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i need help quick, chickens killed and ate my chicks...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sassy8_11, May 17, 2007.

  1. sassy8_11

    sassy8_11 Out Of The Brooder

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    i went out this morning to feed the chickens. two of my chicks were missing. ( they are about 5 weeks old) the other 2 were in the pin but one looks sick. it looks all fluffed out and slow moving and its not eating. Well when i went to look in the coop for eggs...i found one of my chicks dead. The big chickens ate it. and i did not find the other missing one so im guessing they ate it completely. I am new to rasing chickens so my 1st questions is did i stave my other chickens? I go out and feed them about 4 times a day and feed them grass. What am i doing wrong? My second ? is about the other chick. Is it gonna die? Is there something that i can do to save it? My other chick looks fine its running around and looks good. I have removed the sick chick to a small cage away from my other birds. Please help me.
     
  2. Forest_Nymph

    Forest_Nymph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear of your problems.

    From experience, I've learned that putting chicks in with adults can be fatal. They should be separated until they're the same size and can fend for themselves. All adults will try to establish a pecking order and chicks definately will not survive under that pressure.
    If there is a way to put wire between the the young and the old then you can gradually introduce them into the flock. The adults will soon get used to their presence and accept them more easily later.

    The chicks may still need warmth and their own grower food and water separate from the adults. Chickens can be cannabals and will kill their own kind, sorry to say...

    Keep them separate until they're more confident and can get access to feed and water without fear.

    Good luck
     
  3. sassy8_11

    sassy8_11 Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks. I have just separted them. Is there anything i can do for the sick one? I cant believe that there is no sign of my other chick. so far i have not found no feet, head nothing just a bunch of feathers:(
     
  4. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Is there a reason you feed 4x daily instead of offering food free choice? I would suggest free-choice if you are concerned about them eating enough.

    The fluffed chick should be removed - actually ALL of the younger chicks should be removed, as they are just not big enough to fend for themselves with adult birds. The fluffed chick may be cold--give it an area that is about 75-80 degrees that it can move into or out of at will. Adding an electrolyte/vitamin mix to it's water would also be good.

    You say you feed them grass...are they allowed outdoors, or are they in a coop? They need access to grit if they eat anything other than starter and are not allowed outdoors to find their own grit. On that subject- what are you feeding the chicks? At 5 weeks, they should be fed starter. It is a completely balanced feed for chicks up to point of lay, then layer pellets with oyster shell and grit offered free choice.

    As far as the completely missing chick..yes, chickens are cannibals, but I don't think that they will consume the non-soft parts, like legs and bones overnight...I could be wrong, but I've not seen it happen. How secure is your coop? Is it possible that something else could get in?

    A little more background information would be helpful in trying to figure what might be wrong with your sick chick.

    I sure hope it gets better.
     
  5. Arklady

    Arklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not put my chicks in with the grown hens till they are at least 5 months old. Then when I do I send in enough that the others don't know who to pick on and they just kind of leave them all alone or they all find one each to pick on. Chickens need 18% protein in their diet, so feeding them extra, like turkey ration mixed into their feed, is ok about three times a week. Chicks need to be in a brooder until they are fully feathered. Then they can go into a seperate grow pen for the next phase of their growing stage, which is like 2 or 3 months. I really don't like sending them outside until they are 8 weeks. Then they get a grow pen. Hope this helps for next time.

    Arklady
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  6. sassy8_11

    sassy8_11 Out Of The Brooder

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    I usually feed them a big cup( like the kind you get from hopsitials). put it in a pile for them to eat on and when it starts to get low i do it again. I get them 3 way stratch feed? i think thats what its called. Where the pin is at there is no more grass there. it is a 10x10 with a coop for them to go into. so thats where my kids and i will go and pick grass for them to eat. We only have 3 chickens and a turkey. It there anything that can be used around the house in place of electrolyte/vitamin mix? Can you use some sugar? If anything got in there it would have to been small i looked at it and dont see any evidence that something was around there. i could see how maybe something small could get in but hard getting out. The chicken wire curves into the cage. Right now i have the chick in a small cage. he is just standing there sleeping. He was fine yesterday. Should i put him in the bigger cage with the other chick? Or will the other one get sick?
    My chicks are fully feathered. My sick chick has not ate today. Thank you for your help.
     
  7. Arklady

    Arklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my chicks, chickstarter I get at the store. It has 22% protein in it and I feed it till they are clucking really good. Or till they lay their first egg. I generally never feed 3 way hen scratch unless I have run out of the other feed. Hen scratch only has 8% protein and I only feed it to my ducks and geese as they forage out around the place making up the balance lacking in the scratch. Chickens should only get it for a snack and chicks need starter. Lay pellets only has 16% protein where the chicken needs 18% for normal egg production so I just give a bit of turkey starter with the lay pellet. I don't go over the 18% unless I have a hen having problems like loss of feathers and what not.

    Stick to chick starter for the young ones.

    Arklady
     
  8. sassy8_11

    sassy8_11 Out Of The Brooder

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    when i go to the feed store what do i need to ask for?
     
  9. Arklady

    Arklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I buy a brand called Brooders Best Chick Starter.

    You can still feed chicks the hen scratch but only as a treat. They need the extra to grow anyways.

    But the feed guy will know what you need for chicks and if they suggest hen scratch just tell him they are chicks not hens, at least not yet that is.

    Arklady
     
  10. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think Pedialyte can be used in place of the V&E mix, but i'm not positive on that...maybe someone else knows...
    Sugar in the water will give a little boost, but it shouldn't be a long term practice.
    Scratch is a treat and is not nutritionally balanced to be a complete feed for your birds. Any chick starter is good until point of lay then layer pellets (plus oyster shell) should be given. I'd suggest getting some grit from your feed store. It is really inexpensive and a 50# bag will last a very long time. Just put some in a dish and allow the chickens to eat it at will.


    As for the missing bird...if you are sure no predator could be to blame, then maybe the chick got out?
     

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