Chickens Pecking Chicks If They Get The Chance...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AChickenCarer, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. AChickenCarer

    AChickenCarer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2016
    One day before we fenced them up, the chickens decided to come eat the chick food when possible. The chickens always end up pecking at the chicks if they get them in reach. We don't have any roosters. 3 Chickens, 5 chicks. We got ducklings but The chickens haven't gotten near them. Can't remember the exact age but we suspect them to be 8-10 weeks old. The chickens over a year old. Anyone know why this is happening or anyway to stop it?
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  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Larger adult hens will almost always haze smaller chicks and pullets, sometimes killing them or hazing them such that they cannot get to food or water.

    Some flocks are more tolerant than others.

    I avoid putting unfamiliar birds of widely varied ages together for this reason.

    The good news is you have a small flock of chicks and an even smaller number of adults. Sometimes that's enough to keep the adults from being too much of a bully if there is also adequate hiding places and overall elbow room.

    If no one is being harmed, and no one is being prevented from food or water, when the smaller birds get larger, things will even out. Otherwise, separate with wire fence so they can see each other but not cause harm and integrate when the pullets are closer to the size of the adults, usually around 3 months of age (12 to 14 weeks).

    My suggestions.
  3. AChickenCarer

    AChickenCarer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2016
    While I myself forgot about this part of adding in new flock members, they have all been seperated from eachother since we got the chicks, but always had a chance to see eachother. I feel like it has nothing to do with them being small or new flock members. Either way it's useful to know any information I can get. Thanks.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    They are both new flock members and smaller(younger).
    Even tho they have seen each other for a couple months, once they start sharing physical space the olders still need to school them as to the pecking order.
    Multiple feed/water stations can really help in this situation.
    Using a feed that all can eat will make it simpler.

    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.
  5. AChickenCarer

    AChickenCarer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2016
    Thanks for the feedback. We usually just throw the feed on the ground for the chickens to enjoy. We currently have two watering plates out.

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