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HELP, chicks turning carnivorous on each other

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Fillmore Farmer, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Fillmore Farmer

    Fillmore Farmer Out Of The Brooder

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    I've had this happen with 2 batches of chicks, they start pecking at each other's butts until the feathers are gone and there's an open wound...then they follow the wounded birds around like a freakin' buffet. I'd find a couple dead chicks with their innards hollowed-out and thought it was bigger chickens having a go at them...but when quarantined, it turns-out the chicks were dong it to themselves. I let them out with the whole flock cause I figured I had nothing to lose and it seems to have stopped.

    I just recently brought another 6 chicks to the flock and they're starting to do the same thing. What the heck is this about? My food supplier says that once they get a taste of meat/blood they'll keep going at it. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcooper3

    jcooper3 Out Of The Brooder

    What are you feeding them? Are they getting enough protein?
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You probably need to look at your feed as well as the living conditions. How many babies do you have and how much space? Birds that are crowded and stressed may take it out on each other.
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I agree that its highly likely that the issue is caused by their environment and not protein deficiency. Birds will often exhibit feather pecking as a re-directed response to being unable to ground peck, as well as other factors. Ensuring that you have sufficient space, appropriate litter substrate (that facilitates dust bathing), multiple feeding stations, places of refuge / perches can all help to reduce this kind of behaviour.

    Any bird with a wound should be removed immediately, as the sight of blood will result in persistent pecking.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Space is likely the key here.
    How big(in feet by feet) is the brooder you are keeping them in?
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with all of the above, and also wonder what breeds you have, and are you using white or red lamps for the brooded chicks? Mary
     
  7. thebrianbarno

    thebrianbarno Out Of The Brooder

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    Does it matter which color lamp to use? I've got chicks on the way in an incubator and would like to know.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Red
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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