I think I've just made a huge mistake...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Captain Awesome, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2011
    So today I bought 3 Blue Andalusians (4 weeks old) and 3 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes (1 week old). The Andalusians are three times the size of the Wyandottes but I put them in the same 4x4 area hoping they would get along and they did! That is until I decided that they needed a little treat. I couldn't help it! I need their love and approval!

    Here's my mistake...

    I gathered up about 30 mealworms from my little "farm" and put them on a paper plate in the middle of the chicks. It took the Andalusians a minute to realize they were food and then all three started gobbling the mealworms up really quickly. The Wyandottes were just too young to realize what was going on to participate in the feeding frenzy but a couple of them tried. The poor little Wyandottes got trampled for their curiosity.

    Now a couple of the Andalusians are pecking at the little Wyandottes toes! I didn't realize that little chick's toes look exactly like mealworms! If I go out to the garage tomorrow morning and find a bunch of chicks trying to walk on stumps instead of feet I'm going to feel really terrible!
  2. FiveHens

    FiveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Chickens may be dumb clucks, but I doubt they're as dumb as all that. Unless you think the older chicks are intentionally picking on the younger ones, I doubt they mistake them for worms. Our chicks peck at each others' feet as a matter of course, I have no idea why...anyway, if they keep being bullies, you should probably separate them again. You could also throw in some non-mealworm snacks just to distract them a bit, maybe scattered around the brooder so your little ones can find them at their own rate. Hope it helps [​IMG]
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It's normal for them to peck at toes. My day old chicks do it to each other. It's their curiosity about new things and they investigate by pecking at it. Nobody gets hurt.
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Mine do it too. They peck each other's eyes even more often, and that makes me cringe :gig
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Feeding is the most stressful environment you can put the kids under together!!! I would just for the future feed the kids by hand and throw the meal worms to individual chics to eat until they get big enough to compete with the bigger girls for food in a heated feeding frenzy. That way you control the situation instead of the birds hurting each other while feeding in a heated drop the food down and let em go at it. In a month or 2 there is a situation that is so different than today the pecking order will be established and there will not be the same birds or stage. Best of luck and [​IMG]
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    I'm sure they'll be fine. Next time you feed a treat put the babies in a box of tote and feed them their treat and feed the big guys their treat in the brooder.
  7. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2011
    Good ideas! Thanks!

    Everything turned out all right. Nobody lost toes or anything. I was a bit concerned because I hadn't noticed that behavior from my first batch of Golden Comet chicks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by