Chicks - Pecking - Boredom

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jjaazzy, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been raising chicks for a few years now ordering and hatching myself. This last batch was raised up in several tubs then moved up to 1) 6x9 pen and a 1) smaller 6x2.5 pen things were good. I decided the 6 x 2.5 cages population was smaller due to sales I wanted to give them more room to scurry around and put both groups in a new larger 10x10.. this group has lots of perches and room to roam. I sprayed everyone with blu Kote that I thought needed it, before I put them in. If they had anything that remotely looked pink, or had missing chick fluff being replaced by pin feathers but was still skin. I'm blue - their blue, and this morning I find some bloody. At the wing shoulders they just picked and picked till it is red and fleshy. I removed one of the peckers the next cage over with the next group that is 2 weeks older. Removed the picked on bird to a sanctuary and come back to find another birds wing tips and rear end picked on, this was mostly a black bird nothing to indicate might be a target. So I think my big issue is boredom. So how do you entertain 6 week old chicks. What can I put in there that will give these folks something to do besides pick on their room mates. I am going to put some small card board boxes in there for entertainment. I can throw in some mealworms but that's 10 min of fun they are still young yet and don't want to overdo the treats. Should I soak out some alfalfa cubes and give them that. What can I do? I need more zen! TIA
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you still have heat on these chicks by some chance? Are they subjected to light 24/7?

    What are you feeding them? They should still be on chick starter for the extra protein.

    Have you looked them over carefully for lice?

    If you rule out those things, then space is inadequate for the number of chicks, even though you may believe it is roomy enough. Have you actually observed the dynamics to determine when the picking is occurring?
     
  3. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for trying to help, I do have one shop light 100w landscape hung low in the 10x10 for comfort and heat if they need it. It is very windy last few days. So its there if they require it. Fresh Purina Start and Grow Medicated. No lice, checked them all over before the move. I removed the injured, and removed an additional pecker a young male. Put a box in there turned upside down with tunnels cut out they seemed to be curious about it, took the focus off each other at least for a while. keeping an eye out.. just a couple bad apples in this bunch funny the first one to get the boot was a buff female.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are these chicks?
    Not sure what this actually is:
    " shop light 100w landscape"
    Is it a incandescent, florescent, or...???

    I've found blukote can attract as much pecking attention as blood can.
     
  5. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Aart, I'm in hot Florida so down here we use a Home Depot shop light, same as you see all over this site, and instead of using a 250 watt light like used up north, that is way too much down here and would kill a young chick quick not to mention probably start a fire.

    I had not heard that before about blu Kote causing issues and certainly had not witnessed it before but maybe your right.

    Things have calmed down a bit they are 5 weeks, I put a box in there they are using it going to put in a few more now.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Didn't think a shop light, with florescent tubes(?), would throw off any heat at all.......not that you'd need heat down there after the first few days.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It might be from having them in separate brooders at the start. It is always best to brood all together at the same age, and when they are establishing a pecking order from 4-7 weeks they will all be familiar. Of course if their are slightly different ages, that is hard to do, and the smaller ones can be bullied. How warm is the temperature around the clock? At 5 weeks they are nearing the end of needing any heat at all. You could hang one incandescent 60 watt bulb on one end of the coop area for them at night if it gets cooler. Then by next week, they shouldn't need any heat as long as they are feathered. I am in agreement that a florescent light would not heat them. They need to sleep at night, so if you can find a red fluorescent bulb around 25 watts, they make a good nightlight. I actually have had good luck with blukote at an older age, but some have not. When I had a scalped chicken a few times it worked well.
     
  8. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Eggcessive, you are right I always keep same ages together and rarely mix them unless they hop over into the other cage and invite themselves. I split them up due the size of the order actually two orders arrived at the same time, not more then I generally deal with but it was a rough shipment. the birds were packed in so tight I guess for warmth, we had some first days losses. They would be doing great eating drinking then sickly then dead in a matter of hours. I think maybe internal injures. I never had that happen before and it was quite stressful. Then when I moved them again to bigger enclosure, I kept the crested polish together because they tend to get picked on so I put them in with a smaller mixed group and that worked great they were able to keep there pretty little hair doos. But, you are right it is the re integration process that is doing it. the Barnvelders seem to be always but not entirely the culprit. I had to pull a buff Orpington out. So its game on. I would have been better having them all crammed in together in one then splitting up at this point.

    LOL no.,I use a shop light, not a florescent shop light. Like the one you would hang over the engine of your car and work on it. it has the big circle collar dome reflector thing. That's what we call it in the south [​IMG]. It gets a 100 watt landscape bulb. aka colored flood light. that's brooding on the cheap~! We can't use high watt bulbs here. However when these birds came in it was in the 50s here for us and I could see where the 250 watt is needed.

    All birds are outside. The temps are blowing and in the low 70's, they are probably a bit on the cool side they are using the empty boxes I have placed out there to hide in from bullies and wind. I use open coops, we need air flow 99.9% of the time this is a fluke this weather we are having but I am loving it.

    Husband is off to Home depot where we will build another enclosure and get them separated again. I wanted another couple coops but not like this.

    I need some distraction for them.. something else to chase or play with.. I should gather some feathers from around and throw them in.. they should like that.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ooohhhh OK..I suspected we were tripping up on colloquialisms...gotcha now.[​IMG]
     
  10. jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol....
     

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