Piranah chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BooBear, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    2,435
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    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    [​IMG]

    The little local mutt chicks I hatched turned piranha yesterday. Something spooked them the night before by ripping the plastic off their coop. Mom spotted what appeared to be coon tracks. None of the chicks seemed harmed. [​IMG]

    In the afternoon the chicks play fighting started to get ugly. Butters got a scratch on the nose er comb. I didn't think much of it as they are only 5 weeks. Went to get a drink came back and poor Spot was attacked. By the time I rushed to the brooder hutch he was stripped of his back feathers and had a bloody back. I cleaned and doctored him up. So he has a very blue back now. I put the kids in their play pen which helped calm everyone down and distract them. I thought maybe during their ruff housing Spot must of got a blood feather pulled that triggered the frenzy. Cole and Edi were the main peckers. I spotted Edi pull a feather from Butters and ate it. [​IMG]

    Forward to today. Spot had more sore spots that I treated again and then covered with Blue Kote. Spot hates the blue kote and shook some onto me so now I have spotted blue arms. After treating Spot I put the kids in the play pen. Again while in the play pen no one got pecked and they were happily foraging through the grass, catching bugs, playing in the dirt, and just having fun. I watched them closely trying to figure out what started the piranah behavior. The more I watched the more I feel Edi is the instigator.

    Edi pecks feathers from the lighter chicks and eats them out of boredom. It cannot be the food because they have enough food to feed them and another group of chicks at their disposal. I make sure they have plenty of their food on hand even in the play pen. They been getting a morning treat of cracked corn, BOSS, millet seeds and in the play pen lots of greens available with bugs on top of their main diet. That is why I think this is a boredom trigger on Edi's part. As soon as I put the kids in the brooder Edi started pecking at Butters. Spot is in the hospital hutch. I felt so bad for Spot being alone in there, but he needs a chance to heal.

    I wonder if I need to get another small cage to seperate Edi into from the rest of the group? She screams when alone. [​IMG]

    Not sure to put this here or in flock management as these are 5 week old chicks.
     

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