How much pecking is too much?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HappyPlace, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 19 just over 2 months old chicks. It's about half and half for males and females all in the same pen, but the boys will be getting their own pen and coop soon. They don't usually peck me unless they think I have food and only peck real hard if I'm making them nervous (like trying to touch a bird that doesn't like to be touched). They really only peck each other every now and then and mostly when they are all gathering for food and one gets too close to another when "foraging".

    So how much of the pecking is just establishing the "pecking order" and when does it become too much? Is there anything I can do to ensure it doesn't get worse? I don't want to cull (in any way).
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    It becomes too much when someone starts bleeding. The only way to prevent it is by allowing enough space for all the birds, having plenty of activities to keep them occupied, allowing hidey holes for a harassed chicken to pop into if they need to, and feeding them a well-balanced, nutritious diet. You may still have problems in the future, but if it happens then you know you have done all you could have to prevent it.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Pecking I believe is a form of communication, and a way of checking out their environment, among other things. I don't think they will ever not peck, and some of those pecks are pretty gentle, perhaps even a greeting, in my experience.

    I do agree, blood is the sign of too much.
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I just noticed that they were EE's. They will continue to get meaner. I have got rid of every EE male I had, they started getting really mean and flogged me over and over again. It got so bad that I was unable to feed them. I have not had another since. I have females, they are sweet. I want to breed them with Marans. Hoping to breed the meanness out of the boys. Good luck
    Michele
     
  5. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't seen any blood (I check them often to ensure everyone is healthy) and they don't seem to be losing feathers other than from molt, so I'm not worried about that... yet. They have plenty of room and the boys will be seperated from the girls soon, but I'll have to see about more areas for them to hide.

    Mostly, what I'm worried about is that occasionally the pecking is quite hard and sometimes they do chase each other. It sounds a little worse than it probably is because they are starting to learn how to crow and such and their "startled" noises sound the same.

    As for them being mean... My chicks are still fairly young, but right now, I have two types of boys: The ones that love to sit in my lap and will come up to me just to be petted and the boys that are afraid of me. I don't really have a problem with any of the chicks, myself; it's how they act with each other.
     
  6. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:not all EE males are mean. I've had one that was mean, but only became that way after a dog attack. Draco is a sweetie, though. [​IMG]

    my other EE roos have been neither friendly or mean.
     
  7. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for that, Dainerra. [​IMG] And I have to say, that rooster is one VERY PRETTY bird. [​IMG]
     
  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two that pecks and that only when I feed meal works. The EE pecks the back of my if she thinks I've not gotten to her soon enough and one of the buffs will peck my back pocket to let me know she in the back and hasn't had any yet. The others pretty much stand there till their turn.
     
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:not all EE males are mean. I've had one that was mean, but only became that way after a dog attack. Draco is a sweetie, though. http://i627.photobucket.com/albums/tt354/dainerra/2011-07-2895150928.jpg

    my other EE roos have been neither friendly or mean.

    I'm glad you had a good experience, I just won't have any. Mine started the same way the OP's started, I was just giving a warning. If I didn't have to work so much and could spend a little more time with him,...........Nah he was just evil.
     
  10. HappyPlace

    HappyPlace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two that pecks and that only when I feed meal works. The EE pecks the back of my if she thinks I've not gotten to her soon enough and one of the buffs will peck my back pocket to let me know she in the back and hasn't had any yet. The others pretty much stand there till their turn.

    That's all I usually get from my birds, too, unless I try to touch one that I know doesn't like to be touched and then I pay for it with a quick (but hard) peck on the hand. It's my own fault in that instance and I usually just let them come to me.

    I'm glad you had a good experience, I just won't have any. Mine started the same way the OP's started, I was just giving a warning. If I didn't have to work so much and could spend a little more time with him,...........Nah he was just evil.

    [​IMG] I don't think I have to worry about my birds attacking me. I hope... [​IMG] I just worry about them getting any worse with each other. It's usually worse at treat and feeding time, so I'm adding another feeder and waterer to the coop. I have to anyways when I seperate for the boys. I'm hoping that will lessen the pecking a bit. I still have to figure something out for hiding places...

    I do appreciate any and all advice. I just want to nip a potential problem in the bud before it gets to the point I have to get rid of anyone.​
     

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