Chick pecking others eyes

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marauderthirty, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. marauderthirty

    marauderthirty New Egg

    Feb 24, 2012
    Hello everyone.. This is my first post here, I've been reading around the site a bit over the past few weeks in preparation for getting our new chicks, and now we are having an issue that I need as much advice as I can get with. We picked up 3 chicks (1 black australorp, 1 ancona, and 1 easter egger) 2 days ago from a rancher that lives pretty far away. Anyway we got them home, and noticed the first night that the ancona was picking on the other two. Not just picking on them, but targeting their eyes and dragging them down by them. We set up a makeshift barrier the first night that would allow for them to still be able to see each other. I had put a mirror in there originally but she couldn't see the others and would just cry and cry. Anyway she ended up getting over the barrier at some point in the night, and she hurt my little easter egger. All she wants to do when she is sleepy is cuddle up with the others, but when she's awake she just will not leave them alone. She goes for the feet too, but not nearly as much as the eyes.

    We upgraded the barrier to window screen mesh, high enough that she can't get over it. Light was changed from white to red. I feel like I've done everything I can, and all we can do is wait, but if she can't adapt then I will be kinda concerned. I don't know who would even take a bully of this magnitude. I knew that they would peck at each other and all that, but this seems straight up malicious. From what I've read it seems that she can't distinguish between an eye and a bug yet, but why can the others then? She doesn't really act like she's searching for food, she will walk up to another chick and look specifically for the eyeball and lunge. Please help!
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Hmmm.... I don't think she regards the eyes as food. Do you know how old the chicks are? What size is the pecking chick compared to the others? An age difference of even a week or two can be significant. I think you did the right thing putting up a barrier that allows her to see the others. Hopefully given more time and as the other chicks grow a bit, she will calm down and won't peck so much. I'd be interested to hear how someone handled a similar experience. I hope you get more replies.
  3. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    Some one I know had to do basically what you did. She just kept them separate until they were good and used to seeing each other. They got along after awhile.
  4. cooped up

    cooped up Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2012
    Portland, Or
    I noticed one of my 1 week old chicks doing that also, but now that they are two weeks old I haven't noticed it. I do think that a" room of shame" is a good idea-- You are at the top of the pecking order.
  5. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I had a batch of shipped chicks and one of them did that. I posted about it and I think it was a stress thing or something because I have never had home hatched chicks do it.
    It is very upsetting seeing one hunting, pecking and hanging onto another chicks eye lids! I separated the "bully" and she out grew it. She is now not very aggressive at all. (18 months old). We still call her the bully girl tho she isn't at all a bully. lol
    Keep the other chicks safe and they will outgrow it.
  6. GardenYogi

    GardenYogi Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 13, 2012
    I'm a few months late to this thread, but I'm having a similar issue with my Brown Leghorn attacking my Black Star, RIR and Comet. She's vicious. A week old tomorrow, but she started in on the others on Sat (5 days ago). I posted then in distress, but was encouraged that this was normal rather than bullying behavior. However, I had the day off today and was able watch the day unfold and I realized the others are not only getting their eyes pecked, but neck and vent feathers ripped out. I've seen grooming friendly pecks, but these are sharp, hard and cause shrieking pain from the others. I fear the others will get hurt with a few more days of this.

    She's in chick jail right now and super unhappy. But the others. Sweet things, this is the most calm and relaxed I've seen them. The bully has us all on edge. I'll try the time out and implement things suggested, cooler temp, red light, more shiney toys (tried that earlier today), and expand thier space. I've also heard that more protein in their diet and or sea salt in thier water helps with any deficencies?? Thoughts??? We're organic so we add yolk to thier food and right now the water has ACV to treat the pasty butt my RIR had, but perhaps that was more from stress than anything else.

    The bully does seem a few days older, could be as much as 6 days older, by her size, especially compared to the littlest, the BS. I can't remember when the sizes level out, but I also can keep her in jail forever. We're set up for one, healthy brood not two.

    I feel so bad, but she just seems so mean compared to the others. I had chickens growing up and never saw behavior like this.

    I'm curious how the individual who started the post faired.

    *********. 45 minute later update.

    The detainee tried jumping out, almost a foot high, and sratched her beak/baby comb to bleeding! Now I can't put her back for fear of her getting picked on! Yi. Guess it'll be overnight detention afterall.

    Sorry so long and random! Just looking out for my little ones and stressed to leave them all alone again tomorrow, sans supervision.

    Apologies for typos. On an iPad and not used to keypad. ;-)
  7. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    It can be stressful can't it? I had a chick that got a thirst for blood. I eventually had to get rid of her. She was a little older than yours but she would stalk other chicks tail feathers..grab ahold and yank and yank until the quill broke and the she would follow behind sipping blood. I tried peepers and everything but finally just got rid of her...not to a new home. [​IMG]

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