Chicken pecking at new chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by billnoland, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. billnoland

    billnoland New Egg

    Mar 3, 2012
    I introduced two new one month old chickens to my flock of two and three month olds today. All the chickens peck at the heads of the one month old. is this normal? is it unsafe for my new chicks?
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    They are letting the chicks know where they stand in the pecking order, and it is normal. If the behavior turns into 'hunting', then you might have a problem. Just keep an eye out and remember that chickens are animals....they don't think "hey, maybe I'm being a bit harsh." You'll probably notice that pecking happens when the chick enters the "personal space" of a bird that is already in the pecking order.
  3. billnoland

    billnoland New Egg

    Mar 3, 2012
    One of the chickens had a little blood on its neck. we took them out. Should we wait till they are a little older to put them back?
  4. billnoland

    billnoland New Egg

    Mar 3, 2012
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    blood is not good, the chickens should be similar size, and there needs to escape places where they can get out of reach of the bigger hens.
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It usually helps as well to pen the new chickens alongside the older ones for a week or so rather then just popping them in the pen with them. That's a guaranteed fight. I usually section off a part of the run for newbies and also put them in a wire dog crate inside the coop at night. That way everybody can get used to seeing each other but the older ones can't attack. I try to do all I can to avoid getting a serious, blood drawing pecking problem started. Sometimes once they start they don't stop.
  7. redblack10

    redblack10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    I have 8 hens - 7 pick on 1. The one was injured by a cat and fully recovered, before anyone started laying. All are 1 year old. Recently I have applied a hen apron with shoulders and the thick, stinky no-peck stuff for her head. Pecking seems to have increased, especially when it's bedtime. I am getting 5 new chicks this week, and am thinking of placing the pecked one in with them in about a month or so, to help with her confidence and to provide a six-pack of chickens to join the originals, when they are big enough. I would appreciate your thoughts on my ideas. Thanks!

    Oh - I should note that my hens get a variety of foods every day, stimulation from other critters, have way more room than I have in my house, get picked up and petted and gently chased, and get to roam truly free in a pasture, every night for about an hour.
    Last edited: May 10, 2012

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