How much pecking is ok?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickling, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. chickling

    chickling New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    Just got home from the feed store with 2 Ameracaunas, 2 Gold Sex-Link, 2 Silver-Laced Wyandottes. Oh, so cute! We're all in love. [​IMG] But one of the Wyandottes is pecking all the others, pulling feathers, just being a bully. [​IMG] I know some pecking is normal, but how much is ok before we oughta separate her? (Can you tell I've never done this before?)
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    How old are they? I have raised 6 orps and now BR's and Orps. I have had no picking. First use a box big enough to give the less aggressive ones room to get away from the others. I had my 6 each time in a 2x 4 box for the first 4 weeks then moved up to a larger box. Do they have chick food 24/7? they should . I think if I got a picker I would remove right away and give a more protein rich diet. Also maybe some vitamins. Also check the temp. If it is too warm they will pick. Jean
     
  3. chickling

    chickling New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2009
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    They're a few days old I think, totally fuzzy still. The box is 22" x 25" (microwave oven box), plenty big enough to move away if they would, but they just sit there and take it. We've only been home for an hour, and yes they have food and water available. Temp is 95 degrees.

    They were huddling under the lamp, but now they're spreading out and doing different things. Bossy was dragging one of the others by the foot!
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Do you have them under a white heat lamp or red? Alot of times the red heat bulb will calm down an hyper pecking chick.
    If they are not drawing blood, I'd be inclined to let them sort it out. They have to sort out the pecking order.
     
  5. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I never had problem with picking:

    I believe there are 3 main factors contributing to pecking:

    1.Light (infrared or red preferred) no overheating, make sure they can get away from heat if they want to. That why I am not crazy about enclosed brooders.

    2. Adequate space per chick.

    3. Possible nutritional deficiency.


    Commenting the last one, I do not care how "good" your chicken starter is if this is the only feed you give them, would you like to be fed same meal 3 times a day 7 times a week?

    I feed my babies quality chicken starter with animal byproducts (for Vitamin D), sprinkle a little grit on the top (Harts grit for Parakeets) fine sand is OK.

    Also give them hardboiled eggs chopped finely and mixed with Quaker Oats once a day.

    When they are 2 weeks old I start giving them a little parakeet and canary food (My wife's birds, she wastes lots of it so I feed it to my chicks.

    I do not buy common feed industry propaganda that you should feed your birds exclusively their product or they are going to get sick. You know why they do it, don't you?

    100 + years ago there was no chicken crumble or pellets, yet US growers and breeders raised chicken, creating some of the magnificent breeds like RIR's, Rocks, Wyandotes we are still enjoying today.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  6. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    It worries me that a chick that young would be so aggressive. What will it be like later? Not all wyndottes are aggressive but some are. You may for the good of your other chicks take that one out. Jean
     
  7. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ack! that would worry me. we had a problem with adult hens pecking on others last year and it was a nightmare before we finally got rid of the bad ones. they even ended up killing some of the other hens. it was horrific. I'd definitely keep my eye on the pecker and if she/he doesn't let up, separate her from the rest. perhaps forever!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  8. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Texas
    I would put the pecker in chicken jail [​IMG] I'd fix the problem now before it becomes worse!
     
  9. chickling

    chickling New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    Well, I switched to a red light and things seem to have mellowed considerably. They're now running happily, jumping (trying to fly?), eating, and no one seems to be particularly picking on anyone else. I'll for sure keeps my eyes open, but at least for now things seem ok. [​IMG]
     
  10. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Maryland
    There is always a flip side.. and here it is..
    I hatched out 6 chicks and put them in a 2 foot by 5 foot brooder. The day before they went into the brooder, 5 chicks came out of it.
    The first 5 were very well behaved - and 2 of the chicks were a week older than the other 3. Had no problems.
    Same setup, and the 6 chicks have been horrible. The 1st chick who hatched was pecking at the other ones as they were zipping. she actally reached thru one of the eggs, got hold of some feathers, and dragged the egg a few inches across the bator ( it was a little bit funny, but not). I had to move the first 4 to the brooder before the others hatched because they were trying to peck thru the eggs. When I added the last 2 to the broooder- the first 4 ran up and pecked the daylights out of them. I had to put them back in the bator for another 12 hours to keep them safe.
    There was so much screaming and pecking and biting. I was quite worried. To me it didn't seem normal- I kept a watchful eye and after a few days, they calmed down. But I had 3 bullies, not just one.
    I would just wait and see- go with your gut. If she seems to be overly aggressive, seperate her where she can see the others but can't attack. after a few hours, try letting her back in with the others. They will most likely learn to get along, but it takes time. You could put a stuffed animal in there, or something to climb on, or something to hide behind .
     

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