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One week old chicks pecking each others vents

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tqlassetter, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. tqlassetter

    tqlassetter Hatching

    Mar 22, 2013
    We just got our babies yesterday around lunch. Everything was fine until this evening. The chicks started pecking at each others vents (bottoms) and tearing them open. I am freaked out. I have no idea what to do. We have been cleaning their bottoms of any built up poop and unclogged one vent already. I am keeping them clean and dry. I have separated the two that were wounded, cleaned their wounds, and am hoping for the best. They are currently in a bathroom that we don't use. The bathtub drain has been blocked off, and there is litter on the floor of the tub. They have access to plenty of food and water. We were using a regular heat lamp until tonight and when this started happening I got online to try to find something that would help. I couldn't find much. Just that the red heat lamp bulb may help. So, I sent my husband to get one. I also read that they may be overcrowded or too hot. I moved the heat lamp up, farther away from them. And they have the whole bathtub for 9 one week old chicks... They seem to have plenty of room... I really need help on this if anyone has any suggestions. Thank you.

  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Songster

    You could give them something to distract them such as a "BabyCake" (foragecakes.com) or hang bundles of greens into the tub to give them something they have to go on tiptoe to get to. I know this may not be something you'll want to do, but if you have a marker that is removable/cleanable, you could put little dots here and there around the inside of the tub, above chick head height. They'll try and pick those dots off their "wall" and not only does it keep them entertained, but it'll keep you entertained as well. Maybe you can also put some BluKote or Pick-No-More lotion on their vents and hope that doesn't pique their interest even more.
  3. tqlassetter

    tqlassetter Hatching

    Mar 22, 2013
    I have my husband cleaning bottoms and putting a dab of olive oil under their vents now to see if that will keep the poop from pasting up on their bottoms. I think maybe that is what caused the pecking to start. But the two that are hurt are really worrying me. One is torn up pretty bad, and bleeding. I am worried she may not make it. The other is just protruding a little. I will try putting dots along the side of the tub and see if that helps. I will go to the co-op tomorrow and see if they know of anything to do for the injured ones. Thank you.
  4. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Songster

    Oh, boy, I'm sorry to hear about the two who are really injured. I'll hope for the best...
  5. From the North

    From the North In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2013
    I have no experience in this, but I heard that one way to reduce pecking is to cut up a piece of red construction paper into small pieces and toss it in with the chickens... they will go around pecking at all the red squares and hopefully be distracted from pecking at each other.
  6. tqlassetter

    tqlassetter Hatching

    Mar 22, 2013
    Thanks so much everyone. I didn't have access to a store or anything after my husband got home with the new bulb because it was so late last night. So, I took everyone's advise and kinda improvised... I dotted the side of the tub with red and black markers at different heights. I hung a kitty toy ( jingle bell ball) where they could peck at it. I replaced the white heat lamp bulb with a red one. I put a drop of oil on everyone's vent to keep the poop from sticking. I seperated the two injured ones from the others in a plastic tub beside the bathtub. And I put antibacterial ointment on their bottoms. They are both looking better, they are eating and drinking and pooping. Hopefully no more emergencies... Thank you so much!!! I also noticed that with the red light they are calmer and not as jumpy as they were with the white one.
  7. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Songster

    I'm glad they're doing better!!

  8. You could try raw apple cider vinegar in their water to prevent pasty butt. 1 tsp. per quart of water. Make sure the apple cider vinegar has the mother in it. Braggs is a good brand, Heinz also and is a little cheaper.
  9. akb77

    akb77 In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2012
    West-Central Ohio
    I have been having this problem too. What I have found that helps is the red light. The first time I had this issue is when I switched to the red light and the problem subsided. Then this past weekend I moved my chicks to the transition coop and the problem started again. I brought the injured chick into the house bathed her and put Blu-Kote on her bottom. I realized they now have natural day-light in their coop and they were hyper during the day. I blocked the windows out with a paper bag and reintroduced the injured chick to the flock... all is well now. So moral to my drawn-out story is use the red light and block out natural lighting.
  10. Sparkling

    Sparkling Chirping

    May 26, 2013
    We just got our baby chicks yesterday. We got 3 Wellsumers, 3 black australorps, 3 buff orpingtons, and my daughter got 1 aracauna. The black australorps are picking on one of the wellsummers. They had to spend the night last night in a carboard box because I couldn't get the bigger cage finished (I ran into an unexpected problem) until the hardware store opened again. It's fixed now and they're in the larger box now, but they're still picking on her. I put a web cam on the side so I could watch them (you can see the livestream here http://livestream.com/wellsfamily if you want) without disturbing them from their natural behavior, that's how I know which ones (maybe just one?) is cauing the trouble. I've got the injured one against my chest now trying to let her sleep and be calm and warm against my body. But I can't keep her here all the time, she needs food and water. I'm going to have to put her back with the others. It's 8pm now and there are no farm stores or hardware stores open now. (And I'm running out of money! I've had to buy several things I wasn't planning on buying this weekend.) What can I do to help at this point in time? I've tried cleaning her vent, but she seemed to be having trouble eliminating. Now what do I do? Our babies look to be within a week old though the black australorps seem a bit older perhaps? We're at the end of the season now of course and Wilco didn't have many varieties to choose from, and I needed calm, quiet varieties because I live in town. Anyway, this is what we have. Where do we go from here? What do we do now? How do I help them?

    Suggestions I've read on this thread are:

    1) get a red light instead of white
    -I am not sure I can find a red light at this point in time. I could try.

    2) add apple cider vinegar to the water
    -I can get vinegar at the store, but I'm really unclear why this works. Can someone explain WHY it works please?

    3) add more toys
    -we've already added grass clumps, I can try the dots on the side of their cage thing too

    4) get the peeps classes.
    -I have no idea where to get these and probably can't afford them right now. I'm really almost out of money. Is there something else?

    5) I saw in another thread to try pine tar. Do they mean pine sap? Like from my pine tree?
    -I have a pine tree. I can get pine sap. Do I put it on the perpetrators beak to make her stop? What do I do with it?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    God bless you,

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