Chick pulling out feathers of other chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by agilemindsmel, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. agilemindsmel

    agilemindsmel New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2016
    Pretty much since I got her at 2 weeks old, this RIR chick has been exibiting this behavior. Once I figured out why the others were bald on their backs, I separated her, but each time I try to reintroduce her, she immediately goes back to doing it and will now peck any of the 5 week old chicks she can get close enough to do so. They don't even have to be the bald ones...she pulls out and eats any feathers she can get. I read an few old threads that sound pretty discouraging. I do have 3 adult chickens that would not tolerate such behavior, but I'm not sure that's a safe idea. Any others?
     
  2. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My advice is to keep that chick away from the others. It may continue this aggressive behavior when it is older, so another option is to rehome it. Sometimes I put two dominant chicks together to teach them not to mess with each other. It usually works. Anyway, best of luck with your chicks!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  3. agilemindsmel

    agilemindsmel New Egg

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    Sep 12, 2016
    Thank you for the advice. What is the earliest age I might try putting her with my adults?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How much space do they have...in feet by feet?
    How do you plan to integrate the chicks with the adults?
    Might be good to start the integration process now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  5. agilemindsmel

    agilemindsmel New Egg

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    The 9 six-week old chicks (now 8 with her separated) are in a 4x6 coop. My plan was to section off the big coop (10x16) and put the babies in there, but I think at the moment they can still fit through the wires. At what age do most integrate babies with adults? I have 3 adult speckled sussex.
     
  6. agilemindsmel

    agilemindsmel New Egg

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    And one more question...if I integrate adults and young chickens, how do I make sure everyone gets the right food?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd put them out there with added smaller wire, then once they've been there a week or so.....take down the smaller wire and the chicks can go in and out of the rest of the coop thru the larger wire but the biggers can't get thru, so chicks have a 'safe refuge'. Many folks are integrating much younger chicks now using this technique, I did this year and it worked great!


    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     
  8. agilemindsmel

    agilemindsmel New Egg

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    Thank you for the info! So how do I keep the young chickens safe from predators if they can go in/out of the wire??
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Oh I thought you meant the wire to split the coop, separating the chicks from the flock...but I see now you mean the run wire.
    I lined the run with 1/2" hardware cloth...or you could use chicken wire.
     
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    In my experience with RIR Chickens...They are aggressive towards birds that are not the same colour...I had the issue here one year except I had 5 eating all my birds bare and pecking...I sold them and my other birds were happy without the constant aggression...I will never own a RIR again.

    Good luck
     

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