Newbie question: 'Picked Chick'

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by boilerjoe_96, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. boilerjoe_96

    boilerjoe_96 Songster

    Apr 4, 2007
    West Lafayette, IN
    Got an assortment from the local farm store on Saturday. 4 RIR, 3 Barred Rock, 3 others yet to be determined...

    after 2 days in their cage, all about same size, 3 weeks old, one appeared to have been pecked. Featherless red areas on her(I think a her). Anyway, I moved her to a seperate cage(by herself) and waited to see if any others got picked. 2 days and so far so good. The other cage with 5 in there everything is fine.

    My question: I put some neosporin(sp?) on the wounds, she seems to be doing fine eating and drinking and very chipper. Should I be concerned at all with her? Will her feathers grow back?

    BTW, I have been lurking here and other places and really appreciate peoples advice and opinions. This is my first venture into chickens(much to wifes dismay)....
  2. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Had to do the same with one of mine, only I removed the one doing the pecking. I did not put any meds on the few that had wounds and they are all doing fine. Mine were 5 weeks old i think, when I separated them. Not sure if i'll be able to reunite them before moving them to the coop though.
  3. ameador1

    ameador1 In the Brooder

    It has been a long time since I had chickens (until this past Tuesday that is 8) )! Anyway, if memory serves me, you sometimes need to pull the chick that has been picked on, and has sores, as the spots will become focal points to the other chicks, thus causing a batch of chicks to continue the pecking. If there is a particular chick that is initiating the pecking, I would probably isolate it for a bit as well.

    Good luck!
  4. GoPups

    GoPups Songster

    Mar 27, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    I had two who got picked on, literally. Their bums had open wounds, so all of the others were doing the picking, not just one. I put them both in solitary for a week or so until their wounds healed, and then I reintroduced them to the flock once they were better and the picking stopped. I didn't put any meds on them, and their feathers did grow back.

    That raises an interesting question, though -
    Since feathers are actually not hair, but modified scales, does that make them easier to grow back? My dog has a small scar on her back where she'll never have hair again. But since feathers are more vital to a bird than hair is to a dog, are they more apt to regrow? Just a thought.
  5. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I have a thought on the feather-hair-scar question.

    Hair, nails, horns and feathers are all derived from ancestral reptilian scales. So the evolution might not really play into this very much. However, for whatever reason, modern yet more evolutionarily primitive animals like amphibians and reptiles tend to have better regrowth of tissue. Like lizards regrowing legs and tails, for instance. Mammals don't regrow legs! Birds, being closer relatives to lizards than mammals are, would thus logically be more likely to have enhanced regrowing abilities.

    Did that make sense? I'll sum up; Birds, being somewhat primitive organisms, should be able to regrow feathers more easily than mammals can regrow fur because mammals are younger in an evolutionary sense.

    Either way, I bet the chick will be fine if you isolate it. Feathers grow back pretty quickly. A little extra protein might be good for her- like some diced boiled egg white.

  6. boilerjoe_96

    boilerjoe_96 Songster

    Apr 4, 2007
    West Lafayette, IN
    OK that chick is mostly healed, I tried to put 3 different birds in with it, one at a time(at different times).

    This once wounded bird, stood up as high as he/she could, followed the 'new' bird around and then started picking at it. Wouldn't leave the new bird alone.

    Maybe this bird is the picker and the others in its prior cage ganged up on it and beat it up. Maybe I shouldn't feel sorry for it.

    instead of adding a bird to it's cage should i return it to its original cage?

    Not sure what kind of chicken, it is turning all white though.
  7. CranberryBirds

    CranberryBirds In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2007
    I had a few pickers when mine were chicks. I used a multi-pronged approach to solving the problem.

    1. I took fingernail clippers to all of their top beaks. I KNOW this sounds terrible but I just clipped off the littlest, tinest, smallest sliver of beak. They say chickens are dumb but I SWEAR that they got the message.

    2. Used a red light instead of a white one. They can't see the blood as well.

    3. Isloated the one that was bleeding. To do this, I used a file crate (you know, those 1' by 1' plastic stacking things?). That way, I could place the file crate IN the big brooder so that everyone could still see/hear each other. I think this made reintroducing the bird once it had healed less traumatic on everyone.

    Good luck!

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