Day old chicks pecking eyes


10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
Ridgefield, WA
Okay, I searched and couldn't find anything on this.
I have 5 new chicks and 4 of them keep pecking/grabbing the eyes of the 5th one. The only difference is that the 4 are all dark colors. The one being pecked is light. I guess her black eyes stand out pretty good against her yellow feathers. this normal? I think I heard about this somewhere, but my chicks last year didn't do this so it's new to me. They are definitely doing it less on day two than on day one, and the picked on chick is learning to move away. And no obvious wounds thank goodness.
Just though I'd throw this out there.
Chicks picking at each other is normal. Them all ganging up on one does happen occasionally. One thing you might try is using red lights instead of white lites. Chicks like to peck at red. When everything is red they don't peck at anything in particular.
I noticed the same thing with my chicks, the BR and SLW would occasionally peck at my BO chick's eyes (I agree about the light against dark idea), drove me crazy and I cringe every time they do it, but it never seemed to injure the BO. They're older now (almost 3 wks) and they don't do it anymore really.
I had two get pecked this round. Of COURSE it would be the two potential SQ dark brahma chicks. They got pecked hard and sometimes their eyes crusted shut. I cleaned them out any time I saw them crusty, with normal saline and a q-tip. Two days later they are fine. Well, one is a little bit squinty in one eye is all.

Wost case scenario you could dye them a dark color.
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I've experienced the same problem with my new babies.... It's much better after the first couple days... they seem to have figured out what is edible and what is not!
Chicks will peck at anything shiny. Eyes, marbles, blinking camera lights, shiny camera parts ... anything.

I read on here that putting marbles in their water dish will entice them to peck at it, therefore find the water and learn to drink. Darn it if it didn't work. Something I would think about doing if it was in a safe way is put a mirror in there, I'm sure they'd have a blast pecking at the new chicks on the block and not hurt each other.
I have 16 that hatched on Tues, when they arrived yesterday morning, we constantly had someone pecking at another. But after they had time to eat and drink a little more, it got a lot better. I also agree the the bright shinny idea. Even my older chickens still peck at my rings, any time they can.
I would mix a few colors of dark food coloring together and wet a q-tip and gently dampen their head, starting farther from their faces and slowly working my way closer, so the qtip would be nearly dry when it got near their eyes. They will moult off that fluff in a few weeks and you will never know they were colored up all goofy.

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