Hi, new here and have a question on chicks and pecking

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by InParadise, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. InParadise

    InParadise Out Of The Brooder

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    We recently got 20 chicks. 4 Easter Eggers, 4 SLW, 4 GLW, 4 Buff Orpingtons and 4 RIR. We had Silkies a couple of years ago and I never had any problem with them pecking each other. It started last Sunday when we saw one of our easter eggers had a bloody tail. We removed her to let her heal. Then on Thursday we found 2 more with bloody tails, an Easter Egger and a RIR. We also saw 2 RIR doing the pecking. So we separated them all to their own space, let the bloody ones heal and the RIR's to stop pecking. Fast forward to this morning. We put back the RIR that was bloody and now I am watching her go around and peck each bird one by one. The others are interested in their food/scratch and she's eating the food as well but her main goal to walk around pecking everyone. I've read on here about the pinetar which I plan on picking up when out tomorrow. Is there anything else I can do to try and stop it (today) besides removing her again? Are my 3 RIR ever going to be able to live with the others? They just seem like such bullies ! Thanks for any help. [​IMG]

    I forgot to mention they are 5 1/2 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    RIR's are the meanest birds I've ever had. They were from a hatchery. I understand that just the opposite is true if you can find a rpivate breeder, as of course the hatcheries have bred them with other breeds.

    At my house, a bird that repeatedly pecked others bloody would be permanently isolated or dead. I'm not going to let the others get harrassed like that. Pecking order is one thing, but repeated blood drawing is just too much.
     
  3. nifty50chick

    nifty50chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i agree ddawn, camp BBQ it shall be
     
  4. InParadise

    InParadise Out Of The Brooder

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    I was so hesitant on getting the RIR's and should have went with my gut. We got them from a local guy but they obviously aren't nice (well so far one doesn't seem to be a pecker). We're not into culling them so I guess I'll need to find another solution for them.
     
  5. mignavrod

    mignavrod New Egg

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Hi,

    I don't have an answer but I do have questions. I, also, am new at this. I have 5 RIR and one Buff Orpington. They are all of 9 days old. They seem to be getting along well. I have them under an infrared light; I had read that the red light decreases or eliminates the pecking because they can not see the dark of the veins. Should I be concerned about the Buff being with 5 RIRs? My next question: since I live in South Florida, and it will stay warm for months, How long do I have to keep them under the light? I can not have a rooster because of the noise. I requested all hens and I was told that is what I was getting, which I believe, but how do I know a rooster from a hen at such early age?

    Thank you for any information to this newbie.

    Lord to an urban half an acre, one female american bulldog, 5 RIR, and one Buff Orpington, and one loving girlfriend who calls me "crazy man".
     
  6. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mig,

    As for how long they need to be under the infrared light, I have some four week old birds and just did a post on how to take care of them/how long they should stay under the light here: http://www.betterhensandgardens.com/2010/09/12/raising-day-old-chicks/ Basically, they should be at 95 degrees the first week, 90 degrees the second week, 85 degrees the third week, and so on - until you get to ambient temperatures or they get all their feathers at about 5 weeks old.

    The red light does help prevent them from pecking at red things, like blood.
     
  7. mignavrod

    mignavrod New Egg

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    Better Hens....

    I read your article and I found it very helpful. Thank you for the input.
     
  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Bully chicks are a heart-breaking problem. I'd be tempted to just cull the little culprit. Their personalities are apparent at this early stage, and they usually grow to be what they are now.

    I've found that if you get to an injured chick right away, when the wound is tiny, and dab just enough Blu-kote on the red injury, it will usually eliminate the attraction, and the chicks will ignore the purple color. I'd stay away from pine tar, especially for tiny chicks. It's horrible, nasty stuff. You really do not want the greasy mess all over your sweet downy babies.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Many people will insist you can't tell pullets from cockerels while the chicks are so tiny. I must be a particularly astute observer of chick behavior because I've nailed the roosters in each of the four batches of chicks I've raised.

    I got two Black Cochin pullets this summer. One of them was more heavily feathered on the feet and legs and turned out to be a cockerel. Its comb and wattles grew in much sooner, too.

    I got some Ameraucana pullets, and one chick was especially aggressive, even at just six days old, and it also had larger feet and thicker legs. I exchanged it for another chick, a Buff Brahma, but that one also turned out to be a cockerel. As it feathered out, the colors were far more vivid, and its legs and feet grew so much larger than the other pullets. It was also very aggressive from the very start.

    In my last summer's batch of SLWyandottes, there were two that I knew would turn out to be boys because they had redder combs, and grew wattles sooner than the girls did. The feathers came in far darker and more deeply defined than the girls. The boys were all play-cock fighting in a rather formal manner, more than just the quick chest butting girls sometimes do.

    So, the identifying characteristics of budding roos are: heavier and deeper colored feathering (from five weeks), larger,redder combs and wattles (eight weeks), larger feet and thicker, stronger looking legs (from the first week), and aggressive personalities right from the get-go, and formal play fighting - squaring off, staring each other in the eye, and then prolonged sparring (by six weeks).
     
  10. InParadise

    InParadise Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I was kind of wondering about the pine tar for this age but I also don't know how to possibly break the habit otherwise. Maybe it's not breakable? They are almost fully feathered out with the BO's already feathered. The RIR that is in there pecking at the others right now isn't pecking on birds that have been wounded. She's just going around to each bird and pecking them like the others are doing to scratch and what not. She doesn't seem interested in any of that, just to torment the other birds.
     

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