Week old chick having tail feathers pecked out: bleeding.

ChickenNewbies

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
32
1
22
Hi everyone. We adopted some week-old and 2 day old Americana chicks yesterday and today was their first full day with us. One of the week-old chicks is having her newly-emerging tail feathers plucked out but the 3 day olds today and when I got home from work I found her tail area was a bloody mess! I have separated her into an "orange" box with a lid with air vents so she is still under the heat lamp but can move away as well. We are using a red light and there are a total of 19 chicks in the area the size of 4 feet by 4 feet. Is there anything I can do for her now that she is away from the cannibals? Should I be worried that she is bleeding? She does not seem happy alone but I don't want to chance adding another chick and have it peck her to death either! Tips and ideas would be appreciated.
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
585
318
Northern California
Hi everyone. We adopted some week-old and 2 day old Americana chicks yesterday and today was their first full day with us. One of the week-old chicks is having her newly-emerging tail feathers plucked out but the 3 day olds today and when I got home from work I found her tail area was a bloody mess! I have separated her into an "orange" box with a lid with air vents so she is still under the heat lamp but can move away as well. We are using a red light and there are a total of 19 chicks in the area the size of 4 feet by 4 feet. Is there anything I can do for her now that she is away from the cannibals? Should I be worried that she is bleeding? She does not seem happy alone but I don't want to chance adding another chick and have it peck her to death either! Tips and ideas would be appreciated.

You have week old and 3 day old chicks together? Never mix different ages of chicks. One or two days isn't a big deal but there's a big difference in growth a week apart. Separate them by age. 4' x 4' may be alright for 19 chicks until 3 - 4 weeks, but you'll still need to provide heat for another week after, depending on the weather in your area. All chickens have cannibalistic tendencies, and if they see blood, they go for it. Some anti-pick lotion or pine tar dabbed on the affected area would prevent further feather picking. Most feed stores worth their salt carry anti-pick lotion.The wattage of the red light is? How many feed stations do you have? What are you feeding them?
 
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CedarAcres

Sunny Side Up
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
910
47
138
Connecticut
My Coop
My Coop
I separated our chicks of different ages until they were older. We put ours together around 3 or 4 weeks old I think and had no issues mixing them. But that isn't always the case. If you're already having an issue, I'd group them by age. The younger ones are probably picking at it because it's different & they're bored.
 

ChickenNewbies

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
32
1
22
Thanks. We have separated the injured ones, which is mainly by age. They are now in a separate crate. Each bin has one large (long) feed station and one large waterer in one and two smaller ones in the other. It seems to be going well so far.
Any suggestions for how I could decrease the boredom? I added some colored golf balls because that is all I could find and a few clumps of sod and they love that! Any other suggestions would be welcome.
 
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Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
585
318
Northern California
Thanks. We have separated the injured ones, which is mainly by age. They are now in a separate crate. Each bin has one large (long) feed station and one large waterer in one and two smaller ones in the other. It seems to be going well so far.
Any suggestions for how I could decrease the boredom? I added some colored golf balls because that is all I could find and a few clumps of sod and they love that! Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Most chicks are relieved of boredom if they have enough room and enough areas to feed. They eat.sleep, and grow, needing more room as they grow. Many books give you the bare minimum requirements of space needed fro raising chicks. I've found you should double or triple those requirements over the years and has better results. The last good book I've read over the last 10 years pertaining to raising chicks was Success With Raising Baby Chicks by Robert Plamondon who lives in Oregon. There are numerous books containing limited or bad information, and the one I just mentioned does not.

Some breeds grow fast, and need to get out in a grow-off pen at around 4 weeks in the beginning of April here in Northern California, provided it isn't cold, drafty, and they have a heat lamp. Leghorns, CA Greys, and sex links grow fast. I use a 5' x 5' coop attached to a 12' x 6' outside pen attached to my barn. I have vents on each side since I chose no windows. It is secure from rats or any other predator. The fencing around it is 6' high and the pen is covered with 1" chicken wire.They have a ramp to get in and out of the coop. In the coop I hang a brooder lamp from the ceiling so they can choose to be warm or go outside. The coop and pen have deep pine shavings over the entire floor area (6" deep).

I harden them off at around 5 weeks by hanging feeders and placing waterers outside in the pen. If the weather is in the 60's during the day, I turn the lamp off in the coop. If the night temp outside is in the 40's, I can turn the 100 watt lamp on to keep it in the 60's -70's at night inside the coop. So long as I have the lamp on for heat, I allow access to food and water inside the coop through the night. Water is placed on a wood platform high enough to prevent pine shavings and droppings from getting in the trough, but still allowing them to drink. I use a hanging feeder hung from an eye screw in the roof rafter. I don't provide heat when the down is gone and the feathers are in.
 

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