Chicks that bully other chicks no matter what you do...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DeannaMari, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. DeannaMari

    DeannaMari Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2013
    So, we bought some chicks. Well actually.... we bought about 40 chicks. But anyway, they weren't all the same age when we got them so we seperated them by age, but the guy said that it would be fine if they were like within a week of each other. We had gotten 3 americuanas, 3 marans, 3 javas on saturday. That Wednesday we got 6 buff orpingtons, then after 2 of our Easter Eggers died, we went and got 10 more that were the same age as the buffs. They were all in the same cage.

    One day we came home and noticed that some of the older chicks, (mostly the javas) had bloody spots on their backs, so we took them out and placed them in a new cage since we didn't want our chicks to go cannibal on them. We discovered it was the buffs that were pecking at them. They picked on all the older chicks, so we ended up moving all the chicks from the first batch out, and placing the buffs and younger EEs in a different cage. Then, the buffs picks on the EEs, so we took them out and left only five buffs in a cage together (one of them we moved in with the EEs because she is friendly and doesn't pick on anybody and we didn't want her getting bullied). Then, sure enough, next day two of the buffs are out and bloody so we have to pick them out. So, three of our chicks are bullies.

    We asked one of the veteran chicken owners we see at a feed store a lot about this and the first thing she suggests is that they are over crowded. Well, maybe that could be an argument when it was all of them, in a two foot by four foot enclosure, but by the time we got down to only five buffs and they were still picking on each other, it seems out of the question that that was the problem. Our EEs all share the same size enclosure and are our most friendly birds. Then, she asked us if we had a white or red heat lamp, since red is more calming for them, but we already had a red heat lamp on them. She finally just suggested that we had some jerky birds.

    I was just wondering if anybody else has had this problem with chicks. We haven't had problems with any other breed of our chicks or anything, it is only our buffs, and only the three that are left in the enclosure, they haven't made anybody in there bloody yet, but they do peck at each other sometimes. What can we do to stop this?
  2. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    We have a mean chicken, but fortunately she isn't the boss hen so she doesn't peck just chase the two "low" hens away from the food so now we feed them in two spots. Some pecking is normal in the beginning as the hens sort out their place in the flock. In larger the flock the top hems and bottom hens emerge quickly but there will be more dust ups especially with the "middle hens". Are they able to share the roost at night and the coop until you let them out in the morning? If yes, then you might need then to sort things out but I would certainly draw the line at bloodshed.

    I have seen chicks, even tiny ones, peck each other bloody and know it can be vicious and even deadly. In the end it's really what you are willing to tolerate. If you can keep a (gentlemanly) rooster it might solve your problems. No roos allowed here so I would find new homes for the aggressive hens and just so you know it's possible that they will not be aggressive in a different flock, because dealing with the injuries is too upsetting to me, but here are plenty of threads here on the subject with a variety of reasonable solutions, read them maybe there is something that will work for you.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013

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