Peeking feathers out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cajunlizz, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    what are some of the reasons the chicks go around peeking feathers out from the flock ? Anything I can do to prevent this ?[​IMG]
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    1) overcrowding- how much space for how many birds do you have?

    2) protein difficiency- feed meat scraps, worms, black oil sunflower seeds, etc.

    3) boredom- give them something to do: fresh hay bale to pull apart, clob of dirt with worms in it, head of cabbage on a string, etc.
  3. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:well , I have (15 ) 10 - 12 week old chicks in a 6ft. by 6 ft. deep cage with plenty ventilation .

    Hubby is building them a RUN & COOP this week , so I am sure that will solve most of that problem .....
  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    The new coop and run will probably help. We have 4 twelve-week chicks in about 2 x 5 right now and it's not really enough room, in my opinion.... they'll have more space soon.

    The general rule of thumb is to allow, as a MINIMUM, for standard-sized chickens:
    interior/henhouse useable floor space = 4 sqare feet per hen
    exterior/run/pen = 10 square feet per hen.

    So for your chickens you'd want a henhouse with 60 square feet of useable floor space, and a run with 150 square feet. ( But you can get by with less if they'll be out free-ranging most of the time.)

    Hope this helps!
  5. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:well total ......... we have 7 laying hens and (28 ) 10 to 12 week old chicks .

    Hubby is building a FULL RUN 12 x20 and COOP 8x12 ............. THINK THIS WILL BE BIG ENOUGH ?

    I am betting he will change his mind about the size of the coop and make it larger . Ima hoping he would at least go 12x12
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Are you planning to let them out to free range or will they be in the coop/run most of the time?

    So, 35 birds, total? If they're confined, you'd ideally want
    350 sf run space, minimum
    140 sq feet interior space minimum

    12 x 20 = 240 sq feet of run......
    8 x 12 = 96 sq feet of interior......

    I dunno. Maybe other folks will chime in. I only have experience witha small flock. But, I'd think you if you're keeping them confined you may find you have pecking issues from over-crowding.

    Anyone else with large flocks?? What do you think??
  7. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    IMO that isn't nearly big enough. SeaChick is right. Better adjust your plans for the coop and run.
  8. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    They like to pick at each other. Unfortunately, that is their nature. Giving more space does make a difference, but not always. I have 1/2 the birds I used to and they still beat up on each other. [​IMG]
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:NO , We live in the city limits and they have to either be in cages or in a closed in area . they will be in the RUN during the day and only in the coop at night .
  10. Penske

    Penske Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    I have 13 10 week olds that went outside at 7 weeks old (they were in the coop since 3 weeks). At 6 weeks old, one began plucking feathers from the others as if she was at a buffet! Our coop has 71 sq ft of floor space (so about 5.5 sq ft/ chicken). Now that they are outside, (run is 500 sq ft) there are NO behavior problems. They get along beautifully without any squabbles. So, like Sea Chick, I would err on the side of MORE space. Less hassels in the long run. Plus..[​IMG] I can add more when I'm ready!!! [​IMG]

    I had old timers tell me I was crazy not to order de-beaked chicks..."they'll pick each other like have alot to learn about chickens, missy". They are shocked to see a happy flock of pullets with their beaks and wings intact. The only difference is they are not living in crowded conditions.

    I've learned SO much from this site and I thank you!

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