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Need help with chick attacks!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by christineavatar, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. christineavatar

    christineavatar Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    I need some advice! I bought an order from McMurray Hatchery. I needed 20 hens and one rooster. Their minimum order is 25, so I ordered four Jumbo Cornish X Rocks birds to try my hand at butchering in four months. But today my son came to me and said that the Cornish were being picked on. Not understanding I went to see and their eyes had been pecked on! All four of them had been harassed terribly. All four had their eyes pecked on by the other birds. All were bleeding around their eyes. These chicks had only arrived this past Thursday, so they are about 5 or 6 days old. I have separated the chicks but I need some help fast. Will this stop? Can I put them back together? When?

    I posted this in the 'Raising Baby Chicks' forum but I've gotten no answers. So I thought I'd put it here.

  2. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

    Mar 4, 2012
    My Coop
    Definitely keep them apart until their wounds have healed over. After that you might try again. The trouble with Cornish Crosses is that they're sluggish and have trouble getting away from bullies, and then once the pecking starts they're sitting lumps. Keep them in a large enough enclosure that the other birds can entertain themselves without resorting to cannibalism. I have never raised broilers with dual-purpose chicks, but I always assumed their relative size differences would keep the smaller birds at bay.

    Can you keep them separate for the eight weeks until they hit processing age? The time flies by and may be easier on them.
  3. christineavatar

    christineavatar Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    I wasn't set up for two separate chick enclosures. I might be able to 'jerry rig' something but I dread the idea.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I'm afraid separating them is your only option. The other's have got it in their head to peck at them now and they aren't likely to stop, especially if wounds are visible.

    I'd separate them one way or another and I'd keep a close eye on that other flock as well. Make sure they have plenty of space, you don't want them getting started on each other! Very hard to break a flock that gets into that habit.
  5. Smoochie

    Smoochie Songster

    Sep 18, 2012
    I would just make something as the Cornish will be slow moving and ready to eat before you know it. Otherwise chickens are cannabalistic creatures....
  6. Stewzoo

    Stewzoo In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2012
    You are going to probably want to separate them sooner or later. In spring we order meat and egg birds. The meat birds poop SO much more than the egg birds that I end up cleaning it two times more than the egg birds. Also, they grow so fast that they will be double in size in no time and could possibly injure the smaller breeds.

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