Burrowing Chickens?

The expensive Calico Orpington chicks have presented a unique issue.

It’s also killing them.

They appear to not understand that shoving themselves into every hole they possibly see is a bad idea for their health. I’ve lost several to this weird fetish of theirs. One had shoved itself into a CHICK FEEDER, wings twisted up in weird directions. It died a day later, although I’d managed to extract it without further damage.

Earlier in this week, I had attempted to add a PVC feeder to the brooder box, to give more floor room in the brooder, and to minimize the wastage of the chick feed. Because, I kid you not, when I cleaned out the brooder, it was 50% chick feed, 40% pine shavings, and 10% chick poop. Very aggravating.

My initial design / concept didn’t work, but I’d already drilled a large hole into the side of the brooder. So I left the contraption there, and blocked the end of the pipe to keep idiot chicks out.

Last night, I discovered one had, a day or so previous, discovered a way to UNblock that hole, crawled inside, and wedged into it. It was very dead. And I’m just … ARGH. Never have I seen this kind of behavior in chicks before. Ever. And I’ve raised a LOT of chicks.

They should be beautiful birds, but I’m going to have to select hard for intelligence too.