Day Old Serama Chicks are Attacking and Killing Each Other - Please Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RainForestBird, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two Serama chicks hatch yesterday, one about 8 hours before the other. While they were still in the incubator the older chick was pecking at the newer chick, even though there was no blood. He was weak and just lying there letting the other peck at him. So I removed the attacking chick and put him in the brooder. Finally the younger chick was fully dry and fluffy so I added him to the brooder. I frankly did not expect either to make it through the night because they are so tiny. But in the morning they were fine. However when I gave them clean water and food, the older chick began to attack the younger chick again. It got so bad that the younger one was knocked over on his back and the other was pecking him to death. He didn't die but I removed him and put him with my day old button quail chicks. They seem to be getting along fine with the baby quail huddling under the Serama chick like it was their mother. The Serama is tolerating this. But I heard they can get diseases from each other though I have seen experienced people mix the two chicks with no bad results. If I isolate the little Serama that got picked on earlier he will be alone and he didn't seem to be doing well alone in the incubator, I would go over and whistle to him and this seemed to perk him up. I knew that he needed some companionship. I will not put him with the aggressive chick again. Is this normal for a chick to be so aggressive? He is a black and white (so far) Serama. The weaker one is all white. As I typed this, a Dutch Bantam has emerged from his egg in the same incubator where the other chicks were hatched yesterday. As he is bigger, maybe he will do better with the aggressive chick? Or will he be a better match for the weaker chick? This is very challenging. It was an emergency when I swooped the poor weak little chick up and put him with the button quail. He would have died and I did not have 3 brooders ready. They have already exchanged microbes I'm sure, so would it be such a bad thing to keep the weaker chick with the buttons? Hatching can be so stressful! I thought that Seramas would be nice, they have a reputation for being good pets, and non aggressive.
     
  2. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Living in a galaxy far, far away...

    As long as the dutch is nince to the meanie, putting them together is a good idea. Just keep an eyeon them Sometimes a bossy chicken just needs to be put in their place, and then they are much nicer [​IMG]
     
  3. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I put the Dutch Bantam newly hatched and fluffed out into the brooder with the mean baby-and he did exactly the same thing he did with the other newbie. He attacked him until he was on his back. He is attracted to their feet for some reason, so small and quail-like they must look like meal worms or some kind of food. So the Dutch had to go in with the other Serama and the button quail. The mean chick is squawking non stop like he doesn't want to be alone. Pacing back and forth in his brooder like a panther, no, more like a wired up terrier. I have them is a separate building so I can't hear them. It would drive me insane otherwise. He is really, really loud, which makes me think he will be the rooster that fertilizes all my eggs so I can breed beautiful little Seramas just like him. But I will only let him out with the others when its Spring time because he is out for blood! He's black and white, or yellow and white, and very, very strong. He had no problem getting out of his egg. Never even saw him pip, he just showed up in the morning newly hatched and fluffed.

    Wish me luck, I hear other eggs peeping in the incubator, and they are teeny eggs, little Seramas, Dutch Bantam and Olde English Bantams.All the way from Louisiana.
     
  4. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    If the first born is that mean at being just a day old, I don't think that I would want to be breeding him, and passing on his mean genes when he is older.
     
  5. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aren't all roosters mean? Every rooster I've run across has always been mean. Especially the little ones, kind of like ponies they have to make up for their size.
     
  6. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I want to breed strong babies that come out of the egg fighting and strong! I've had so many disappointments with weak checks that just seem to wilt once you put them in the brooder.
     
  7. nhbradley

    nhbradley Out Of The Brooder

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  8. nhbradley

    nhbradley Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, this thing is not working correctly so bear with me. When there is an age difference they will attract the younger ones. I usually put some type of separation between them. Wire is best so I can at least see each other and get used to each other. This happens between a 2 and 3 day and about separation. I would just separate them with wire cardboard or whatever is safe to use without starting a fire. And yes many roosters are mean. I don't have any that are not except for the ones running around the yard. And as far as turkeys go my Royal Palms are the most loving to the grandkids also. I wish you luck, Pam.. I meant they would attack the younger ones. I also leave them in the incubator until they are completely dry so not to attract the older ones to any egg smells are particles on them
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    This is a very common problem. You aren't alone, but I know how helpless you're feeling.

    Chickens have brains that are sometimes wired a little off sometimes, and they suffer from obsessions like humans. Your aggressive chick is doing what its little brain is telling it to do, which is to focus on parts of other chicks. I've experienced this with a few chicks I've had, and I came up with a method for changing the behavior. It's really pretty simple. It uses a technique other chickens use in disciplining younger ones.

    You need to be observant and on the ball for a couple of days. Put the chick back with the others, and give it a poke on the back with your finger the second it goes for another chick. If you can anticipate when it is thinking about attacking, give it a poke even before it attacks. Very young chicks can re-wire their brains with this behavior modification. If this chick is harming the others, remove it when you can't be there to watch it, and return it when you can spend time modifying the behavior. This usually doesn't require more than two days for it to work.

    I wrote an article about this for BYC. Everyone who's used the technique reports it's worked. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aggressive-baby-chicks-and-how-to-stop-the-behavior
     
  10. RainForestBird

    RainForestBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is great advice, thank you.
     

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