Hello and Help!

jamesjreber

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
3
0
7
Hello my name is James and I live in Hudson Valley of New York. I received my first set of chickens last tuesday from the post office at 5pm. I had the brooder ready which is 3'x6' and 2' high. I have 25 chicks 13 silver lace wyandottes and 12 welsummers. There is 2 roosters of each breed in that count. First few days had me a little flustered since I encountered pasty butt that night on 2 chicks. Then pasty butt at 4am before work on 1 chick the next day and 4 again the second night, then it pretty much ended after the 4th day. At first it was tough trying to adapt to holding such a little animal and trying to do something that seemed like it was causing pain, but If I didn't act they would die (as I have read). Now that I am pro at pasty butt, I of course no longer have that issue. Unfortunately now only at week 1 the chicks have grown fast but I'm having issues with 2-3 of the Welsummers being quite mean and pecking the newly growing wing feathers and tiny tail feathers of the silver lace wyandottes. All of the welsummers after one week appear stronger, bigger and have nice small wing feathers and tail feathers. THe silver lace though seem to be growing slower and at least four of them do not have tail feathers and also have some beat up wing feathers. When I observe them two of the welsummers seem to be bored and just stand next to the SLW and peck there wing feather tips. I'm overwhelmed with the amount of differing opinions and reasoning for this, that I dont know what steps to take. I have 2 waters, 20" long feeder. 2 red infrared heat lamps (which I only have 1 on now). They are in my basement which is a constant 60 degrees right now and have only one window for daylight. I leave the red heat lamps on 24/7 and was keeping 1 regular 60 watt light bulb on that is 8' from brooder during the day from 6am till 6pm until the last two days when I felt that was causing them to be a little rowdy.Any suggestions or opinions on how I can avoid losing birds? I havent seen any blood drawn yet but fear the worst. Thanks.

James
 

TeacherMedic

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 5, 2014
108
3
73
NC
Not to worry, unless you see blood. This is only the pecking order. They start this very early. Sounds like their breaking you right in. Welcome to Chickens!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You seem to be trying the things that are usually recommended when you have picking in chicks, it is usually because they are too hot, or they are too crowded ... you would seem to have enough space for their age, lowered the light level and they don't sound too hot (you have checked the temps in different areas of the brooder?) Can you split the brooder into two sections and separate the bullys for awhile? You might try putting things for them to do in the brooder, sticks/branches, things to climb on, some treats that take them awhile to eat etc. give them something to do besides bother each other. You are free feeding them a commercial food?
 

jamesjreber

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
3
0
7
Thanks everybody!! I have thrown some small branches in there a placed a clump of sod also that they seemed to like. I probably could place a divider in their but worried it would make crowding worse. They have a good amount of room to move at the moment compared to some brooders I've seen. They sure grow fast though. Temps have been good but I plan on dropping it today. I have been free feeding the purina starter/grower which I had to get unfortunately because I didn't get the organic starter ordered in time. I will have country side organic starter, grit, scratch being delivered today. Hopefully the SLWs toughen up a bit and the welsummers need some other distractions. Will the scratch treats help? Is it too soon for that? Thanks again.
James
 

1muttsfan

Free Ranging
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,032
6,886
657
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan


25 chicks that age trying to stay warm under one heat lamp sounds crowded. You might try putting a second lamp at a distance from the first, allowing them to spread out some.
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,969
61,967
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

X4 They all sound way too crowded in. Chicks pick on each other when crowded and or hot. I would separate these birds into 2 brooders, giving them more space and areas on the edges to cool off. As these birds grow, in a couple weeks, you are going to need huge spaces.

Good luck with your new chicks! They are very fun to watch grow and turn into chickens! Welcome to our flock!
 

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