Chicks picking on each other...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by seespotbitejane, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    Okay, one chick (and I know who) is picking on one other chick. The bully is (was?) my favorite, the biggest, a (probably male) bantam brahma. The chick singled out for abuse seems pretty random as it is not the smallest, rather it is right in the middle of the size range.

    I set up another makeshift brooder of the same size and put the abused one and his twin in it. The twin has sustained a little damage as well, mostly (I think) because the pair of them are easily mistaken for each other. Th picked on one seems pretty grateful to be on his own now, but the other was a bit upset so I added a couple other mellow chicks for company. I have ten total and I now have a box of four and a box of five and am monitoring both of them.

    I have a feeling that the violence was partly caused by cramp quarters. Yesterday morning I went out and it looked like they had doubled in size overnight and I was thinking that they were going to outgrow their box soon.

    So, finally to my question. How long should I wait before trying to reunite the group? Obviously I need to wait until the picked on chick is better (he wasn't severely injured or anything, just a raw spot on top of his head), but after that would it be safe to try with a bigger brooder? Also I hate to split up the chicks that get along. Right now I have two boxes of equal size, would I be better off to get them all a bigger space and isolate the bully? Or the picked on chick?

    The rest of my household is firmly in favor of tossing the bully in the coop with our (mostly) full grown rooster, or at least chucking him in solitary, but I think that's a bit harsh since he's only a two weeks old.
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Don't put a two week old chick in with a juvenile rooster! They really need to grow out quite a bit more before putting them in with juveniles.

    I think what you're doing is the right thing - kudos to you for recognizing the crowding problem. Yeppers, they grow as you blink, I'm pretty sure! Best idea is to get as large of a brooder as you can find. Once the picked on ones are healed, try putting them together again......what I've done in a similar situation is at the same time that you put them all back together, also put some new and interesting things in the brooder. Like a tree branch to hop up on and investigate, or even a small box with some holes cut in the sides that they can go into and out of, and jump on top of. Sometimes, this helps to divert their attention for long enough for the new ones to blend back in.

    Look around your property for something you can use for a larger brooder... you migh find something you never thought would be of that use. I use an old horse trough, and it works great! It stopped holding water years ago, and for whatever reason, I just didn't throw it out. it's the perfecT brooder! GOOD LUCK! And, enjoy your little ones!
     
  3. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    The part about our other roo was a joke actually, but everything you said was about what I was thinking. I know I can scrounge a bigger space for them out of all the junk we have around here. The box with holes idea is good. They'd love that. They've gotten to the stage where they are hopping on everything all the time and want to stretch their wings.
     
  4. seespotbitejane

    seespotbitejane Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 13, 2009
    Walla Walla, WA
    So, I gave them lots more room, and split up the group, except over the last couple days, the picked on group has grown. I finally put everyone back together and just took the bully out. Everyone is happy now and getting along fine. Except the bully. He cries piteously and constantly. He has all the fun stuff that he had back with the group, and he has a snuggly toy (well it's a wool hat, but they all loved to snuggle with/in it) but he's upset to be by himself.

    I've tried putting a couple different chicks with him (the mellowest two that to my knowledge he was leaving completely alone even when he was picking on everyone else) but he jumps on them and pecks them as soon as their feet hit the ground.

    Anyone have any suggestions for how I could integrate him back into he group eventually? He's already a bully and aren't roosters (and I'm about 95% sure he is one) more likely to be more aggressive if they're raised by themselves? I want to mellow him out, not make him worse. Right now he's in a place where he can hear the other chicks, but not see them (and that's not really likely to change, we don't really have another place in the house to put them). Would it be a good idea to set up a wire partition so that he could see them but not reach them? I don't want to risk him hurting himself by trying to fling himself through to the other side.
     

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