We woke up to an injured turkey poult yesterday. One of the babies is just a tad smaller than the others. As a matter of fact, the difference is very slight, but the birds must have known. All was fine when we tucked them in for the night. But when we woke, the littlest had an area of his/ her (?) right wing bloodied and a little area bare of feathers. Since there's nothing in the tub but birds, the waters and a food bowl, I'm guessing that they picked at her until there was blood. I've read that birds (chickens, turkeys...) will pick at a smaller bird then pick until there's a bloody area sometimes resulting in death! I'm not sure if this is a "survival-of-the-fittest" thing. Or just a bird thing. Anyway, we moved the little guy into a small box and placed that box in the tub with his friends. The injured bird can see the other birds through a small hole in the cardboard but his is still safe from further attack. It has food and water and still can be warmed from the heat lamp. I have to do some research before we take the next step. I know that it will stay in it's temporary home until there is no sign of injury. But I'm not sure how to keep this from happening again. Maybe they are too crowded already. Or maybe a red bulb in the heat lamp would help camouflage any healing injuries or wounds. I already put a couple of small, orange wiffle balls in the tub to (hopefully) keep them occupied. I stuffed some whole wheat bread into the middle of the ball and they've been playing/ picking at it. These pictures show that the "hospital" takes up a lot of room. But the healthy birds aren't picking at each other. Hmmmm. This little guy represents a little money but big dreams. I really don't' want to loose him to more of the pecking order.
Any poultry people out there have any ideas?