eye pecking baby chick

alangrg3

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 17, 2014
8
0
39
Rogersville, AL
Amazingly we had the same thing happen today. We received an order of chicks from a hatchery via the mail and one of the RIR's kept running around pecking at all of the other chicks eyes. I have never seen this happen before and separated the offender from the rest until I can figure out if this is normal behavior. This is my first experience with RIR's but we have had chickens for several years and are just having to start over after moving. Do you know what breed your chicks are? I am pretty sure I am not willing to deal with that level of aggression from a 3 day old chick.
 

AlyssaChick

Hatching
Feb 20, 2015
3
0
7
Mobile, Al
Me and mom both went in together and bough the chicks from the St. Elmo feed store, altogether we've got 9 and it's one of each breed.. Besides the 3 bantams, and the two ameraucanas.. We know for sure it's not those 5 doing it, it's either the black black australorp or the barred Plymouth rock chick, and looking at BPR chicks, I'm thinking it's that one that's being the bully.

I'm totally with you, I've never seen this happen before.. .I've watched my dad raise up game chicks and of course they kind of had a fiery edge to them, they never took after each others eye lids or nothing, they just kind of squared up, and with something like that and the breed it can be looked at as if the squaring up was just a chicks game. They never hurt each other, or pulled each other down like this eyelid pecker is doing.

I agree with you also on the aggression from a 3 day old chick, especially when the rest of the 8 aren't willing to peck him back... It broke my heart the first time I seen the eye lid pecker latch on to one of my little bantams and pull it to the ground, and as soon as the bantam got up, it done the same thing again. I had It separated for a hour or so,, but Walmart didn't have another lamp so I had to put it back in with the other 8 until I can later on today and get another lamp along with another feeder and water container.. We weren't exactly prepared for a bully chick when we went out and got them last night..
 

song of joy

Crowing
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
1,191
654
251
Central Pennsylvania
Yes, I had the same thing happen with a RIR chick. Around day 2 or 3, she went around and pecked all of the other chicks in the eye. I didn't separate her. She stopped this behavior after a day, and all of the other chicks were fine. My daughter played "enforcer" with her and would gently pick up the offender each time she was caught in the act. I'm not sure this had any effect on it stopping though.

It may be helpful to add other distractions into the brooder that they can peck on, such as mashed hard-boiled eggs. Adding a couple of branches (2-3" diameter) to the floor of the brooder gives them obstacles to navigate around and sleep next to, which can provide distractions and buffers between chicks.

If all else fails, you could try isolating the offender within the same brooder, using a smaller box (e.g., shoe box or smaller) for an hour of so at a time.
 
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