Chicks pecking each other's eyes. How can I prevent it?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Soot the silkie, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My new chicks have the bad habit of pecking each other's eyes. It's not so much an act of aggression as it is 'Ooh, look at that black shiny dot! It looks like FOOD! I must eat it.' Is there anyway I can stop them? Or should I just hope they don't peck too hard? I've heard that not using an infrared bulb can make them peck each other and be mean. But I'm using an infrared bulb and the chicks seem very calm other than the pecking. It's not really about pecking order either because the lowest one pecks the ruler and the middle one pecks the lower and so on and so forth. Anyway, can I stop them from blinding each other?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Switch to a ceramic heat emitter and use a blue light for light. After the first 3 days, give them 8 hours of dark each night.

    Pet stores carry them but cheaper here.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/110V-150W-P...Reptile-Heater-Brooder-Light-US-/161139800976

    They last longer and are more efficient. They can break but if they do they don't make the mess a lamp does.

    ETA
    Red hides blood and wounds but blue is calming to chickens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
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  3. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't really want to buy another heat source. Will they stop pecking each other on their own as they get older? I've never heard to use that kind of heat before so is there anything else I can do?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They probably will if they don't cause injury first. Having more space usually helps too.

    Ceramic is all I've used for the last couple years. Otherwise you can't provide a dark period.
    An Eco-glow brooder is a non-light method too but it's pricey.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  5. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine have a good amount of room there are only three of them anyway. They have about four square feet but they all follow each other around,
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If only one is getting pecked, you might try removing it for a day or so. You'll have to do so anyway if they draw blood.
     
  7. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No they all peck each other. They don't even seem to mind, and they don't peck hard
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    This is a ticklish issue. I've always cringed at the possibility of my chicks pecking each others eyes. Several have pecked ME in the eye, so I have reason to be afraid!

    There's every reason to believe bright light, and especially if it's on 24/7, causes extra stress as well as magnifying the attraction of their black, shiny little eyes.

    From the very first day, I stretch a dark shade cloth over the brooder at nightfall between the heat lamp and the chicks, to simulate night time. It relieves the stress caused by continual light bombardment, but it also establishes the rhythm of day and night, so important later for egg development.

    It's easy to buy one or two yards of red or green cloth at a fabric shop at minimal cost. Just be careful the cloth doesn't come into contact with the heat lamp. Or, if you love to "re-purpose" stuff, drape an old bathrobe over the brooder, or an old bath towel!
     
  9. MontanaChad

    MontanaChad New Egg

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    Feb 21, 2015
    In all the years I have been raising chickens I have never had this problem until this year. One chick has died from it and several others are damaged. I found the culprit and put her in another box but any other advise would be great.
     
  10. Soot the silkie

    Soot the silkie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They aren't awake at night. In the early morning, when it's sunny but not enough to heat the brooder without a heat lamp (believe it or not, it is reaching eighty here in the middle of the winter! Be jealous people who are buried in snow) is when they peck. When I turn off the heat lamp they stop pecking.
     

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