help with aggressive chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jlsmithii, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. jlsmithii

    jlsmithii Hatching

    Mar 7, 2011
    looking for some help here from some seasoned chicken raisers...

    I have one chick (a Rhode Island Red, and a runt to boot) that just won't stop pecking other birds. Currently, none of the birds are injured but I did have 2 on which she did draw blood.
    The background is, the chicks are a little over a week old.
    Mixed flock - 2 rhode island reds, 2 california whites, 2 americuana, 1 welsummer, 1 mottled java, 1 barred plymouth rock
    currently in brooder box - 250 watt infrared bulb (by my inexperienced eye, not too hot, not too cold)
    plenty of food and water with multiple feeders/water spots
    also have a baby cake hanging in the brood box

    when bleeding was noticed on the 2 chicks, the aggressive chick was isolated from flock for 2 days (wounds healed); now back in the flock and she just walks around pecking any of the others that get close. noticed feather pulling with this.

    none of my other birds do this. when she is isolated i have a tranquil flock

    questions are:
    1) how can i stop this behavior
    2) if i isolate her, how long can she be isolated for before other behavioral issues arise
    3) is it possible she is a he (are roosters more aggressive)

  2. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Songster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I am not sure. I had a pullet doing the same thing, but she was older-5 weeks old and well-feathered. I tossed her into the regular coop for a day with the older hens, then felt sorry for her and put her back and just ignored it. She blends in now and I have no idea which one she is. However, she didn't draw blood, and was older. Sounds like you have a bully. They do make these peeper things for this very purpose you put on her to keep her from pecking. I have never used them though. You could trim her beak (I feel bad doing it too much) just so she won't hurt the others. If none of that works, you may need to isolate her all alone. One trick is to make sure you have a RED light, not the white ones, supposedly that helps with the picking. I would love to have one of those Brinsea brooders! It hoovers over the babies, up to 20. I love that idea. Safe and simple.

    Good luck with your problem. Silly red-head, stirring up trouble in your flock. I bet it is a SHE too, the boys don't get macho until they are older, mine just peep all the time and I know they are boys.


    ETA: maybe switch your bulb to a 125 watt red colored bulb?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  3. jlsmithii

    jlsmithii Hatching

    Mar 7, 2011
    peeper? i guess i'll have to do a google search

    thought about trimming the beak but thought a little drastic at this point

    I'm hoping that once they are in the coop there will be enought room and other diversions that this will stop (Am I correct to hope for this?)
  4. galadtomeetya

    galadtomeetya In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2011
    I had a problem like that, too. My bully turned out to be a roo. I made a barrier that kept him away from the others, but where he could still see them. It only took a few days for him to settle down. My birds are 5 months old now and he doesn't bully his girls at all. Pretty good roo, EXCEPT: he's turning out to be people-aggressive as an adult-- he's struck my puppy (he won't go anywhere near a chicken now, so not necessarily a bad thing), myself and my husband. He's going away this week. I would watch that bird for aggression later-- sometimes it resolves, sometimes not. And, you may wanna get some of that tar stuff to prevent the others from pecking on injuries. Good luck! [​IMG]
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    What's the brooder temp at chick level? Being too warm can sometimes cause pecking. I've never found that cockerals were more or less agressive at that age, but some chicks just have "attitude".
  6. jlsmithii

    jlsmithii Hatching

    Mar 7, 2011
    not sure what the temperature is but the light is about 2 feet from the top of the box.
    I thought about temperature and moved it up to the point where my hand feels warm at the floor of the brood box. (I had it higher but the chicks just huddled at that point)

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