Chicks fighting a lot!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jzervas92, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. jzervas92

    jzervas92 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2013
    New York
    This is my first time owning chickens, and I'm trying very hard to do my best! My 5 Rhode Island Red chicks are about three weeks old now and they're fighting a lot. At first I thought they were developing their pecking order, but now they're getting really big and do the chest bump thing all the time. The brooder I have is 3 feet long and 1 and a half feet wide. When they were smaller it was perfect, but now I'm not sure if they feel to crowded. All they want to do is fly and sit on top of the walls of the brooder when I take the screen off. I have plenty of roosts for them to sit on. They also never peck each other and they seem happy and VERY active. When they do fight they only spread their wings, circle each other, chest bump and make a really loud chirp. I'm pretty sure I have one roo because he's the smallest with the biggest waddle. Should I make a bigger brooder, or just let them be?
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    They are probably feeling a little cramped. With more space in a bigger brooder, the pecking order issues will probably resolve themselves.
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    3x1.5= 4.5 sq. ft. you should have 2 sq. ft. per bird for large fowl brooders at this age. your brooder is less than 1/2 the size it needs to be.
  4. Kasey

    Kasey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2013
    Waco, TX
    My guess is your brooder is too small. Maybe try to find something bigger for them to stay in for now. I could always tell when the brooder I had was getting to small because they fought more. Now they are 4 and 5 weeks and they are in the coop with a heat lamp at night. We live in Texas and have temps in the 70s-80s during the day though.
  5. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    If you really can't get them a bigger space, they should be fine in that amount of space as long as they don't start doing any damage to each other like (feather picking, pecking til bloody, toe picking). If you can get a large refrigerator box, move them to something like that; at least it will be a little bigger. In a pinch I have had more in a smaller space and they have been fine, but it often depends on the situation.

    You might could move them into a coop or transition space (like your garage) now. My birds go out to the coop at 4-5 weeks depending on how feathered out they are and how nice our weather is. We usually transition them with a heat lamp if it's below 50˚F, then by 5-6 weeks have them off the lamp no matter what the temperature. They do just fine.
  6. jzervas92

    jzervas92 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2013
    New York
    Thank you guys I really appreciate all the help! I live in New York and its been way to cold to put their brooder into the coop, even with the help of the heat lamp. I'm gonna expand the brooder, I just wasn't sure if I was confusing the fighting with the pecking order. But I can tell they want more space to run! Thank you again!

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