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Aggressive chick advice..and Intro

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EasTurdHill, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. EasTurdHill

    EasTurdHill In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    ...and HI ! Been lurking as a visitor and now that my chicks have arrived I'll introduce myself.

    I grew up on a broiler farm (25,000) birds and haven't been involved in chicken farming since the mid-1980's. My mom and I share the old farm and have just purchased 10 5-day old chicks to raise as laying hens.

    4 Black Australorp
    2 Buff Orps
    2 Barred Rocks
    2 NH Reds

    Our chicks arrived from Ideal yesterday. They are doing well in the brooder; eating, drinking,pooping,sleeping, etc.

    I have a question about one little chick that may be the problem child. It is aggressive. By that I mean it will strut through the other chicks looking for a fight, pecking eyes , wings and feet of the others. It will even grab another chick by the toe and drag it across the brooder amking the poor thing peep it's lungs out. No blood has been drawn yet. This one chick, (so far it is named "Adolf") is smaller but more advanced than the others. It scratches through the feed with it's feet and tries to fly already.

    Could this behavior mean Adolf is probably a rooster?

    Can anyone offer advice on curbing this aggressiveness? I hate to seperate it from the other chicks, thinking that may lead to other anti-social issues, but will do that if necessary.
  2. Ladyhawke1

    Ladyhawke1 Songster

    I'd stay out of his way! [​IMG]
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    sounds like a little roo boy. Or a mean o'l hen in the making.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    All chicks fight. That's how they set up their pecking order which can be in good working order by the time the chicks are 6 weeks old. An overly aggressive chick doesn't necessarily mean a roo. Every flock has to have a top hen too. If you notice as the weeks go on that this chick continues to develop differently from the others, then I'd start guessing cockerel.
    IMO, unless this chick is drawing blood I wouldn't seperate it. Better to let them sort out their pecking order now.
  5. Namaste Mama

    Namaste Mama Songster

    Sep 18, 2008
    I just got an EE like that yesterday, its was attacking everyone! The rest of the chicks would be sleeping and it would jump on the and peck them in the eyes. I was having to run to the brooder every 5 minutes to break up a fight. I separated it it and you know what it did? It jumped out of its box and in to the other box and started attacking the others again. So I packed that little booger up and took it back to the feed store and exchanged it for a new one. Theres no room in my flock for a meanie like that!
  6. EasTurdHill

    EasTurdHill In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Namaste Mama that sounds like a crazy bird. It's amazing that they are just days old and already have issues.

    Well I felt like I could have packed up that little meanie and sent him back to Texas but I'll try to stick it out.
    Today he/she is a bit calmer. No picking but very jumpy and rude. I put some grass clippings in the brooder and it seems to have alleviated some of the boredom and given him something other than his peeps to pick on.
    DH is working on calming it down . If anyone can tame a mean critter it is he! He has tamed mean coons, cats, and other critters so I'll let him give this one a try.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Hello and welcome! [​IMG] It does sound like you could possibly have a roo in the bunch there. Picking (at toes, eyes, wings, etc...) is also normal chick behavior. It is instinct to chase after whatever moves, so it's natural for the chicks to behave in this manner. This one chick might just feel more energetic than the others after their long journey. Try putting a red light bulb in the heat lamp and see if this curbs the problem. Usually it will. Good luck! [​IMG]

    [​IMG] !!!
  8. EasTurdHill

    EasTurdHill In the Brooder

    Nov 14, 2008
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I'm happy to report that the little meanie has stopped being so agressive. Actually she/he is quite docile now.
    I have moved my 10 birds to a bigger brooder (bottom of a large dog kennel) with pine shavings and they really seem to enjoy the room to run. Here's a video of the girls as they explore the new digs.
    Clicky Clicky
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Pecking order is established very early. This chick in question is asserting dominance over the others. The various pecks are his way of saying "Hey, I'm the boss." It doesn't take long for the others to get in line and accept the dominant chick as leader. Things will quieten down. As the chicks age over the next week or so you will see others establishing their place in the flock. Lots of posturing, chest bumping, pecks and other behavior will be displayed.

    Welcome to BYC.

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