Please help my 3 week chicks are eating each other

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by B Coppen, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. B Coppen

    B Coppen New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2016
    I have 5 chicks with blood on their backs down near their tails, it's the other chicks all picking at their new feathers. I have painted them blue, made their brooder interesting and made sure there is 2 waters and 2 feeders. What else can I do, they are still picking at each other. I have noticed one being more aggressive than the others is she teaching the rest?
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    All I can think of at this moment is to separate them all by divisions in the brooder or separate cages - so this behavior has to stop/blood they go nuts. I think Blu kote doesn't work because they are so used to their horrible behavior it's a habit - independent of seeing "red."
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    PS most definitely get the ring leader out of there.
     
  4. B Coppen

    B Coppen New Egg

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    I don't think think I can separate them, there are 21 of them...
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds like it is probably a space issue. How big is the brooder? If you cannot separate them within that brooder, then it seems like you need another brooder to split them into otherwise you are probably going to lose chicks. At 3 weeks my broody reared chicks would be free ranging. They need space and stimulation.... some breeds more than others.
    Alternatively, sell off the ring leaders to make more space for the others.
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Some good advice above. Separating the injured chicks is a priority - simply no option on that one, otherwise you will be knowingly exposing them to a slow and painful death (and likely fostering unwanted learned behaviour from the others).

    Whilst enriching the brooder environment is always a good idea, it cannot compensate for overcrowding, as that stress and resultant behaviours, will persist. As @rebrascora suggests, lowering the stock density is possibly the only option.
     
  7. B Coppen

    B Coppen New Egg

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    At 3 weeks is it possible to sex any breeds.
    , I could potentially remove the males? I have my suspicions as to which ones I think could be Roos, btw the brooder size is about 3mt diameter.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    It can be, depending on breed - thats from the experts, that is. The breed / gender forum is the best place for that - https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this - i'd suggest explaining your predicament also, as most members will tell you that it is likely too early to tell them apart. But sure, if you have no use for them, its the best way to reduce your numbers as quickly as possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    If it is that big, it should not be difficult to divide it up. If you post a photo of your set up we might be able to give you suggestions of simple ways to adapt it.
    Sexing at that age would not be accurate in general but there may be some that are showing early male characteristics. If you can post photos of the ones you suspect are roos we might be able to confirm.
    I agree with CTKen that putting the victims of pecking back in without a division may be sentencing them to a painful death.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    What is the temp at the furthest point in the brooder at Chicks head height? It could be too warm....The furthest point a that age should be room temp...At Three weeks they can take a lot colder temps because they are almost feathered...

    Cheers!
     

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