2 chicks rejecting the third, what to do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by new2chicks1, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. new2chicks1

    new2chicks1 New Egg

    Feb 8, 2017
    We have a small flock of hens in a garden coop, and recently incubated our very first batch of chicks. There was a problem with the incubator and only one of our eggs hatched. She (Beatrix) bonded strongly to me, and not wanting a "house chicken," we adopted two siblings for her from the local farm store (EZ and Fluffington). They are similar in breed and in size, since we didn't want Beatrix to be picked on. At first they seemed to bond , and she didn't cry so much for "mommy." But, after a few days they started to establish their personalities and pecking order. Beatrix & EZ vie for the top spot, and the third, Fluffington, being more mellow, took herself out of the running. The two stronger chicks will occasionally bicker with each other during the day, but they seem to have bonded more closely, sleeping in a pile together at night. But, they are leaving Fluffington out, and won't let her sleep with them. She does get enough to eat and drink during they day, I watch out to make sure. And, while they do peck at her sometimes they never do her any damage. For now, I just put my hand in the brooder to gently push them apart if I see them bothering her. I am worried that they are beginning the process of rejecting her. She cries all night. If I take her out to hold, she calms down to sleep. Or, if I put my hand in the brooder she'll rest up against me and do the same. What can I do to help her integrate with the others?
  2. LittlePip21

    LittlePip21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2017
    Never heard of this unfortunately, what happens if you remove one of the dominant chicks? Does fluffington seem healthy and the apropriate size? I had an orphan situation like this as well, and I stuck a compact mirror and a old stuffed animal in there, and that seemed to help. Sorry I couldn't be more help.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Do you have room for one more? I'm wondering what would happen if you removed one of the BFF so that the little mis-fit could bond with the other. But, if you did that, you would need an extra chick for the solo bird. Or you could simply wait it out, and see how things work out. What are you using for a brooder? Size? Heat source? The reason I ask is that chicks seem to be much better with their social development when they are brooded with a Mama heating pad brooder. The heating pad more closely mimics the heat and comfort provided by a broody hen, and eliminates the stress of 24/7 light from a heat lamp. Check out the article written by Blooie in my signature. That alone might solve your problem.
  4. Your putting human emotions on Chicks.....The chicks are fine and at a young age establish pecking order....The Chick you think is sad? Is happy with the pecking order and the more you
    Interfere the longer it will take....Chickens are Chickens...

    1 person likes this.
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    ^ I agree with the above.

    Pushing them apart is not going to help keep her from becoming an outsider. They are working out their pecking order, and this is being reinforced. You could be making the situation worse by interfering.

    Holding her or giving her your hand = giving her a heat source and making her feel protected. We want it to be an emotional thing but really its about survival. Is she cold? That could be why she's crying. What are you using for a heat source?
  6. Rosa Mystica

    Rosa Mystica Just Hatched

    Feb 5, 2017
    I'm new to chickens, but I would remove one of the dominant chicks and see what happens. It could just be pecking order though.
  7. Hmmmmm. No need to interfere....they are Chicks.....It has to play out......Chickens.......

  8. Rosa Mystica

    Rosa Mystica Just Hatched

    Feb 5, 2017
    My Chick once was pecking the others, and it was just pecking order, and he turned out to be a rooster. I would just watch to make sure it doesn't get out of hand
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BBYC @new2chicks1 !

    Let it play out as long as no blood is drawn and everyone can eat and drink.
    Chickens bicker, with their beaks...don't make too much of it.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  10. Rosa Mystica

    Rosa Mystica Just Hatched

    Feb 5, 2017
    How are the chicks?

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