Separating weaker chick from flock a good idea?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Stormy, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Stormy

    Stormy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
    South Carolina
    Ok, I reacted first and now thought to ask this question.

    27 chicks are 6 weeks old and in the coop. There is one chick that is significantly smaller than the rest and seems either not to have some of her feathers coming in, or they have been pecked out by the rest of the flock.

    I don't think she is getting the food/treats like she should because she is the lowest one in the pecking order.

    I just removed her from the coop and set up a make-shift place for her here in the house in a parrot cage. I plan to keep her in the house away from the rest for at least 3 days so she can get some food and nutrition in-so she can stand a fighting chance out there with the rest of the flock.

    She is not acting weak or sick. I just think she needs a chance to eat and catch up with the rest of the flock.

    Did I do wrong? Do I need to put her back out in the coop with the rest?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If she's not actually being picked on (no wounds), could you just set up a second feeder, instead of isolating her, so that she has twice the chance at the food? (She doesn't need treats at that age). I'm just worrying that by isolating her it may *create* pecking problems that did not exist before, when you reintroduce her. Is her crop full when you check a couple times a day? (I mean when she is with the others, not in isolation). If her crop seems full then I would guess she is probably eating enough.

    Dunno, just tossing it out there.

    I had one or two this spring that feathered out more slowly than the rest (they were also smaller) but they got there eventually and seemed perfectly fine, just on a different schedule.

    GOod luck,

    Pat
     
  3. Stormy

    Stormy Out Of The Brooder

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    Pat,

    Thank you for the quick response. At the risk of sounding like a total idiot, I have no clue how to check a crop and see if it is full. I looked at my "chicken anatomy" picture I had printed from this forum, and I see no "crop" listed.

    Explain please where and how I check this crop.

    Thank you
     
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Hi...the little one should be with the others unless she is being wounded. She can get to the food after the others if she wants so make sure there is more than enough food in there for them.

    The crop is just below the neck sort of...lol I know that does not help much, but if you are looking at chickie facing you, there will be a bulge on the left side. It will look like a bump on her breast when full. If you can handle surgical pictures, check out this post on crop surgery and you can see where the crop is located.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=21291
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I agree with Pat. Barring an open wound, I don't think removing them from the flock is a good idea and it's likely to cause bigger problems in the long run. I had Lil' Bit in the house one night for a few hours when she seemed to be doing especially poorly, but that's the longest I would have one away from the others.
    Why not take the chick out for an extra feeding a couple of times a day, then put her back with the flock. Give her a little yogurt to go along with her feed while you have her out. That's what I did with Lil' Bit and it worked really well. A llittle extra attention goes a long way.
     
  6. Stormy

    Stormy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
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    I have her back out with the flock. I have them free-ranging in the evening, so I just put her back in the yard with the rest. After they are in the coop for the night I will check her crop (thanks to you guys, I now know where and how to do this).

    Thank you, all of you for your words of wisdom.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Ummm Stormy? I just went back and looked at that pic some more. That chick is 6 weeks old? If so, it wouldn't surprise me that she's not a she at all. [​IMG]
     
  8. Stormy

    Stormy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
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    What? But she/he is so docile...timid even....the last one to get any food, the smallest in the flock....Can you tell me what makes you think she/he is a rooster?

    Also if it turns out I have more than 1 rooster, can I keep them all? Do they fight for dominance and injur each other? Must I give up any roosters?

    Now I DO have 7 chicks in the brooder which are mostly Polish. They are only two weeks old. One of them I call my "blue roo" because even at two weeks he ACTS like a roo. He struts. When outside with supervised visitation with the other 27, he is VERY protective of the 6 chicks in "his" flock. He stands up against ANY of the 6 week old hens who try to peck at his "flock".
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Okay deep breath. I'm not trying to freak you out and I could be completely wrong. It's mainly the lack of feathering that speaks to me of baby roo. Also, I can't see it well because of the coloring in the pic, but his comb is a tad big. There can be lots of other explanations for these things.
    As for behavior, I've never used that as a judge of who's a roo and who's not. In fact, my Thor has always been the one of my docile/shy chicks.
    How many roosters can you have? How many hens total will you have? I intended to have 21 hens with 2 roos, ended up with 16 hens and 2 roos which is pushing it a little, but I've had no problems. My boys have been together since day one and they've worked it out between them without a fuss. Alot depends on the breed too. Some breeds are known for their docile roos, others are not.
    So wait and see. I hope for your sake I'm wrong.
     
  10. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    I had a few that feathered out differently at a different time.. that is what mine looked like when they were getting different feathers... they did that a couple of times during the first 12 weeks.
     

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