Bullying chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LW13intheFort, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. LW13intheFort

    LW13intheFort New Egg

    5
    0
    9
    Jan 22, 2016
    Hi all, we are new to chicks and just picked up our first order today. We have hens but have never started from scratch, as it were. We have 9 chicks, all day olds. I have noticed that one of them seems to be bullying the others - pecking at them, definitely displaying dominance. Is that normal already at this stage? No one seems to be injured and I don't want to interfere with normal behaviour, but don't want to be ignorant to an unsafe environment for the other chicks.

    They have ample space and I don't think the temperature is an issue.

    Would appreciate your advice!
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Merry Christmas! Staff Member

    18,311
    4,416
    491
    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi there! Yes quite normal behaivour for young chicks to be doing this. They start establishing their pecking order very early. I've certainly seen this behaivour in my chicks even before they come out of the incubator. Pecking at things including their hatch mates is how they learn and explore things.

    Good luck with your chicks and enjoy them!
     
  3. LW13intheFort

    LW13intheFort New Egg

    5
    0
    9
    Jan 22, 2016
    Thank you! This makes me feel better :)
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    3,233
    602
    261
    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Yep, perfectly normal. They even peck at each others eyes; must look like bugs lol. Ouch! :p

    I've noticed little cockerels start out from day one being more aggressive, too. They seem to be more rowdy and they're usually the first to come to your hand in the brooder. Could be that you have a wee boy in the mix ;)
     
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    10,812
    4,271
    501
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I agree with shortgrass. Boy chicks are more apt to be the rowdy ones.

    If his behavior appears to be endangering the others, especially eyes, or he starts yanking feathers, a quick, but gentle poke on the back each time can mitigate the behavior with just a few days of discipline.
     
  6. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    580
    61
    118
    Feb 3, 2016
    The social interaction between birds becomes quite complex even within the first week of thier lives they should naturally be measuring each other's place in the world. It is important for their healthy development to determine this in a natural way buy I never allow 'bullying' which I refer to as the singling out of a bird to the point where it becomes injured from the actions of its peers. It can appear quite rough to us but if we are watching closely then the birds should never end up hurt and you can certainly prevent bad behaviors from developing by making sure the birds have a healthy environment for growth and the food to do so which it sounds like you have covered OP.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by