5-week old chicks suddenly hate each other?


Aug 5, 2013
I have 3 little 5-week old chicks in my brooder and they are about to go out in the big-kid grow-out coop this coming weekend. However, last night two of them decided they could not stand each other and started fighting. I let it go for a minute (watching carefully) in case it was play or a scuffle that would pass quickly but when it went on for a few minutes and I started to fear they would hurt each other I seperated them.

I'm not sure who is the problem chick, though. I took out Eli and left Mel (the other fighter) in the brooder with Ili (the little docile chick) and they got along fine. Then I took Mel out and put Eli and Ili in together. They got along fine. It's just Mel and Eli who can't stand each other all of a sudden.

Anyone have any ideas what could have started this? I've never had problems with them before, not even play chest-bumps. Is 5 weeks old enough for two roo's to be fighting over a hen? Or two aggressive 'alpha' hens to start butting heads?
That sounds like settling the pecking order. This is an important feature of a flock, who's in charge. Once they sort it out, peace will prevail until some change occurs.

My first thought is they're getting crowded. They're getting pretty big for a brooder at this age, how large is it?

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