Vent Pecking Problem

Then I Will

Songster
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
327
553
247
Annville, Pennsylvania
Got my hatchery chicks in the mail last week. One had a little pasty butt I treated on two occasions, and made sure his bum was dry before returning him to the brooder. That evening, I heard some distressed squawking going on downstairs, and went to check it out.
I found one of the chicks had started vent pecking the one I was treating for pasty butt. His vent was bloody and inflamed, so the pecking had been pretty persistent over the past four hours.
I quickly salved his vent and placed him in another brood box under a heat lamp reserved for the new batch of chicks I have arriving tomorrow.
ACV was added to the water as suggested by BYC users. So far, so good. But then, the offending vent pecker was observed assaulting the vents of his other mates! So I swapped the offending vent pecker with the distressed victim, hoping that this is my only offender and to nip it in the bud before it becomes a bigger problem.

These are one week old chicks I'm dealing with. And I have more coming in the mail tomorrow. I really don't have any more room or heat lamps to quarantine any injured or offending birds. Any ideas on how to stop vent pecking in its tracks? I assumed it only became a new habit for the offender after he drew blood on the victim and that removing the victim until the redness went away would be the best course of action. I couldn't have him making more red vents among his mates, so I have the victim in the original brooder where nobody else seems interested in butt pecking. I originally wanted to keep the victim in the brooder with the new chicks for a while while he recouped, but now I need a place for the offender as well.

Please help!

P.S> they have grass clippings and other things of interest to play with in the brooder.
 

Then I Will

Songster
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
327
553
247
Annville, Pennsylvania
Thanks. I like her site after having visited several times recently. Very informative. I am contemplating the wire enclosure, but I will need to also provide separate feed and water in that instance. :/
 

Then I Will

Songster
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
327
553
247
Annville, Pennsylvania
May I ask what breed they are?
Hi Wickedchicken6,
The offender is a black Sumatra. The victim is a McMurray surprise thrown in with my order. He is a large fluffy thing, very large for his age in fact. I took the rest of the Sumatras on an "outing" today for some play and mental stimulation in the grass outside the house. I'm still not sure if the vent pecking is due to boredom or because it had already learned the behavior from assaulting the big fluffy kid's rear.

I am new to the Sumatra breed.
Thanks for asking,
 

Then I Will

Songster
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
327
553
247
Annville, Pennsylvania
Update on my vent pecker. She is doing much better. I had her isolated in a separate box and went ahead and added the replacement chicks from another hatchery in with her. She did not peck them and actually took up the task of showing them how to eat and drink. Surprising, considering she is only a week older.
She did not peck feathers or vents on any of the new birds and acclimated well to them. I provided some pulled weeds and a bird toy with a bell on it for their entertainment a few days later. She seems to have come around and forgotten all about nipping bums. She actually seems like a very happy bird now.
 

Mandabirkett

Hatching
May 19, 2020
9
2
8
How long did you have to seperate to heal their vent and stop the behavior.. I’m having a similar issue now.. I have 4 brooders because of it.. and only 5 chicks.. 🤯
 

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