Vent pecking issue with 1 week old chicks

thegoodlife1961

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
37
1
32
Arkansas
Well, my chicks are 1 week old today. I have 27 of them in a 5ft x 5ft brooder, red heat lamp bulb, pine shavings for litter, plenty of feed & water spaces. Last night, everything appeared fine. This morning, I noticed several of the chicks trying to peck at the butt of the smallest chick, a little Ameraucana. I picked her up & her butt was all bloody! I put vaseline on it, & put her in a separate box & put the box in a corner of the brooder. I put food & water in her box, as well as a fuzzy toy Easter chick for company. She has been eating & drinking & later this evening was peeping for real chick company. I put another of the smaller babies in with her, a little Barred Rock that I just had to do a butt washing on for pasting up. I was afraid that if the other brooder chicks saw the shiney vaseline on her butt, they might start to vent peck her too. So far the 2 small ones have been doing ok together in the "hospital box". My questions are, What made my chicks start to gang up on the small Ameraucana? Was it boredom? Is it too hot for them? In their shed, it has gotten warm enough the past 2 days to turn the lamp off until bedtime. Its gotten to 90 in there. Miss Ameraucana has never had a pasty butt issue. In case it was boredom, I pulled some grass up be the roots, picked some dandelions, & tossed in the brooder. They had a blast for hours! :) What else can I do to prevent this from happening again? Also, I have a salve called Union Salve for external wounds. It has pine tar in it. Would that be safe to put on her butt instead of the vaseline? Would it make her sick if she tasted it?
 

10xmama

Songster
10 Years
May 14, 2011
196
41
176
North Florida
My chicks are two weeks old and I had a similar experience on Sunday. All was well when I fed the at noon. I went back at 5 pm to play with them and six of my 16 chicks had bloody wounds. I had them in a 30inx30in brooder cage with a red heat lamp. I'm in FL so I'd been turning the light off in the day and on at night.

Anyway, I had to separate he wounded ones... And after talking with chicken keeping friends, decided that they were feeling crowded. My protein content is good on their feed (18%) and all else seems fine. So I've prematurely moved them into their coop and run. Neither were quite finished but we secured them and made them good enough for now. After two nights separated I put all the chicks in the run together today. I slathered the injured birds with Vaseline... And there was a little pecking but nothing serious. Tonight I carried them all into the coop (since the door/ramp isn't finished.... They seem to be happy. I will see in the morning if they are all well and no new pecking issues.

If the extra space doesn't solve my problems, then I am at a loss.

So I would bet .... based on my very limited experience, that you may have an overcrowding issue.
 

thegoodlife1961

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
37
1
32
Arkansas
My chicks are two weeks old and I had a similar experience on Sunday. All was well when I fed the at noon. I went back at 5 pm to play with them and six of my 16 chicks had bloody wounds. I had them in a 30inx30in brooder cage with a red heat lamp. I'm in FL so I'd been turning the light off in the day and on at night.

Anyway, I had to separate he wounded ones... And after talking with chicken keeping friends, decided that they were feeling crowded. My protein content is good on their feed (18%) and all else seems fine. So I've prematurely moved them into their coop and run. Neither were quite finished but we secured them and made them good enough for now. After two nights separated I put all the chicks in the run together today. I slathered the injured birds with Vaseline... And there was a little pecking but nothing serious. Tonight I carried them all into the coop (since the door/ramp isn't finished.... They seem to be happy. I will see in the morning if they are all well and no new pecking issues.

If the extra space doesn't solve my problems, then I am at a loss.

So I would bet .... based on my very limited experience, that you may have an overcrowding issue.

Wow! I may have to move mine way sooner than I had planned! I did go ahead & try the Union Salve tonight though. Seems to work like a charm so far. I put it on both chicks & put them back in the brooder & watched for about a half hour or so. There was an occassional curious glance at the butts, but it seems the other chicks are turned off by the pine tar smell. Whatever keeps them from pecking! I'm hoping things will be ok when I get up to check them in the morning. There is one Buff Orpington chick that is very bossy to all the others. This has come about in just the last 2 days. I can't believe how bossy a 7 day old chick can get! LOL
 

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