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Is it ok to let one chick be a bully?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

We have 4 chicks that due to space issues we have to put together.  Two are 6 weeks old and two are 2 weeks old.  Oddly enough three of them are identical in size and only one is a "big girl" (at least double the size).  It's been 85+ degree weather so we've been putting them all out in the yard for their daily worm and bug buffet together and they seem to all get along ok except for the big girl occasionally nipping at the babies when they get too close.  This afternoon we put them all in our chick-n-hutch and Coco the 6 week old became a real bully not letting the babies near the food and trying to eat it all herself.  They kept huddling in a corner so I made a little getaway box for them by standing a cardboard box with the open top towards the outside wall of the hutch and cut a small door in the side that the little ones could run through without Coco following. Should I separate the big one out for a while or just let them learn to get along?  What should I do about food for the little ones?  They can sometimes get to it but then get chased away after a minute or two.

Thanks for your insight and this wonderful website!

post #2 of 6

I would consider removing the bully for 15 minute intervals.  This really helped me when I had a bully.  As for the food, set up multiple food/water stations so that everyone has a chance to eat.  Even if you have to put it in their getaway box. 

 

I would normally not recommend putting 6 week olds  with 2 week olds..they really are too small to stand up to the bigger ones.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

This morning I was able to take a clear plastic storage tub and put it in the chick-n-hutch to separate them.  I tried putting just Coco (the huge one) in but before I could put a cover on it (we're using a queen excluder from the bee yard) the tiny 6 week old who's the same size as the babies managed to get in there. I guess I'll keep them this way for a bit but wondered how long since I'm sure that they would be happier out of the tub.  Thoughts anyone?

post #4 of 6

I would wait until the little ones catch up a bit to the bigger ones..then, try putting them together again.  Plus, you can try supervised visits so that they get to know each other and you can stop any fighting quickly.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I think after her morning of confinement while the young ones ran around Coco has chilled out.  We tried a supervised playdate like you suggested this afternoon and after spending the day watching the "chick-o-vision" we concluded that they are now all living peacefully together and even all eating side by side with no squabbles. We've even seen the small 6 week old snuggled with the babies!
 

post #6 of 6

I am glad everything is working out.  Keep an eye out for repeat problems..that sometimes happens and just use the time out on her again! 

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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