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Baby chicks pecking

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have 6 chicks. 3 wellsummers, 2 buff orphingtons, and a sussex. The wellsummers are pecking at the others feathers. The sussex is bleeding from her tail, i guess from where a feather used to be....the follicle? They have all been together since i bought them. Just today they started this. What can i do?
post #2 of 11

I'm a newbie too and asked a similar question last night.  I have a Buff Orp, Barred Rock and a Delaware.  The BO kept ferociously pecking the Delaware.  Non-stop.  My brooder was way too small for even three 3-week old chicks and I purchased a larger tote today and it has stopped.  I think they were just too close for comfort.  Also, it seemed to calm a bit last night when I turned the heat lamp off for a while, like 30 min. Main thing, make sure they have enough room to get away from each other AND room for their food and water.  That alone was taking up a 1/3 of my bin and now it is very out of the way.  I have a 42L x 24 D X 24 H plastic tote from Walmart, cost $15. 

post #3 of 11
Do you have a red bulb in your heat lamp? The guy at Agway told me it helps keep the pecking down as they can't see the blood.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I went to TSC last night and got a bottle of Pick No More. I works!!!! The other chicks tried to pick and didn't like the taste or the smell (it's pretty stout). 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

I do have a clear bulb in right now. but have red bulbs if the Pick No More doesn't far so good  :)

post #6 of 11

When you start having aggression problems in the brooder, it's a wake-up alert that the chicks are outgrowing their space. This is one reason why I used to love cardboard boxes for brooders. It was so simple and easy to add space by taping two boxes together and then cutting out a pass-through in the common wall. I no longer use containers of any kind in which to brood. I brood directly in a safe pen in my run and have no problems such as you're describing, since the chicks have much more square footage in which to romp.


Adding space and disciplining the aggressive chick are the two things you can do to solve your problem. How to discipline an aggressive chick is covered in an article linked below under "Articles by azygous".


Also, having to live under light 24/7 is very stressful. There are non-light alternatives to using a heat light that allow chicks to have natural day/night wake/sleep patterns, radically reducing stress.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

i may be wrong but i think they enough space. my brooder is 4ft L x 2.75ft W. they enough room to sprawl out and not touch each other. since i have put some Pick No More on the injured chick. the picking has stopped. i also changed out the heat bulb to a red one. i am trying to get them weaned off the lamp.....which with texas weather is a guessing game. thank you for the links. i will be reading them for future incidents.

post #8 of 11
Lol, mine stopped too. Ironically, they seem like besties now when dustbathing.
post #9 of 11

We just got our chicks yesterday, and one of them will peck at the 2 other's new wing feathers and feet. The others will occasionally peck, but I do not worry because this is rare. The one that will peck does this not consistently, but anytime they seem to be falling asleep with each other, or are close together and aren't really doing anything. They are 4-5 days old and in a 22 by 15 inch bin. I planned to move them to a larger bin in 2-3 days, (We are getting 3 more chicks), but is this something to worry about? I try to keep her from pecking, and we haven't had any injuries or anything like that. It doesn't seem to be mean. The chick doing the pecking also had splayed leg. Could this be a sign that she was feeling intimidated because of the wrap on her legs? Thanks for the help!

Edited by peopleRanimals2 - 4/10/16 at 2:51pm
post #10 of 11

*Couple Hours Later*


I am more worried about the chick (Tiger) that is pecking. She will reach over and peck at a face, feather, or foot. She is doing it more often, and seemingly with more force. I am wondering if she is trying to establish a pecking order, even though I could probably point out each chick and tell you chick one is higher up in it. Tiger is seemingly at the top, because she will push the 2 other chicks out of her way for feed, ect. Thanks for any help,

                                                                                    -New Chicken Owner:frow

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