Feather Pecking in d'Anvers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by adubsroit, May 19, 2011.

  1. adubsroit

    adubsroit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    This "pecking" post is concerning my 6 d'Anver chicks, which are just about a month old now. The brooder is a 30 gallon stock tank, which I suspect is MORE than enough room for these chicks, and they won't stop pecking!!

    Three of them have very noticeable pecking, namely the porcelains, and it is most noticeable on their backs and upper wings. They are not even completely feathered; always have fresh water and full feeder. There is more than enough ambient light in the room, especially in the late afternoon, so I have been turning their heat lamp off during the day because it is the only thing that seems to make them stop. For the past few days I have painstakingly watched to see who may be instigating the pecking when the light is on, but to no avail - they all get involved simultaneously it seems. I have never had pecking issues with any of the breeds I have raised, and especially not with the other d'Anvers I have. They're always the sweetest birds, why are they being so mean??

    There has been no real blood shed, just itty-bitty specks where the pecking has happened. Been making sure to keep them clean. I don't know how good/bad this is for the birds, but seeing as how they're so small I have been using flour to stop the bleeding that does happen; also acts as a great cover-up of the raw area.
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Im not really familiar with d'anvers, but from you post I'm assuming you have different color chicks together and the lighter ones are being picked on most....is this correct? Do you have a white bulb for your heat lamp? If so- a red bulb may be your solution, especially since they stop when you turn the light out. Im also thinking 30 gallons isn't big enough for 6 month old chicks. I was brooding my chicks in a 48 gallon rubbermaid container and they out grew it in about 2.5 weeks. What kind of feed are you using, is it possible they are lacking protein and this is why they are gobbling up feathers? Sometime the whole deduction thing can be really frustrating- its like putting together a puzzle whenever something goes wrong. Sometimes they will pick each other out of boredom as well. Try the red bulb first (if you don't already have one) and then work your way through the list- all of these are usually the top reasons they have issues, in my experience. Good luck with them!

    EDITED TO ADD- you may also want to pick up some blu-kote to cover up the picked spots. Yes it will turn them blue for a while, but it really helps. If you get the spray bottle, opt to use it when there isn't a breeze (not even a slight one) because odds are the wind will shift at the last moment and you'll end up with blue freckles everywhere. Trust me, I had blue freckles all over my face for a week!!!
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  3. adubsroit

    adubsroit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Quote:Oh, lol, no no. There are six chicks in the tank and they are all one month old (i.e. three-weeks old); these are bantams too, full grown their about 25 oz. Their feed is a turkey/waterfowl start, so almost 18% protein. The lighter colored [porcelain] d'Anvers are not the primary pecked chicks, just more noticeable. The mille fleur d'Anver chicks (three of each variety) are getting pecked all the same, their color just makes the red spots less obvious. I think the red-bulb is the route I will be taking, seems easiest and I will be sure to get some Blue Kote!! [​IMG]
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have 7 D'Anver chicks who are six weeks old. They started out as part of a group of 43 and now the group is down to 17. Haven't seen any picking at all from them, but then, the group was in an 8x8 coop from the time they were two weeks old so plenty of room for them.
  5. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    I had one chick constantly pulling on everyone's toes..I spread the food on the ground for them to forage and put in one of those disposable aluminum bread pans...all the pecking went to the pan.,.no more troubles..you could give it a try.

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