6 Years
Jun 24, 2013
Buna, TX
One of my five week old rhode island red chicks has taken the habit of biting. They still havent learned to go in the coop so im putting them in at night and one of thr reds bites the bajeezus out of me-only at night. I carry them all day without incident but at dusk-watch out! She/he (not sure if its Boot or Scoot getting me) will run to me in the dark just to grab skin and twist like a dog rending meat off a bone. Drew blood tonight! Theyre still small so it isnt a huge problem now-but id like this habit broken before i have to wrestle off an 8lb bird! Especially if its Boot, who i suspect is a roo.
This wasnt about roo vs pullet-its about the chunk of skin i lost from a chicken and how to fix biting. I know i should be expecting a crow from Boot.
This wasnt about roo vs pullet-its about the chunk of skin i lost from a chicken and how to fix biting. I know i should be expecting a crow from Boot.
I was just showing you this image to help you know the gender of your rhode island red Boot who you said you were not sure about her/his gender. From your description of the chicks pecking you, it sounds alot like how my chickens eat watermelons.
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I don't know if this will work but you could try putting something your chickens hate to eat ( just not something poisonous) on your skin and see their reaction.
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:/ my chicks ate habaneros out of the hellpit i call my garden. Ive considered biting back. Worked on a horse i used to work with. Id just thump them but i dont want to hurt them.
I once had 12 Rhode Island Red then I put 4 pullets in with them I also had 1 Plymouth Rock and 1 white meat chicken the mother my mixed chicken was with them they were all in my coop and the 3 pullets passed away because of the RIR they would peck the back of the pullets head I managed to save 1 but I was a moment to late to save the others why so the RIR do that
At five weeks of age, the chicks are still learning what's food and what's not. Even your finger will appear to be food, and a hungry chick is going to compete for it. Notice there's less biting when you are offering food to one chick at a time. Even my youngsters at nine months still get excited when I have food and they will clamp down, twist and yank in order to be the one who gets it ahead of the others. To save skin, I try to use leather gloves when feeding treats to the whole group.

To discipline a chick who is mistaking your hand for food, jab a finger at the back or side of its head. This is how older chickens teach the young who are getting out of line. A chick knows exactly what this means and will remember it.

Then there are older roosters and hens who have a mean streak due to bad temper and mistrust. I deal with both by pushing them to the ground, holding their head on the ground until they relax. This is to demonstrate I am dominate. When I let them back up, I give them the finger jab to the head to let them know they're behavior was out of line.

Biting is much different than being pecked. Those of us who have been drilled by a strong, sharp beak know the difference all too well. It can cause serious injuries and shouldn't be ignored. Chickens are entirely capable of being disciplined and trained out of bad behavior. But you have to be consistent and always follow through, just like dealing with any animal.

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