Chicks pecking to the point of blood

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tulips08, May 24, 2019.

  1. Tulips08

    Tulips08 Chirping

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    Hi!
    I have four chicks ranging from 2 weeks to 5 weeks old. The second to youngest (3 weeks old) got pecked to the point of bleeding early this morning. I separated her and sprayed her with Blue Kote. I've tried putting her back when everything is dry, but the smallest/youngest one keeps going for her and then the older two pile on. She's also pecking at herself sometimes, I think.

    I've tried putting things to distract them in the brooder. I've tried putting them outside in a crate with their heating pad to distract them. Nothing is working. They've gotten along just fine up until now and seemed to have a good pecking order (the one that got injured was actually at the top of the pecking order... obviously not anymore...). And now the other three are duking it out with the littlest trying to peck everyone's back/tail (where the down feathers are on all of them still).

    How do I manage this? I'm still new to chickens. When should I put the injured one back? Is there anything else I can do to get these ladies to get along again? Anything for pain management?

    They're normally in a 4'x 2' stock tank so they have PLENTY of space. I also have more than one eating and drinking place. The younger two are Easter Eggers and the older two are Speckled Sussex.
     
    drumstick diva likes this.
  2. Matzwd

    Matzwd Songster

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    For entertainment, I hang little kid bath toys from strings. They love to swing/spin them. They also like the yellow treat-filled ball and clods of dirt/grass to dig through. When is hot, I give them a small bowl of ice water. When the cubes melt to a point they are small enough, they fish them out and play keep away with them.

    Otherwise, if you can slip a piece of hardware cloth into your brooder to separate it, they could see each other but the picked on baby will be safe. You could also add a an upside down box with a hole cut in two sides for the little one to hide under when she needs to get away.

    Other than that, correction pecking (with your th humb and forefinger) has made a bit of difference for a situation I had. At least I thing it helped. It was either that or the culprit outgrew h ill r rottenness.
     
  3. AltonaAcres

    AltonaAcres Songster

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    Next time, don't have chicks at such different ages living together. 2 weeks in age difference is usually the max. I would separate the hurt one for a while and see if that works. Lonely chicks don't recover as well, so maybe add the calmest one in. As soon as you move them outside full time, that should help.
     
  4. Tulips08

    Tulips08 Chirping

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    Lesson learned. I was told they were all the same age when I purchased them and I'm still new, so I believed the seller. And they may actually be closer in age at 2-3 weeks. I posted in the age/gender section of BYC and the big ones are only 3 weeks according to the other posters. Local friends said they were much older. Regardless, the size difference is significant. The injured one was able to go back with the others today and wasn't picked on. She was very glad to have her friends back.
     
  5. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Crowing

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    My new chick toys: mirror hanging where they can look (and peck), a bigger roosting branch, and a small stump. My brooder is 3’ x 7’, so I have room for all this stuff!

    I find treats distract them, too: a hunk of sod so they get a small dose of the bacteria in my yard, little bits of scrambled egg, a few cranberries. No more than one treat per day, my rule of thumb. I make sure they have good chick feed every day, and plenty of it. Nonetheless, they like to eat bark and Sweet PDZ!
     
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  6. Tulips08

    Tulips08 Chirping

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    Great ideas! Thank you! We have a roosting branch and I give them a treat or two to entertain them. I've also been able to put them outside for a bit since it's been warm and they thought that was awesome. I'll definitely add some more toys into their lives. I'll be really glad when they're out of my "formal dining room" (which is now the chicken room) and outside. I think everyone will be happier in the fresh air.
     
  7. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Crowing

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    Yes, sigh. Mine are in a front bedroom.

    Every idea I’ve had about toys I got on BYC!
     
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  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    You can also give them a small, brightly colored ball to push around. Parrot toys are good and should hold up well.
     
    trumpeting_angel likes this.

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