3 week old baby chicks getting scuffy necks

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I have 8, 3 week old chicks (mostly Reds, 2 barred rocks)and a few are looking scuffy at the back of the neck. They are not the same variety either, one rock is looking this way. I assume the others are beginning to "peck" but I haven't caught them doing it. When I look in on them they are usually quite content acting. I plan on moving them to the outside pen this weekend, using a infrared light at nights to maintain the temperature. Other than that, do I need to be concerned about the scuffy necks? it looks like there are feathers being lost (do chicks molt?)....and I have no idea if they could have lice or mites. I'm new to raising chicks so any advice would be welcomed. They are on medicated feed at this time, is there anything else I should be doing? Thanks in advance.

-- Denise Wolfe (woolfpac@prodigy.net), April 28, 2001


Unless they are bloody or you are seeing excessive pecking, I wouldn't worry about it. At three weeks, chicks are at their ugly stage, mostly feathered, but not quite, right? Are the heads still fluffy and the rest pretty much feathers? My guess is this is just a transition.

-- mary, texas (marylgarcia@aol.com), April 28, 2001.

I've never had a problem with chicks pecking each other. So, whenever I've seen friend's chicks pecking each other, I'd suggest that the chicks needed more room. It's always cured the problem.

I keep chicks that I order from the hatchery in the kitchen, in a 4 foot long cage. After a few days, I put up a circle of 4 foot tall hardware cloth around the cage. This gives the chicks a 10 foot diameter area to play in. They can still go into the cage where I keep a 100 watt bulb in a reflector for heat.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), April 29, 2001.

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