1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

continuous chick picking?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Debs55, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    so I have 20 four week old chicks and last week I had to bring two chicks inside in a seperate cage cause they were picked and bloody. so I kept them in for 3 days then put them back in the cage. no one picked on them for 3 days and today I find another chick picked and bloody. what can I do about this?
     
  2. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan
    Are they still in a brooder? Do you have a red heat light in there? Pecking will go on because they are establishing order and the red light prevents them from seeing red (blood) in case some bully gets carried away.
     
  3. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    987
    7
    141
    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Please provide more information about the area where they are. They may be too crowded.
     
  4. LilMissChz

    LilMissChz Chillin' With My Peeps

    399
    9
    108
    Feb 16, 2012
    North East, Maryland
    How much room do they have? Are they in a somewhat confined space? Often too many chickens in too confined a space will cause too much stress behavior. The cure, often is just more room. Unless you have a bully. Then it's freezer camp. Don't be afraid to cull a bully.
     
  5. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    My first thought was also that they may not have enough space.

    We like to move them into an appliace box turned on its' side as their "Step Up" brooder when they outgrow the rubbermaid totes (fridge boxes are the best, big and roomy!) Check with your local appliace stores and you can get one for free. We keep old window screens over the top to prevent escapes by early fliers (and attacks by curious house cats too!)
     
  6. Hobbifarmer

    Hobbifarmer New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Mar 31, 2012
    I have 12 chickens, 3 each of australorps, silver wyandottes, gold wyandottes, and barred rocks. They are 6 months old and have just started laying eggs. They are in a pen that is about 35 by 35 feet and have a large coop. I really don't think crowding is an issue. I do provide unlimited 16% protein food plus lots of scratch and quite a bit of grass and scrap veggies in a day. They do seem bored but since I have labs I do not let them out of the pen at all. In the past week two of the silver wyandottes have started to get picked to the point of blood. I observed that it is the gold wyandottes doing the picking. I treated everyone and everything for mites and lice so far and have treated the wounds and removed the gold wyandottes. Just wanted to make sure it wasn't parasites. I have put vinegar in the water as I have read about this, not sure how long this takes to make a difference. I have had this problem before with my last chickens which were rhode island reds, they had bared off behinds but at least there was no blood, this is worse really and I have to get it stopped, it takes all the joy out of having chickens.
     
  7. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    all my pecking stopped when i gave them more room but try some blue kote and maybe treats so they wont be so bored
     
  8. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,349
    81
    168
    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    We got our chicks yesterday they were between 18 and 36 hours old. The RIR and the Buff Orpingers seem to be getting along great and except of one who is far more active and pecks more these four move all over the coop together and pretty much ignored the Silver Lace Wyandotte and the Black Sex Link.

    I noticed that these two were sleeping far more than the others and tended to get trampled as a result of all the mad dashing. The Wyandotte died sometime between 2AM and 6AM. Can I protect the other one? ? She dosen't seem to be getting injured, but them again neither did the Wyandotte and she died, so should I protect her? Should I be concerend about the sleeping?

    Also, the RIR that pecks seems to peck EVERYTHING far more than the others do and also seems to startly easily. I know she's just days old but she does seem sort of mean. Any thoughs?
     
  9. JRchickchick

    JRchickchick Out Of The Brooder

    53
    3
    33
    Feb 16, 2010
    Eugene, OR
    I know this is probably too late, as your chicks are another month older. My thought is that your RIR is possibly a roo. The last two years, the two chicks that were bossiest at first and downright mean to others at times were roos. I'm curious if it holds true for you too.

    I too am dealing with some pecking issues, but I had bought some chicks 3 weeks after my first chicks, so they are that much bigger. I knew better, but thought I would give it a go as I had a fox (es) come take out 16 out of 29 of my laying hens. In one morning. That was a bad, bad morning.[​IMG]

    Anyway, I bought 6 more chicks, that were supposedly only 2 weeks younger than my original 17, and of the 6, four were White Leghorns and two are Buff Orpingtons. Well, after a week of being in house in my brooder (the 6), the Leghorns proceeded to bloody and remove the feathers on the backs of the Orpingtons, even WITH a red light. I then moved them outside with everybody else in the grower house, and they have acclimated to the rest of the troup, even if they are 2 weeks smaller. I've tried reintroducing the Buffs to the rest, but the rest come and pick on them right away, so now I have them in a separate 2x3x4 cage outside the grower pen so they can get used to the rambunctiousness of the older chicks and the older hens as well. I'm thinking of making little hen saddles to help protect their back, but wonder if that will make them get picked on more. Ah, middleschool is not kind![​IMG]

    Maybe in another week, I can try introducing them together, [​IMG] while I stand there to protect them at first! The Buffs are the sweetest thing, and just haven't learned mean things yet. That's my story!
     
  10. Debs55

    Debs55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the reply! Actually the chick who was pecked the worst ended up being a roo! I was never really sure who was doing all the pecking but out of the 5 who were pecked in the beginning 2 of them ended up being roos. Out of my 10 rhode island red pullets and 10 brown leghorn "pullets", 5 of the brown leghorns ended up being roos and have since then been sold.

    All of my pecking was solved when they were moved to their bigger pen and I began offering snacks to keep them occupied
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by