Plucking out other chicks feathers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by starfroggie, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. starfroggie

    starfroggie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2008
    Walla Walla
    Last night I looked in on my chicks and noticed my little Polish had a bald, red spot about the size of a dime on its back. This chick is only about 2 1/2 wks old. So I pulled it out and put it in with some different chicks and that little colony seems to be doing well today.

    I looked in on them at lunch time and now four more chicks have bald spots where feathers have been pulled out. Ouch! What does this mean? It seems like it is my Wyandottes doing it to my Hamburgs now.

    Do I try and separate them into smaller groups? I have in that tub currently 2 Cochins (not bothered yet) 5 Hamburgs (3 with damage) and 4 Wyandottes. It is a big steel tub, I have a long feeder and a waterer and they are on straw which I change every other day.

    I did move their location from the kitchen table to the laundry room while the mother-in-law was in town. I go through that room at least 4x a day to take my dogs out but the chicks are up on a counter. Do you think they are stressed out? Lacking nutritionally? Or just working out their pecking order?

    I am about to pull my hair out. Thanks for any advice.

    Shana
     
  2. PennySue

    PennySue Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Twin Lakes, WI
    Could be stress, pecking order, even misisng vitamins or minerals.
    Mine started doing that the other day so I added some fresh hay to their brooder (they are 4 weeks). At first they were scared but soon found out how much fun it was to scratch and pull. I also separated the ones getting picked on by placing them inside a cage (one with an open bottom worked best) inside the brooder, just for the day. By diner time I noticed once the blood dried and darkened so I took away the cage, the others weren't interested any more.
    I cut an apple in half today to give them something to peck at. Tonight they get crickets I got at the pet shop, that's a lot of fun.
    I have even heard of hanging things like fresh greens, an apple and even rubber balls, to distract and ammuse them.
    I can't get mine out to the barn until this weekend and they are getting a little cramped.
    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  3. starfroggie

    starfroggie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2008
    Walla Walla
    Something else strange I noticed was last night they had segregated themselves by breed. The two Cochins were sleeping together under the heat lamp, and then at the other end of the brooder the Hamburgs were sleeping together, and on the other side the Wyandottes were all together.

    Today at lunch the Wyandottes and 1 Hamburg (the one that hasn't been plucked) were sleeping at one end, and all the rest were together at the other end.

    One of my Cochins had been getting its eyelids pecked so I had removed both of them for about a week. I just put them back in yesterday evening and it seemed the other birds were scared of them now. So maybe this does have more to do with stress or pecking order?

    I have been giving them some fresh grass every day but they are only about 2 1/2+ wks old, is that too young to give them other goodies?

    thanks for the quick response.

    ETA: Oh yeah forgot to mention, I have them on chick start from the feed store.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  4. PennySue

    PennySue Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 14, 2008
    Twin Lakes, WI
    I'm not sure, I'm not an expert. But when I had chickens before and I let the hens brood their own chicks, as soon as they were out of the nest they pecked at everything.
    Here's one thought, could the brooder have actually have been too big and didn't force the group to bond?
    Are you giving them some grit? Or maybe egg shells (not the whole egg, cooked or not, I fed cooked eggs to a chick and actually killed it because the egg is too rich and they develope fatty tumors)?
    I also heard a red heat light keeps peeking down.
    All we can do is guess and try.
     

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