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I am almost ready to give up!!!!!!!!!!'

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tigger1976, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. tigger1976

    tigger1976 Hatching

    Aug 8, 2009
    Portland, Oregon
    Hello guys, I hope everyone is doing good. I can honestly say that I am on the verge of giving up on having chickens. I will give some info, because I am really confused, tired and unhappy.

    I had about 11 mixed breed chicks, and fell in love with one of them. I basically got them because I was unable to find the breed of chickens that I wanted, so instead of waiting for the ones that I wanted, I got those. Well the one that I ended up falling in love with started getting picked on by everyother one in there. I did everything I could, but ended up having to put him down. I am a big guy, and throw people out of clubs for a living and am good at it, but I tell you what. I haven't cried that hard in a long time! I was so mad, I went to the computer and put the other 10 on craigslist in the free section and was done with them! Well I have moved on and have found the chicks that I wanted and now have a bunch of them and am happy.

    Well now I have my new chicks and having some problems. I have a few that have had their feathers plucked off, mostly on their breast. I have gone and put this paste/liquid thing on them to stop this from continueing. I have also seperrated them so as to not get picked on somemore. Now they seem to pick at their own bodys though.

    I thought that they be crowded in there wire cage that I had them in?so I moved them into their coop. They are not fully feathered, so in the morning when I go to check on them, they are all huddled together in a pile. It is so cute. I have read alot of the books to read and almost everything I can on the forums. I also understand that they will figure out a pecking order. They do seem alot happier in the coop. I am still building their final coop because bigger is better. Lol.

    Like I said I am almost ready to give up. The reason I got chicks is cause I have a 17 month boy and want them to be used to being around people and not the skittish. He loves watching them right now whn they run around the little pen for them. I am almost ready to get rid of them and find some ones that are older.

    Well I really don't know what to do?
    Thank you everyone for your help.


  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    It does sound like they were crowded. That was going to be my first question for you and my other is are you making sure that their feeder is staying full?

    If you have them in the coop, be sure to still offer a heat lamp. They need it to stay warm or you will end up with a bunch of pasty butt chicks, which is not fun. [​IMG]

    Hang in there and don't give up on them! I have found that the less I worry about my chicks, the better they've always ended up doing. I don't mean ignore them by any means, just quit worrying yourself to death over them. [​IMG]
  3. AmyBella

    AmyBella Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    Hopefully, having them in a larger space will cut down on the pecking and feather pulling. How old are they? If they are not fully feathered, I would keep an eye on the temperature to make sure they don't get stressed. They may need a heat lamp to keep the temperature at the right level for their age.

    I have read that providing more protein in the diet can help with feather picking. My chicks love scrambled and hard-boiled eggs. That might be worth a try.

    Don't give up! Raising chicks is such a joy! I know there are hard parts... I have had to deal with several medical emergencies and put down my favorite rooster. It is hard! But i have found it to be very rewarding too. Once they are a little older they don't require so much care and supervision and you get to know all of their personalities and quirks.

    Hang in there!
  4. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Crowing

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    Sounds like they needed more space, and also you might try giving them things to play with & peck at besides each other or themselves. Hang an apple from a string or a head of lettuce or cabbage - they will be afraid of it at first & then go nuts when they figure out it's something good to eat!
    Put a piece of a log or some rocks--something they can climb around on.
  5. RAWR

    RAWR Songster

    May 26, 2009
    who wants to know?
    sounds like their just alittle over crowded
    i think moving them to a bigger place will help
    but dnt give up just yet [​IMG]
    some things take trial and error
    u know?
  6. rhodiegal

    rhodiegal Songster

    Feb 18, 2007
    North Georgia
    I agree with the others that they may have been over crowded especially since they seem better behaved now that you moved them to a larger space.

    There are some hard times in chicken rearing - I have found that the most friendly chickens with humans are often the lowest on the pecking order in the chicken coop. Just prepare yourself and know that it is not always going to be fun and roses (though 90%of the time it is). Between predators, unidentifiable sicknesses, pecking orders, things that happen that you would never expect or plan for, etc., you need to put on your 'throw them out of the club' mentality and drive through those times. If anything, it will keep you on your toes and teach you to be more creative with the unexpected. Don't give up - it is rewarding to have fresh eggs and your son will have something he can enjoy that not many other kids experience.
  7. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    hill country texas
    Phillip, if you can try to keep the ones you have. If you will try to hold them daily and pet them, it will help them to be more people friendly. You can also give them treats from your hand and have your son do this as well. He will love it and also give him a bond with the chicks as well. Just make sure you give them chick grit as well so they can digest the treats. Mine love watermelon, tomatoes, apples, and most other types of fruit and veggies.
    Yes it is hard when we lose one that we have become extremely attatched to, but this to can be a learning tool for your son, that all of Gods creatures will eventually pass on, it is a part of life and one I had to teach my boys early on because of a family members passing. They are well adjusted adults now and I could never be any prouder of them. If you have the room you may want to get older birds to put in another coop/run area. Once the birds are the same size they can be introduced to each other and put together. You may not have as close a bond with the older ones though. Most will become friendlier over time if you spend time with them and give them treats....... they are greedy little buggers for those treats [​IMG] mine just crack me up when they see me and come running at me like a pack of wild starved dogs!

    Anyway, sorry this has gotten so long, but there are alot of joys you can share with your child, give it a chance. If you want you can PM me at any time. Enjoy your babies, they don't stay small for long. [​IMG]

  8. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Hi Phillip and WELCOME to BYC's -

    You've gotten really good advice from the others. I agree, they may have been too cramped or something since you had the pecking issue with two sets of chicks.

    Also use a RED heat lamp. It's calming and they sleep better.

    You just need to spend lots of time just sitting in there talking to the chicks and slowly put your hands in. If you're going to add treats, make sure you leave a bowl of grit for them to eat so they can digest the treats.

    You can get meal worms at Petco and Petsmart. Get the tiny ones. Mine LOVED them and LOVED me for giving them. My chicks started flying out of the brooder onto my hands, arms, lap, back to get more snacks. Scrambled eggs was a big hit as well, if you don't want to have to run and buy those.

    Clumps of sod, flat topped rocks, branch or 2 x 4 roosts just 5" off the ground are all popular. Give them lots of things to do when they're not eating and sleeping.

    I'm up in Olympia and have another 25 pullets coming from MPC Rainbow Special, so they'll be a mix.

    If yours continue to not be friendly despite spending time with them daily, I would consider giving you some of mine, as I'm not planning on keeping 25.

    You do need to try really hard with the ones you have though. This is a learning experience for your son and it may not be a good lesson if chicks come and go too frequently.

    Good luck to you. Pictures posted would be nice. We all love pics.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  9. tigger1976

    tigger1976 Hatching

    Aug 8, 2009
    Portland, Oregon
    Hello guys.

    Well I will be sure to take some pics for everyone once I get back home. Thanks for all the information. I will put some things in there for them to play with. I have the following chickens.
    5 Buff Orpingtons
    3 Buff Bramha's
    3 RIR
    4 Gold Lace w somethings. Lol.

    The coop that they are in right now is huge compared to the cage they were in. I will be done with their bigger coop in the next few weeks.

    I don't have any predators cause I kill everything that comes close to them. Lol. Hawks? Not any more. The hard ones for me are the raccoons. Those things are fierce!

    I really am fustrated. Maybe I can find some fellow chicken parents in my area to meet with and such. I love this site though. I usually am able to chat in the later evenings. Well any more advice is helpfully. Thank you. Phillip
  10. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    how old are your chicks? ours were not real friendly when young but at about 18 weeks they became the sweetest things in the world, they will follow me around and jump in my lap! may have something to do with getting ready to lay?
    BTW: ours are red sex links

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