Chicks picking on each other-

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 2big2ride, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. 2big2ride

    2big2ride New Egg

    Jan 23, 2012
    Hey there-
    I just moved my 4 week old 8 chicks from the brooder to a 4 ft by 4ft enclosure in the garage. They now have natural daylight and the heat lamp. I've got 2 austrolorp, 2 barred rocks, 2 RI reds and 2 buff orpingtons. The darker chicks are picking on the 2 orps. Tail feathers are picked and tails are starting to bleed. I took care of their wounds and have them separated. They all have more room, but I'm sure it will take a little getting used to the day/light cycle and new space.

    Is the new stress causing this behavior?
    Is it the different breeds?
    Should I be looking into additional protein? they are on starter crumble... Dry cat food?
    Any suggestions?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Is the heat lamp a white light?
    After the first week I switch to a red or preferably ceramic to put them in the dark at night.
    Sometimes too bright will cause it.
    Protein is another possible issue. Is your starter 18%? See if you can find a game bird starter.
    Check the protein content of the catfood.
    I like them to get 20-24% protein.
    plain yogurt and boiled egg are good protein sources.

    That should be enough space for now. Try for some distractions like a head of lettuce if they keep it up.
  3. 2big2ride

    2big2ride New Egg

    Jan 23, 2012
    Red light- If you turn it off, what is their heat source?
    I will check on the starter feed protein content-
    Thank you-
  4. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmmmm. I would imagine that at 8 weeks, they are pretty well feathered. I don't think the heat lamp is necessary. Where do you live? What are your night time temps? I recently learned that chickens are highly attracted to the color red (nothing to do with the heat lamp). One of my hens was injured and she and the others just could not resist the red wound. I bought some Blu-Kote from TSC. I sprayed some of it into a dixie cup and then applied it to the injured hen with a q-tip. Believe or not, the wound INSTANTLY became invisible to the chickens!. Blu-Kote colors the feather purple. Blu-Kote is also an antibacterial and anti fungal. Great for wounds. So that will solve the blood issues. Now to stop the pecking from chicken to chicken. Lack of adequate space is quite often the reason for pecking. Also boredom and lack of of proper protein. I'm not saying that you are not offering enough space for them, but it may be a possibility. I know that by 8 weeks, my girls were already in their coop and run, and also free ranging.

    Good luck!!

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