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Country Discussion Topics
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Baby chick badly hen pecked, what to do?
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Kelly Schoolfield    Posted 12-02-2003 at 18:02:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi,
We just had an incident today where one of our baby chicks (1 1/2 mo old)got herself badly hen pecked today by one of our older pullets. I found her this afternoon huddled in a corner her head all bloody and no feathers left. We brought her in the house and put her in the box we had left over from when they were day old chicks. She is very lethargic and is not interested in eating or drinking. We are trying to keep her warm with a heating pad and blanket (our one heating lamp is in the chicken coop with all the other chicks). Is there any more we can do other than just wait it out? And what can we do to keep this from happening again. When we first introduced the new chicks into the coop we kept them in a separted cage built out of chicken wire so the older chickens could get used to them. When they were all too big for that we let them out and now they are all outside during the day free range. I've been watching the older chickens during the day and only times they seem aggresive to the chicks is when they enter the coop to lay eggs. I've seen them corner one of the bigger chicks before but never hurt them because I stopped them before it could. Any suggestions? Since they are free range we cant clipp their beaks, right? Thanks for any info.


Donna from Mo    Posted 12-03-2003 at 03:03:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Are you sure the other chickens did this to her? Usually free-range chickens don't have this kind of problem because the "underdogs" can stay away from the older hens. I'm wondering if a dog hurt the chicken, and then perhaps the other chickens moved in and took over the mutilation.


Kelly    Posted 12-03-2003 at 04:57:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you for your help. They are semi-free range...they are kept in the fenced area with our goats. But I've seen one of our pullets corner a baby chick IN the chicken coop once and the chick was too scared to go out the door...I think this is what happened yesterday.


Bob    Posted 12-02-2003 at 21:06:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I haven't raised chickens for a number of years, but we always ordered debeaked chicks. A couple of times, we have some that were not debeaked at the hatchery, and clipped the beaks back ourselves. Not my favorite job, but they grow back, more or less.


Kelly    Posted 12-03-2003 at 04:58:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you for your input. Can debeaked chickens still get bugs and be free range?


Maggie/TX    Posted 12-02-2003 at 20:37:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Kelly, here is a web site link where they will know exactly what to tell you, as it is ALL about poultry. There are some very nice folks there and they know how to deal with this problem.

Good luck with the poor little chick!



Kelly    Posted 12-03-2003 at 05:00:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you so much for the webpage...I have never heard of that one...I have already posted there.
Thanks again.


Charles(Mo)    Posted 12-02-2003 at 18:56:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know someone has more knowledge than I do about this, but I do know that you can clip the top beaks of the chickens to keep them from pecking. I have seen clipped chickens but have never done it.

You might check your local Extension office for a guide sheet on chicken raising or any other info they may have.

hth
Charles


Kelly    Posted 12-03-2003 at 05:02:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thank you, I will try them.


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