Chicks keep killing each other - Why!?

HuffleClaw

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Jul 8, 2018
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**WARNING - GRAPHIC PICTURES BELOW**

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.

Firstly, I would like to say I used to have 22 of these, but I’m now down to 20.

The first time they killed one of the others was when they were in a brooder that was really too small. But now, they are in a big watermelon box with plenty of room. And they did it again not even a full 2 days later.

They aren’t hungry, or thirsty as there is always food and water available.

These are the most aggressive chicks I have ever had. They’ll even run up to me and do their best to attack my hand.

The first one they killed, I didn’t get photos of. They pecked both of the eyes out and what looked like the brain? Idk. Just the whole head area.

This one, it looks like they just pulled out the intestines through the butt. Photos below *GRAPHIC*

The flash is on in all but 1 of these btw.
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WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?
 

BGcoop

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Aug 5, 2018
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Are they actually doing the killing of normal healthy chicks? Or are these chicks weak in the first place, or got injured in some way and then attacked? Could you use a red light so they don’t see wounds as easily and then not continue to peck?
 

HuffleClaw

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Are they actually doing the killing of normal healthy chicks? Or are these chicks weak in the first place, or got injured in some way and then attacked? Could you use a red light so they don’t see wounds as easily and then not continue to peck?
The 2 killed were perfectly fine. They haven’t even messed with the one that had a messy butt (I cleaned it btw). I suppose I could try to use a red light but I’m thinking about getting rid of these. 20 is too many Anyways and they’re not the breed they were sold to me as.
 

HuffleClaw

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Are you sure you aren't seeing them pick at the dead ones after they died?

I don't really see any "fresh" wounds that would indicate they are picking/eating the chick.

Post some photos of the brooder set-up.
I’m 100% sure about the first one as it was taking it’s very last breath when I first saw it, and it was already attacked. Very gruesome:( This one, I’m pretty certain was fine before they killed it as well. I’ve been doing errands all day but this morning all were fine. I’ll go get a picture of their brooder.
 

Trisseh

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Jun 21, 2019
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That looks and sounds like postmortem cannabalism to me as well. I also second posting some pics of your brooder setup.
What breed were these supposed to be, and what did they turn out to actually be? There are some breeds that are just aggressive and need more space, and some individuals that need a short trip into solitary... or the compost pile...
 

Trisseh

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Jun 21, 2019
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Chicks will pick on the dying as well as the dead, so I don’t know that I would jump to the conclusion that they picked one out and killed it... you may have an underlying issue that’s weakening some and causing problems and the others are capitalizing on it.
 

NatJ

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Mar 20, 2017
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Firstly, I would like to say I used to have 22 of these, but I’m now down to 20.

The first time they killed one of the others was when they were in a brooder that was really too small. But now, they are in a big watermelon box with plenty of room. And they did it again not even a full 2 days later.
How big is the watermelon box?
20 chicks should have about 10 square feet of space even from the beginning, and that number goes up as they grow.

They might be bored. You could give them a chunk of sod, a shovelful of dirt or compost, a pile of dry leaves, some hay... anything that they can scratch and pick through and eat tiny bits of. (paper towels are boring, and even wood shavings are not very exciting.)
 

HuffleClaw

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They were supposed to be buff Orpingtons... some have said they could be Delawares but I’m not 100% sure.
 

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