1st timer...New chicks with one a bully


Jan 10, 2018
Woodstock, GA
Hi all, we picked up our new chicks last night. One pullet each of Barred Rock, Speckled Sussex, Gold Laced Wyandotte and a Welsummer. My fifth will be an EE but she is delayed until next Friday.
The Barred Rock is the biggest of the 4 day olds and is a real meanie. Frequently pecking at the others beaks and eyes and have seen her grabbing toes.
Is this a common practice of chicks? I understand they're establishing the pecking order but it sure looks mean and many times the others will squeak when she does.

Thanks for the advice.
I have had this before and it is a pain staking task to just watch but unless they actually cause harm they will be fine. You could try isolation to see if it's a bully or just a habit. I don't think it's necessary until it gets really necessary.
At this stage, I think the pecking is more exploratory than dominance. How big is their brooder? How hot is it in there? Can they get out of the heat if they choose?
I built the brooder. It is 4'-0" wide (L-R) x 3'-4" deep (F-B) x 2'-4" tall with a hinged, screened top in my garage. It has a MHP in one corner with two waterers and one feeder all sitting on pine shavings. They run in and out from under the pad and eat & drink at will. Last check had two of them huddled together in the middle of the brooder sleeping on the shavings. They seemed content to me.


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Sounds normal :) Eyes and toes are much more interesting than the rest of their fluff-covered bodies. I've got one chick right now who seems a little obsessed with toes, maybe more than normal even. When we have them out with us this one will follow others around trying to peck their toes, and if they get too far I've seen him settle for pecking his own toe :confused:
It's all natural behavior. It sounds like you have chose a chick from 4 different bins. They have to get use to each others company.. time.. be patient. Add an extra food dish.
I love the Joe Dirt Avatar! I mean Nunamaker.. sorry.
I actually ordered them through a local farm. Turned out to be much cheaper than direct from a hatchery. It's just freaking my 10 yr old out and admittedly myself too. I keep telling him it's the animal kingdom and they have to establish who's the boss.
Yeah! Joe Dirt! One of my favorite lines in the movie:
" You wanna fight? Why don't you stick your head up my butt and fight for air?"

I had one Speckled Sussex chick picking a bit at my Barred Rock's down for a day or so, but she quickly stopped when I put in some mirrors and other enrichment activities. Four weeks later all are fine and there are no bullies.

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