall/outdoor pen? I planned to keep them in the brooder till they were 5 weeks old but now wondering if they will need to at least go into stall earlier.

    Any thoughts/ideas apprecitated. This is kind of our trial and error batch being our first, we are learning from this group more than anything. I would also some day really like to get a few silkies... but worried it's a bad idea with the mixed breeds? That the silkies will get beat up.

  2. injunjoe

    injunjoe Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Pasco county, FL.
    Welcome to BYC.
    I don't have answers for you but just wanted to welcome you!
    Good luck.
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    wow I feel bad for your little one. I would watch her even with the other smaller hen because most will peck on any wound not covered by's just natural instinct. In a few weeks that area will prob be too small for your chicks. I would also get rid of two of the roos...they will fight ALOT when they get a little older. I see it in mine more now...their little red combs are getting so torn apart...mine will be separated tomorrow [​IMG] I also had three...but mine were bantam sized.
    If you can get ahold of some blue kote and spray it on her wounds that would benefit her a lot too. And in the future if they peck at each other get some hot's just herbs that are peppery tasting and they don't like the taste!
  4. Freedomspride

    Freedomspride Hatching

    Jul 10, 2008
    I was concerned about that too, but at same time worried she'd get cold all by herself. Even though it's hot as heck here! (NY but the humidity sucks right now). We are keeping a close eye on her and she'll probalby go to work with me tomorrow. (I'm a vet tech [​IMG] I told my husband I will have to name this one now (hehe).


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