Dilema - when my chickens are outside they get frostbite and when they are inside they peck each oth

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JacobMaxwell, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just notice frostbite on my chickens today. The coops are warmish, but when the chickens have been confined in the past they pecked each other to the point of bleeding. I'm not sure what to do. any suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any ideas?
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    More space?
    Less chickens(starting with the one that's making the others bleed)?

    Tell us more about your coop(size, feet by feet) and flock(how many, what genders, how old, how long together) and climate(you can put your location in your profile so folks can make better suggestions.
     
  4. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two coops, each one 4X4 feet. I have 14 chickens. I figured that coop size would be ok since the hens were let out every day. A month ago we gad some rain which caused the hens to stay inside. That is when the pecking started. The pecking went away as soon as the chickens started going outside again.

    In the past week we started to have daytime temps around -3, which is when they started getting frostbite on the combs.

    All the chickens are leghorns and I have one roo. They are around 22 weeks old. I'm living in northern Ontario.

    Any help appreciated.
     
  5. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The typical recommendation is 4 sq ft in a coop per bird. Going by that guideline, you could have 8 chickens (4 per coop). You could either build them some additional coop space, or get rid of some birds.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Very good suggestion.

    Also bump up protein in diet.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You need more coop space or fewer chickens, crowding can definitely cause aggression as well as other behavioral and/or health problems.

    This IMO is a bare minimum sq footage, especially if you live in a cold climate where they may stay coop bound for days on end in the winter.
     
  8. btguy

    btguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a partially enclosed covered run will help as well as long as some activities (dustbathing) are included. i think id be caught building either a larger coop (at least 4 x 6, bigger for any expansion) or an even larger (at least partially enclosed) run in your situation. a quick fix might be to get on craigslist and get a used shed that can be used either as a coop or a run but keep in mind, the more space and entertainment they have when its nasty out, the less chance of... this... happening.
     
  9. JacobMaxwell

    JacobMaxwell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for all the help. I have a large 5X10 chicken tractor that I can use as a sheltered run area or even an extra coop. Does that sound like a good idea?
     
  10. btguy

    btguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just make sure the wind is blocked on 3 sides and rain can't get in. A tarp will work
     

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