HELP PLEASE!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FamilyOfChickens, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    [​IMG]At the beginning of April, we got 26 Ameracuana chicks- 20 pullets and 5 straight run. (We also have 5 Gold Sex Link Pullets.)

    The chicks are having some issues. We're down to 22 right now- 2 died yesterday. [​IMG] Many of the chicks have no feathers on their backs, or just stubbly feathers. Is this from the males, eh, mounting the females? Or is it agression? A couple of the chicks have wounds on their sides, and two have bloody stumps where their tails ought to be. [​IMG] First of all, what should I do for those chicks? This happened also a few weeks ago- 1 of the chicks (a pullet, I believe) got stuck somewhere and the other ones tore the skin off a patch of her side. All these injuries are similar. (I had that one seperated for about 3 weeks, and she has, thankfully, healed completely.) I don't know what to do. The 5 that are injured are all seperated from the rest, of course. Is there some cream or lotion I should put on the wounds? Is antibiotic ointment all right to use?[​IMG]
    One of them that died yesterday had her whole left side gone, down to the bone in places. [​IMG] She died late last night.
    HOW CAN I PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN?! [​IMG]
    I would really appreciate some help.

    Also, what can I do to help the feathers on the backs grow back? Not only does it look bad, but it has to be uncomfortable for them. (We have to give away some roosters, and I'm worried no one will take them if they have the unsightly backs. Superficial, yes, but I'm still worried.)

    And one more thing. [​IMG] How can I tell the roosters from the pullets?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I know that chickens turn canabalistic (sp?) if they are too crowded or have serious nutritional deficencies. First I would look at their living conditions. In the coop they should have 4 sq ft per bird of floor space to have enough room. The run should allow 10 sq ft per bird. Next check their feed. Are they on a good brand of starter/grower? If so, then try putting them on game-bird starter for a while to up their protein. This will also help with feather growth. At nearly 3 months old, the differences between male and female should be more apparent. The males will have larger redder combs and they should be bigger than the girls. They should also be crowing by now, probably. I think I would separate the roos & pullets for a while to allow feathers to grow back.
     
  3. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Southeast Idaho
    I hear your desperation.
    You chicks may be too crowded and or too hot. They are about 3 months old now? Are they able to go outside and scratch around on the ground and do things chickens like to do?
    You did right to seperate the hurt ones. Keep them seperated until they are healed up and they may still get pecked on. The whole chicken pecking order deal.
    There is a spray you might be able to find at the feed store. Blu-Kote spray it on the wound and it has a nasty taste the others won't like. Or good old fashioned pinetar (in a can) is gooey but works while they are healing.
    Not sure about the missing feathers. They really sound like they act when they are overcrowded.
    With any, look for a deep red comb and wattles (sides of their face). Listen for a funny croaking that may become a crow. And the birds you have will start laying at about 5 months.
     
  4. Forest_Nymph

    Forest_Nymph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Maine
    Please don't take offense, but their living conditions may cause them to peck at each other.
    If they're too crowded and bored they'll peck each other til damage is done.
    If they have mites that you can't see very well, then they'll peck at them.
    Males may get more aggresive but not to that extent.
    If there is something lacking in their diet they'll peck each other...
    They seem too young to be actively breeding...

    All this and more could be causing all the bad behavior.
    I wish you well in figuring out exactly what the problem is... Hope someone else can narrow down their issues.

    Good luck

    Sylvia
     
  5. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    I don't believe they're too crowded, and they free range during the day, so that's not really the issue. I'll talk to my dad, but I believe they have about 4 sq. ft.+ per bird, and they're only in the coop at night. The shed is 8x12, so it's 96 feet. 22 birds, 4 ft per bird?No offense taken!!!

    They were born April 1, so yes, 2 months. We feed Dumor Starter/Grower, and it's worked for our friends, and our first batch of Gold Sex Links. (The GSL's all have the wattles and good-sized combs, so I'm kind of confused about that. They also free range, by the way.) I'm thinking we might have about 4 roosters right now...We'll try to give away some of them, and I'm worried we'll have to kill the other roos....Anyone want a beautiful Ameracauna roo? [​IMG] (One or two of them have started croaking, sort of...)

    I'll look into the pinetar, and will continue to keep them seperated.

    Thank you. Anybody else?
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  6. Menagerie

    Menagerie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Since they free range is it possible that there is a predator that is causing the big wounds? I have lost a few to hawks and they have left the type of wound you decribed. Would have to be a small hawk or else I would think it would just take the chickens. can you see them all the time when they are out? Is someone around during the day to keep an eye on them?
     
  7. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Yes, they're only out when someone is around. And the injuries happen while they're in the shed, it seems. Since they do have 4 sq. ft (at least) per bird, it shouldn't be overcrowding; and they have a good feed, I think. I just don't want it to happen again. (The injured chicks, by the way, are in the storage part of the chicken shed, where they can see and hear the others and such. They seem to be doing fine right now, and I had them in the main coop while they others were out.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Just a thought? You said your shed is 8x12 but then said that some of the chicks are in the storage part of the shed? Is that the same shed?

    My shed is 8x8 but I also have storage in part of it and that only leaves an actual footprint of 7x5 for my chickens. Thus - my shed is actually much smaller than I had thought about when building it. Could that be the same with you?

    Some of the injuries you describe do sound more like some type of predator? Could anything be getting in there at night? (Weasel, snake?)

    I'm really sorry for your losses and the problems you are having I do hope you can figure this all out soon. Good luck.
     
  9. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Well, since everything checks out with room and feed I really have no clue. The only thing that comes to mind is a dog I had. Sweet loving GSD about a year old. We lived in the country with all kinds of critters running through our yard. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, my dog became very nervous, starving though well fed, would dig in the trash and not obey me at all. This went on for a few weeks. She went from 80lbs down to 50lbs. Vets had no clue what was wrong. Then one, just for good measure they said, gave her an antibiotic shot. She settled right down, quit digging, became loving and obedient again. Vet said she had picked up "something" probably from a sick animal that had traveled through out yard. Since all seems fine for room and feed with your birds, I wonder if they could "have something." Maybe a bacteria or virus that would cause them to leave their normal behavior and turn on each other. Just a thought.......
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  10. FamilyOfChickens

    FamilyOfChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2007
    Northwest Indiana
    Chirpy: No, the actual part of the shed where the chickens are is 8x12. Good thought, though! [​IMG] Well, a predator is always a possibility, I suppose...It seems unlikely, but I'll check it out. But if something was getting in, wouldn't more of them be injured or dead?

    BeckyLa: I don't really know...How could I check it out? They seem perfectly fine most of the time and all, but I don't know. (I'm glad your dog is better!)

    Thanks guys.
     

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