Got my first 3 chicks! One is missing feathers...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sonya9, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I went to a local breeder last night and got three chicks. Two Ameraucaunas and one Dominique. Brought them home last night and two of them were pooped out, they just crashed into the brooder and I kept checking to make sure they were still breathing! Course this morning they were wide awake at 5:00 and busy eating, pecking, tearing up the bedding as they scratch through it in their brooder etc... (Lazy Gardener you said they will make more of a mess than I thought and well....wow... they are very busy little things for being so small...sheesh).

    This is probably a stupid question but these babies are on Aspen shavings (which is safe, I use it for my reptiles and they can't have pine much less cedar due to the dust/oils). They pick through the shavings a lot, they aren't actually going to eat it and get an impaction are they?

    Anyway so here are pix. First one is missing some feathers, she seems to groom herself a bit more than the others, though that could be my imagination. Is this from getting picked on by other chicks? She seems healthy and as active as the others (which is pretty darn active) yet her back is pretty much bald.

    Also I should mention that I don't feel the breeder did me wrong, there were about 20 Ameraucauna chicks in one brooder and I was pushing him to do his best to select females, he said this one looked the most like a female.

    See pix below:

    Little one missing feathers:
    [​IMG]

    Blue Ameraucauna at 2 weeks:
    [​IMG]

    Dominique (also 2 weeks):
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes they can eat a shaving or two but not enough to harm them if they have proper food and cleanliness. That is not a normal back for preening, someone has been plucking that one. Did you get it that way or did it end up bald after you got it? If you got it that way it may be from several different things including too many in a small space, bigger hen pecking it, or lice/mites issue. Check the chicks over for bugs and rule that out. I have gotten lice from a wild chicken that jumped my fence and decided it wanted to live with my flock (neighbors let it loose when they could no longer care for it). If it got bald after you got it then you may want to separate it for a day or two and let the others get the nutrients from the feed that you have as they may be lacking.
     
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  3. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Foreverlearning. She came this way, I noticed it last night at the breeders but it was much more obvious this morning.

    The other birds aren't picking on her here. She was in a box with about 20 other babies. I would be very surprised if it is lice, she was in a room with 5 other brooders full of chicks including the other two shown and they are fully feathered. I think someone was picking on her. Plus the breeder is NPIP certified which doesn't mean lice are impossible but these babies are hatched in incubators and kept indoors so if there was a lice problem I would expect all of them to be affected.

    If she was being picked on then I am glad I got her, she has more room now, no one is picking on her (his brooder was about the same size but had probably 15 or 20 chicks, mine has only 3) and she will have a whole lot more room when they are old enough to move to their coop. The breeder has a good reputation but I was surprised at how small the coops and runs were, 6 or so adults including one or two roosters in small coops with 6x4 runs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like breeding pens but usually they only have three in them (1 roo & 2 hens). She'll grow them back so don't worry. They may have small brooders because they don't expect to keep them more then a few days, it is chick season.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It's possible them eating shavings could cause a problem, but it's possible a piece of space junk could fall out of the sky and hit your house in the next five minutes. Possible but not really likely especially at two weeks of age. I still like to give mine grit. It won't help keep the crop from getting impacted but it can help the gizzard from getting impacted. It's not critical that they get grit but I consider it a reasonable precaution.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Regarding the chick with the bare back: I believe she was hatched that way. I have a BSL that was hatched a year ago today (Happy Birdday to her!) and one side of her back and flank was void of feathers. When they started coming in, that spot looked like a porcupine. boy was she ugly. She feathered out just fine, and as a matter of fact, her feathering has such a healthy sheen, that I'd say she has the best feathering of all of my birds. This is my uneducated guess, but I'm guessing that she was partially "stuck" against the shell of the egg during development, so the down didn't develop in that area. Your little chick will be just fine. I agree with Ridgerunner, get some grit for your babies, especially if they are on shavings. Mama would be getting soil and grit into them on the first day out of the nest.
     
  7. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will get them some grit. Was just at Ace last night buying the food/water containers...grrr...didn't know chicks needed grit too.

    Regarding her being born this way...her wings and such look rather straggly too. The feathers on the back are starting to come back in. I don't know much about birds but doesn't this look picked at?

    FYI the chicks are of course inside but outside lighting is better.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    She'll be fine. How warm is it outside during the heat of the day? If it's warm enough that you can be outside without a jacket (above 65 degrees) you can get them out for some fresh air, even if only 5 - 10 minutes at a time. They'll let you know when they are cold and need to go back under their light. Mama would be taking them all over the yard at this point and they'd run back under her to warm back up, but wouldn't be living under her now. Of course, if you do take them out, you'll need to guard them well, and have a box handy to whisk them back inside. Of course, don't feel guilty if you don't have time to take them out to play!
     
  9. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ha...I just came back in from doing just that and read this! Had them on the grass for 15 or so minutes in a pen, it is about 75 out right now. Didn't want to keep them out too long especially the little black one as I was afraid she might sunburn on the bald spots.

    I wondered as I was doing it if folks would think "it is too soon, let them adjust for a few days before dragging them around" but they seemed fine and enjoyed picking at the grass, fighting over tiny pieces of dry grass etc... They weren't cold.

    I also tend to think a little full spectrum sunlight is probably good for them psychologically.

    They are really adorable little things, a little afraid but will come up and peck at my hands and such. They all ate out of my hand earlier today, seems they are pretty good on the first day. Really such a joy!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  10. farmkids

    farmkids Out Of The Brooder

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    I am happy to read that they enjoyed their outing! I am in West Georgia, and it certainly is lovely today. Makes me wish my fluffies were here. Keep us updated on the little one, I am interested to see how quickly she recovers now that she is home with you!
     

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