I'm so sad... 4 week old was pecked to death!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mycookoonest, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Mycookoonest

    Mycookoonest Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Hudson Valley NY
    We decided to put the 4 week old chicks out in the coop with the 11 week olds. Well one Buff O didn't make it... it was pecked to death. We put the turkey's out there in a dog crate to keep them separated but I just put the rest of them in with the turkey's 4 weeks old also. They were in the brooder with them anyway.

    Are my older birds that vicious they would peck it TO DEATH!?!? Poor baby! She had no feathers on her head and it was all bloody.

    I'm so sad. I thought they would just antagonize them a little bit and keep them in the coop until they get bigger... that's what they did with the other ones we had put in there...
  2. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Birds have to sort out a pecking order and it's hard on ones that are smaller when they first get into the main group. It's important to lean boards around the coop and put up other hiding spots so that the new smaller birds can adjust and be able to get out of the way.
  3. Mycookoonest

    Mycookoonest Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Hudson Valley NY
    We have cinder blocks (with the 3 holes in it) around the bottom, alone with other things but I think it got caught between the chainlink and chicken wire bottom of the enclosure cage (we also have a bigger run for them but the chainlink is for when we're not home).

    You live and you learn... I guess I just thought since the others did OK... that these would.

    All I keep thinking is POOR BABY![​IMG]
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    OH that poor baby! Well, let this be a hard lesson for all of us. Never put babies out with big girls. It's just not safe. Did you remove the others? Wait till they are bigger to add them and then make sure their is a fence of some sort so they can get to know each other but not touch each other.
  5. jadude

    jadude Songster

    May 22, 2008
    i am making a pen for my black sex links that are coming wednsday i will keep them in that until they are about 3 months then put them with the big ones
  6. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I also have a brooder pen that I keep the chicks in when they are old enough to go outside. Eventually, I start free ranging them together. After a while, I catch the brooder pen chicks and put them a cage in the coop so the big girls can see them and not get to them. After a week of this I turn them loose. This makes the big girls used to having them around with out killing them, plus trains the babies to come back to the coop at night.
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    If other chickens see a wound, they are likely to pick and pick and pick at it, making it worse.

    It's really important to watch chickens of any age for wounds because this will happen to adult birds, too.
  8. Mycookoonest

    Mycookoonest Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Hudson Valley NY
    They are in the crate together now out in the coop. I was trying to figure out when it happened and it seems it happened this morning. DH said he was going out to bury the chick before it started to get stiff... I just can't stop thinking about that poor thing! He said they were fine when he let them out this morning. It can happen in a matter of minutes! I can't believe my gentle chickens could do that!!! Well they're gentle with me...

    I do know when they peck my legs to get my attention it hurts like a you know what... I can only imagine. I'm so mad at myself for this happening!!! I even spent a ton of time out there with them to calm them down yesterday when we introduced them... They seemed interested pecked at them a few times... then continued on pecking the yard...

    NOTE TO SELF... even if husband gives you grief about having the brooder inside... do not give in and move them outside! [​IMG]
  9. Oh how awful. One thought I have for you is to make a brooder outside as a transition space. This would be right in the same pen, but separated. They could see each other, get accustomed to one another, and then when you put them together (when they are older) they will already "know" each other. I have kept some in until about 4 weeks, but the standards do start to get big then. So fashion a brooder within the pen. Good luck. [​IMG]
  10. Shogun99

    Shogun99 Songster

    Aug 20, 2008
    Las Cruces, NM
    When I got my baby chickens, one of them was getting pecked pretty hard because he was the only white chick of the bunch (nicknamed Father Flagger). The rest are all black stars.

    When I saw his face getting pecked up and bloody I put him in a small rabbit cage that I had laying around. WHAT A GOOD IDEA! He wasn't too happy when I brought him inside, even though he got a lot more socialization time with the humans, but I ultimately but him back in the brooder, in the rabbit cage for a few days while his battlescars healed. Once he was released, he gets along well and is now one of the leaders of the pack so to speak.

    Maybe try something similar? Good luck!


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