Baby chick pecking order?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bowldy45, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Bowldy45

    Bowldy45 Out Of The Brooder

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    I received my chicks from the hatchery this morning and they are doing great so far. I was in just a bit ago to check on them, and noticed that 1 in particular is being really mean to the other chicks. She ( supposed to be ) is grabbing all the other chicks by the hair under the eyes are pulling them all over the brooder!
    Is this normal?? Is this just them establishing pecking order, so to speak?? Do I need to separate this one from the others??? TIA for your help on this!!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Unfortunately that's normal sometimes. That behavior will usually stop after a day or two. If it becomes too much you can put the one in a wire ring to separate it. They go for eyes and sometimes toes. I put shiny glass rocks on the floor and in the feed to draw there attention. They aren't being mean, they are just trying to peck at and find food.
     
  3. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You didn't mention how old they are, I am assuming you got them when they were one day old. I also have 5 chicks from a hatchery, they are 11 days old and one of them started being a bully after 2 days of being in the brooder. I have a 4x3 dog cage on a table, when I first brought them in, I shorten the[​IMG]

    space where they were going to be because I wanted to show them where their heater, food and water were. When the bully started acting up, I extended their area and they were running all over the place, the bully was so busy, she stopped bulling the others. Also I am throwing few flakes of rolled oats so they can scratch to find them (they have sand as bedding) and some small branches of fresh oregano. All this keeps them busy so they don't fight. Some people hang a mirror in the brooder, all you can do for entertainment helps. Now they have a roost and are perching on it. Good luck with your babies.
     
  4. ticketism

    ticketism Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Even baby chicks will sometimes pick on each other, and sometimes what looks like picking on or bullying is just exploring and learning. They're learning about the world around them, what's what, and how to be chickens really, haha. Make sure the brooder has enough space, and plenty of things to occupy their attention. Making little roosts and ladders, randomly chucking some food (chick starter, small amounts of oats, or other dry stuff) around the bedding gives them something to forage for and entertains them. I chucked a couple of cardboard toilet rolls and paper towels into the brooder, they just loved scratching up and ripping apart the paper towels, and would push around, try to get into and on top of the toilet rolls - Very cute to watch. I've also tried hanging a strawberry and slices of apple from a string across the top of the brooder so that it hung down into the middle of their play area. Some loved jumping up and climbing on things to peck away at the treat, others were scared by something hanging above them. I think that instinct to be afraid of shadows and things above them is quite strong in young chicks. Generally I've heard the conventional wisdom is that if there's any blood, you need to act, remove the bully and treat the victim. But unless there's any actual damage being done (so yes, blood, but also broken beaks or nostrils, bald patches from feather pecking, not being allowed access to food, water, or the warm spots under the heat lamps) you usually just let them sort it out. Putting in 2 feeders and waterers might help too, as they won't feel as though they're competing for resources and that getting territorial.
     
  5. Bowldy45

    Bowldy45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you everyone for the help! They were 2 days old when I got them and have actually settled down, and the bullying has stop for the most part. I gave them some greens to peck at and they really seemed to enjoy that.

    As you can see , they have the room to run about, and most of the bullying was happening on top of the momma heating pad cave.


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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Glad your baby bully has calmed down, I have a had a few who did that.
    Hopefully you provided some chick sized grit to go with those greens.
    They are going to need more room pretty darn quick.
     
  7. Bowldy45

    Bowldy45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Absolutely! They had chick grit from day 1, and have loved it! I got them moved out to the coop today, so now they have tons of room to run and play. Now I just need to get the run finished up, so when they are a few weeks older and the weather is better, they can venture outside when they want.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  9. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes indeed, mine are growing so fast that I cannot keep up with their space. I am planning to move them into their set up in the run next week so I can start the integration with the 2 hens I already have there.[​IMG]
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    I am so hoping that the integration will go smooth, this will be the first time I try adding very young chicks.
     
  10. Bowldy45

    Bowldy45 Out Of The Brooder

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    Very nice set up!
     

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