flock harmony disrupted - why?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bj taylor, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i don't know where the answer to this is & i know it's been addressed before...my chicks are 3wks old and i've had the perfect scenario so far. no runts, no deaths, no illness, no defects. they're in a well ventilated, good sized brooder. i certainly don't think they're overcrowded. today has been warmer than usual and i had the heat lamp off. i have been raising the heat lamp every week as their feathers grow out.
    this afternoon picking on each other until they bleed has happened (possibly by one bird - not sure yet). i don't understand the trigger. i've pulled the bloody ones out. 3 of the 4 that are bloody are buff orpingtons. is color related to this? these are not runts or otherwise compromised.
    will i be able to re-introduce these four once they're healed? do i need to wash the dried blood off to prevent attention?
    what's the trigger for this kind of behavior?
    thank you
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    What kind of feed did you give and did they run out of feed?

    Did you give them any treats like mealworms? (I have heard that tiny chicks can start pecking feet after getting mealworms since they look like toes.)

    I would get some Rooster Booster pick no more lotion to have on hand- it tastes bad to them. It stains though. I put it on after washing the pasty butt off, since they seem to notice the newly washed bottoms and start pecking if I don't.

    They sell it at the feed store.

    Once I accidently had my chicks run out of feed in the middle of the night and when I went out there in the morning they had started pecking feet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  3. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    they haven't run out of feed at all. i have, in the past couple of days been giving them a little dried mealworm. i give a little grit when i give them the mealworms. their feed is the medicated chick starter. i was reading that boredom can cause this. i've put a roost in the brooder (about 4" off the floor). they seem to love it & use it alot. i thought this would give them some variety in their daily lives. they jump on & off. some like to nap on it.
    this afternoon i noticed a difference in their tone. they seemed agitated. that was when i noticed the bloody spots & one little buff orp was trying to hide from the others (her tail was pretty chewed up).
    i just thought i was so smart because my babies were behaving so well, then this.
    i'll probably be up all night checking to make sure the 4 little guys are warm enough since they won't have so many bodies to cuddle into.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    western South Dakota
    I think that they may need some more space. You don't say how many and how much space. They are growing, and take up more than in the beginning. I do not get mine quite this early, because I want them outside as soon as possible, climbing over stuff, and having lots of space.

    MrsK
     
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By week 3 the temp should be turned back to 75 to 80 or even less as they grow feathers and put them on a good medicated chick feed. Over crowding is a huge issue they grow the first 2 months they go from a small apple to a football. They will need now only 1 1/2 sqft to 2 1/2 sqft in just 2 more months at 4 months and then require a bit more depending on the breed. Large breed fowl at adult size 3 sqft. If you have 10 birds you will need in the coop 30 sqft 4X8 size space the sleep 2X4 bc they squeeze together for warmth on a roosting bar and 2 bars that are 10" higher than the next like steps and the bottom one no closer than 6" so they feel they are up off the deck. The early birds that go in will head straight to the highest bars and crowd the bar until no more will fit. Best of luck. It is simple sometimes and other times you want to [​IMG] [​IMG] about it!!!
     
  6. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank y'all for the input. it was the space that was the issue. i moved them to the coop today & things settled a great deal. i still have one that goes out of her way to find someone to pick on. her future is undecided.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can most likely salvage her now....yank her out of the flock (she is at a nice young age). Put her by herself with food/water/light bulb if possible. You can also just corral her in the coop with a little bit of chicken wire/food/water near the light to keep warm.

    By removing her from the flock she will get lower in the pecking order. Do this for (for adults I would say two weeks) several days using your judgement.

    She will be humbled when she goes back to the flock...the outsider and it might save her from getting the pecking habit ingrained. Picking is a bad habit so you must nip it in the bud.
     

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