New to BYC, Problem with chicks!!!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jcedwards, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. jcedwards

    jcedwards New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Mar 24, 2012
    Hello, we are new to chickens. We live near the Kansas City Metro area. We had 25 brown leghorn pullets. We have had them for about 2.5 weeks. We ordered a straight run of pullets from Orschelens. A friend of mine is taking half of them in a few days, she was unable to get them until now. This morning all of my chickens except 2 had missing feathers and some skin trauma on their backs and one was dead with a hole pecked clear through her back. So sad. We took them outside for the day and totally cleaned their box, which wasn't dirty as far as chickens go. I wanted to get rid of all of the blood and it was splattered here and there. I put neosporin on their skin and they all seemed to get along fine outside. What went wrong? I've never heard of chicks at 3 weeks old doing this to eachother. None were gimpy and they were all about the same size. I have them in a large commercial orange crate in my basement with a heat lamp on one side of the box. The box 4' x 3' and covered in a plastic drop cloth for easy cleaning. I am feeding a ommercial medicated chick starter. They get fresh food and water 2 times per day and I am using pine shavings as bedding. Help, I don't want to loose any more chicks. [​IMG]
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    8,603
    161
    316
    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Are you sure nothing got to them? If they are cannibalising eachother, it might mean that they are too crowded. Some say to try and use a red bulb which can help keep agressive levels down. Sometimes agression comes with breeding too. For example, I bougt silkie chicks from a hatchery, and they were super skittish, never learned to be friendly. Then I bought silkie chicks from someone else, and they were as friendly as can be.

    Giving them something to peck might be a good idea. There's a product called "Baby Cakes" that is a solid block of feed for chicks, and you hang it in the brooder for them. They just love pecking that.

    Good luck and I hope you get things figured out,
    Sharon
     
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    17,489
    85
    351
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. So sorry about your chicks. I believe crowding is your problem. When birds are crowded, they get stressed and begin pecking and feather eating and when blood is drawn, they become cannibalistic. Try to give them more space and use a red heat lamp bulb.
     
  4. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    20,239
    137
    348
    Jun 4, 2010
    Alabama
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.
     
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    18,815
    1,181
    396
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    A red bulb does not reduce aggressiveness, but it does mask red blood spots which will attract their attention. I would get a much bigger box - I get my brooder boxes at a local hardware store that sells appliances. Put at least 2 heated areas in too.
     
  6. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,515
    463
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  7. greymane

    greymane Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,706
    16
    203
    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by