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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been very rainy here lately (from what I gather a lot of the country has had some seriously wet weather lately) and as my chicks aren't too old I haven't been letting them out on days that its going to rain all day.

Yesterday was one of those days. Downpours all day. I brought them out some oat grass and a few treats to keep them occupied. It was still raining this morning when I went out and fed and watered them. So I closed them back up to wait out the sunshine. Around noon today I go out and open up the big door to the coop and instantly notice one of my brahma girls face is covered in blood. I grab her and go running into the house. We clean her up put veterycin on her wounds and close her off in a small spot in the kitchen. I go back out and notice another brahma has some injuries around his face as well. Then I see my big silkie. Giant blood spot on her face, after I manage to chase her down I clean her off and I can't see any cuts or redness on her so I let her back out with the flock.

I have two brahmas in clear totes with chicken wire covers in the coop to keep them separate. I hope they heal quickly as they are noisily letting me know they do not like their new accommodations. Is this from them being stuck in the coop all this time? Are 5-6 week olds ok to go out in the rain? Or should I find another way to keep them occupied when they have to stay in?
 

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Seems like they are getting bored and have begun picking on each other. I wouldn't want them that young to be out in the rain. Get some blue kote and put in on the wounds so the other chickens won't peck at their wounds. Throw a head of lettuce in the coop to keep them occupied or a flock block. Even birdseed would keep them scratching. Is it warm there?
 

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You penned 3 hens with biddies together for an extended period!? A recipe for disaster. because the hens may or may not take to the other hens biddies, and will peck them, then the other hen will come to the defense of her biddies, and it just escalates from there.
If it's warm weather, and rain showers. I would just let them run. Now, if it's FEB, and rain, they would not have been out in the first place. Good hens will take care of their young much better than we can. I've had hens to kill other hens in defense of her peepers, and let the other hens peepers fend for themselves. (which they did quite well)
On the other hand I've had hens take peepers from other hens, and add to her own brood.
I've had two roosters (brothers) just fledged, come off the roost and fight to the death because it rained during the night, and they didn't recognize each other. They were wet, and looked different.
Now my only experience is with American games, but chickens is chickens, and while some breeds won't stay and fight if they have a place to run to, If they have no place to go they will get beat up.
Care for the wounds, and get the peepers back with their mommies. All will be well. An injection of Tylan50 to the breast will work wonders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Huh? My chickens are all 5-6 weeks old. They were brooded separate then they were out in the coop separated by a dog crate. They have been living together in harmony for over a week. I have no full grown chickens.
 

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Yeah, I got confused! Had to reread your post and still didn't get it. lol Are you sure they are all pullets, or could there be a roo in the mix? If it's warm, open the pop door so there is an escape. I have different things in the run so hen can hide or for protection. Think top of dog crate or top of cat litter box. I have a dog house also in my run. That way they can get away from each other but still get out of the weather. Even a pallet would work, raise it up some or lean it against a fence or wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have 4 Roos as if right now. The silkies I won't know for another few months. We don't have a run, they free range when it's nice out. I'm going to get some flock block for the next time it's too rainy to let them out. It's only until they are big enough then I will always let them decide what they want to do. It's cold here today, a high of 55 but I still opened up their little door and they all came out to forage. I left the brooder light on in the coop though so they can get warm if they have to. I didn't want to leave them in again today and have more pecking issues!

Even though they are young the barred rocks and dark brahmas have shown their gender already and my columbian rocks there is one very obvious rooster, his comb and wattles are huge and bright. He acts like a roo as well, scouting things out before the girls will go there. My production reds were bought as pullets and they look to be girls so I think it's just the big roo (he's older by a week) then the little barred rock too and two brahma Roos. We aren't keeping them, once they start crowing they will be dinner... That's why I said it figured the most injured was a brahma hen, it's the breed I wanted most and they are so sweet and cuddly.
 

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My opinion is that they got bored. I went thru this with mine and most of my polish lost half their head feathers from the others picking at them. As for the rain, I would say no at 5 weeks old I would not let the out in the rain with these mild temps. They woll catch a chill and possibly die. You did the right thing by seperating the injured. Hopefully with those 3 removed things will calm down. If all else fail maybe put some back into the dog crate so they are seprated so not everyone is together to get in trouble. Or if you can fogure out who the instigator is ( the one to peck first) then maybe seperate him/her.
 

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You don't have predators? Not planning on having a run at all? Funny, my brahma are bullies!! Guess, I'm just so use to having a run I can't think of any thing else. I let them in the run in the mornings and check out for hawks. If there is hawk activity, they stay in the run till I deem it safe. And when we're gone, it's a nice safe place for the chickens to be. I lost one to a hawk. It wasn't pretty. But, people do whatever is best for their situation. At least when they free range, they can get away from the bully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There's about 10 different houses on my road with chickens and they all free range. My sister in law is where I get most of my chicken information from they have anywhere from 50-100 birds depending on meat birds and have for years. They always free range. I never thought of having a run. Ideally it would be great to not lose any due to predators but we understand that it's a possibility. I am more worried about the people's dogs around here than anything else though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I looked everyone over this morning and they looked good so I put them back into the flock while everyone was outside. Everything seemed fine all day, then my husband got home and went to say hi to them. He comes in and says "your brahma has a bloody face again"

Ugh! Ivy got pecked hard in one spot that caused a blood drip down her face. It was wet so it must have just happened. I cleaned her up again, put veterycin on the wound and put her back in isolation. Ill try again in a few days. I really hope this stops, I have noticed all 4 brahmas like to get in each others faces and jump at each other but I figured it was pecking order stuff they needed to sort out.

Not sure if there's anything else I can do as I'm not sure who is pecking her like that. No one else has an injury.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
EV maybe you would know? Why one chicken is getting picked on? She's one of the biggest of the 5 week olds. She seems perfectly healthy. Maybe a little confrontational, like she wants to be top bird but my columbian rocks aren't having anything to do with that. I haven't noticed any one in particular being rough though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I figured out she's the instigator, getting into everyone's face and staring them down until they back off or a pecking war breaks out. But she's the one getting injured. Do I keep separating her every time? Is there a way to curb this?
 
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