early bloomers and bullies.


8 Years
Feb 23, 2011
Chatom, Alabama
ok just got the chicks today and i have 2 that already have little wing feathers. and fatso (biggest chick) and his buddy seem intent on pulling them out. he will run across the brooder and grab their wings and pull on it as hard as he can. i have separated them a couple of times but this just seems mean and kinda stupid. is it just because they all don't have feathers yet and they all pick on the early ones or is fatso and his friend just mean? should i separate them? and if so who should i take out and separate? it was so much easier when i was a kid and the hen did all the work but not as fun. but advice would be welcome.
I had a fatso who also engaged in exploratory feather pulling. It lessened rapidly over 48 hrs. I separated (pushed away) the pickee from fatso when I observed so it wouldn't gain momentum. Just watch carefully? I'm new to this, so the more experienced may have better advice. Good luck.
That sounds horrible! I'm not sure if you should separate or not. I would say separate the bullies from the rest for a day or two, hopefully someone else chimes in on this as I have no experience with this, hopefully this bump will get someone else to respond.
Pecking order is something which is started even in the brooder. It's not fun for us to observe, but it is The Chicken Way. Unless there is injury, or actual blood-letting, just let them work it out.

For the first few days they may even peck at each other's eyes, but it normally doesn't advance to injury and will stop after a day or two.

Every time you remove or introduce another chick/chicken, the pecking order must be re-established. Let them work it out. If the bully becomes top chick, the others will learn their places in the brooder pecking order.

The whole thing will start all over again when you move them outside. Any change of participants or location triggers a new pecking order hierarchy.

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