Chicks pulling out their own feathers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kari9438, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. kari9438

    kari9438 New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2017
    Hi,

    I am new to chicken raising and we just got six chicks on Tuesday from our local feed store. They were one day old.

    Today they are pecking out their own wong feathers. Down the bone! What can I do?

    Thanks
    Kari
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Kari, most common causes of feather picking are: too much heat, crowding, followed by not enough protein. Is there any bleeding? are they actually picking to the point of of visible flesh, or bone? Picking themselves, or each other? It's common for them to be excessively grooming b/c new feathers are coming in and those feather shafts can be uncomfortable. They have sheaths on them that need to be groomed so the feather can "sprout". Can you give info about your set up, so we can help you?
     
  3. kari9438

    kari9438 New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2017
    Thanks for the reply. They are picking off their win feathers, not each other's. I moved the light to one side of the brooding cage so they could choose heat or not, but they are staying on the heated side.

    They are in a brooding cage with water, purina start and grow, and there are six in a cage about 24 in by 14 in. They have newspaper and pine shavings for bedding.
     
  4. kari9438

    kari9438 New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2017
    And yes, you can see the bone

    [​IMG]
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    What is the wattage of your bulb? Are they in the house? IMO, they are lacking space. The brooder should give a minimum of 1 s.f. of floor space per chick, and the temp should be around 90* under the lamp and 20* cooler at the other end of the brooder. You can step down the wattage of your bulb to help cool things down. If they were picking to the bone, there would be a lot of blood. I think what you are seeing is feather shafts. That is normal.
     
  6. kari9438

    kari9438 New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2017
    Thanks. I will move them to a bigger space today and pull the light away a bit. You are right, there is not blood. I'm glad it's the shafts.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Food and water should also be placed as far from the heat as possible. Heat can actually damage the nutrient content of the feed.
     
  8. kari9438

    kari9438 New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2017
    Junebuggena i did not know that. I will move the food and water too. Thank you.
     

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