Baby chicks pecking already

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Splunky, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Splunky

    Splunky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2012
    Hi,

    We received our new baby chicks on Saturday. I think they are within a wk old but have no idea how to tell. They are starting to develop feathers on their wings so maybe they are older?

    The problem I noticed this morning was one of them started pecking and being very dominant/aggressive! She is pecking the eyes of the others and picking on one in particular. She pecks mostly towards the eyes but will peck anywhere.
    They are currently in a small plastic bin (one you would store winter sweaters in your closet or something of the sort) with their water and feeder, is this too small?
    We have let them outside for a few minutes here and there to peck and wander and the children enjoy holding them often throughout the day. They are gentle and never mishandle them (intentionally or that I know of) as they love their pets!

    Any tips or thoughts are appreciated! Thanks
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Congratulations on your new chicks! They start to develop wing feathers when they are 3-4 days old so yours probably are not very old yet. Unfortunately, some chicks do like to peck. Think of it like a toddler where everything they pick up goes in their mouths first thing. Chicks will peck at anything and the shiny light of an eyeball is tantalizing to some. It doesn't necessarily mean they are being dominant or aggressive - just that they like to peck at shiny things. You didn't say how many chicks you have so its hard to judge whether the box is too small, but I can say that no matter how many you have, it will be too small in no time. I usually try to give them as much space as I possibly can, because they will use it if they have it. In the first few days, chicks don't venture far from their heat source, but it doesn't take long before they are exploring quite far afield, so the more space they have, the better it is for them.
     
  3. Splunky

    Splunky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2012
    Update: we put them in a larger bin, twice the size of before and there is still pecking. They also have just discovered how to hop on the feeder to hop out of the bin!! The bin in prolly 2 ft tall, I thought we were at least a wk away from that stage!

    Thx again!
     
  4. CedarAcres

    CedarAcres Sunny Side Up

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    I agree with HEChicken on the space. Give them more room to explore and they can get busy pecking at something other than each other! You can put some objects in there for them to peck at (cardboard with dots on it for example, rocks, sticks, or pine cones). You can also try using a red bulb because that can help them to remain more calm. I have noticed that when I have brighter white lights on near the brooder they are much more active. Enjoy them when they are small.. they grow so fast!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  5. Splunky

    Splunky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2012

    Thx very much for responding! Ok, I'm relieved to know they are still young. It's been a while since we had our chicks in NY so I didn't remember. Although, their wing feathers are all there. So maybe 1-2 wks old? Also, we live in Fl and don't have a heat source. They seem quite content and not huddling up to keep warm or anything so assume they are ok? They are wandering around most of the day pecking, eating, chirping etc etc.
    We have 4 chicks, 2 Barred Rock, 1 Americauna (sp?), and 1 black sex link which they said was Americauna and barred rock mix.
     
  6. Splunky

    Splunky Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2012
    The suggestion to add interesting things for them was fantastic! That and extra space. They are doing great now :)

    Blessed
     
  7. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pecking at that age is an exploratory thing. Dogs sniff, chicks peck. And pecking at eyeballs is especially common since eyes are shiny and smooth!

    Unless the one chick is doing it enough to actually cause an injury, I wouldn't worry about it. They do the same thing to each others' toes and odd spots in their down or feathers. It is a lot like a cat chasing a laser pointer. If it stands out or looks different, it will get pecked.

    They just want to find out what it is, and if it qualifies as food.
     

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