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Bully Chick!! Any Advice??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have 6 chicks that are almost 3 weeks old. One of my chicks has a deformity in one of her eyes but she is doing fine. I have a problem though with just one chick that wants to constantly peck and pick on the chick with the bad eye. None of the other chicks bother her. Everyone gets along but this one little chick terrorizes the poor disabled chick. I have took the chick with the eye problem out for a few days to give time for her eye to heal and introduced her back and immediately the pecking started back. So then i took the bully chick out and isolated her from the rest. It is going on day 3 now and she still hasn't learned her lesson. As soon as i put her back down with the group she heads straight for the chick with the bad eye and pecks her eye!! I have even tried swatting her away when she goes in to peck at the chick. What should i do?? I can't keep them separated forever. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! She is a sweet little chick. Not aggressive or anything. She just has a pecking problem! I have a mirror and perches in the brooder for boredom. I'm just at my wits end! hmm.png
post #2 of 6
Chickens peck at anything odd or different, you can't change a basic behavior, you are making it worse by removing the weaker chick, they will peck at anyone they don't know, if you need to separate it than make sure the others can see it. I wouldn't be swatting your chicks as that's not a way that they learn. You are trying to punish a strong healthy chick in order to favor a weak one. What us humans call bullying is just nature, and the way chickens keep order within a flock, only the strong are meant to survive.

At three weeks old your chicks are ready for some new scenery, so it can help to move them somewhere bigger to play for the day, if warm enough than outside in the sun, otherwise a large pen somewhere else, chickens are meant to peck and scratch, mirrors and perches won't keep them busy. I start adding clumps of clean dry sod or some greens to peck at, things like dandelion greens or spinach, and pans of sand to dig in.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 6

I would try a different, larger pen. Good luck! 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello and Thank you for your response! I didn't separate the weak chick i left her with the rest of the chicks. I separated the chick that was pecking at her as suggested on the internet but of course it didn't help. I broke them up into groups of 3 and everyone is happy and they have more room. It is still pretty cold here but i let them outside for some group play time all together in a large pen and everyone was happy and fine for about 10 mins and then the pecking at the one single check started again. Im starting to feel that this is going to be a constant problem for the chick with the deformity.
Edited by Cajunclucks6 - 3/22/16 at 2:14pm
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you and Im going to take your advice as soon as it warms up in the next few days. It was in the low 30s last night and i feel that they are too young to be left out in weather that cold. I did let them play in the sun today in a large pen and they were happy for about 10 mins and then the eye pecking started and i had to dr her up.
post #6 of 6

Yeah it's best not to separate at all, even that young removing and reintroducing can cause problems.

 

How big is your brooder(inches by inches) for how many chicks?

 

I use this to 'isolate' mean chicks without removing them from the brooder.

Place cage over mean chick, leave it there for a couple hours, let it out...if it's bad again, cover it up again.

Rinse and repeat. Cage is 6 x 9 x 6"high. made form 1/2" hardware cloth.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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