Lesson learned

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crooked stripe, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    Before I ordered my chicks I did a lot of reading on breeds, size and space. I also checked out on straight run, roos and hens. I decided on straight run for the reason of having roos to butcher when time, and hens for egg laying. I love fresh eggs and eat many. I picked buff orps and black australorps for the tameness, friendliness and weather hardiness. When the chicks arrived everything went fine. Now that they are 4 weeks old the fighting has started. Roos picking on others to the point of drawing blood. I built a second 4'x4' brooder and separated them in half. I guess I should mention I ordered 15 total. 1 died so 14 is the current number. 7 per brooder and still fighting. I have had to separate 4 roos to keep law and order in the flock. I have spent more time separating the bloody ones, roos and the bunch that seem to just be happy to get along not counting the money and time I have spent separating them . I read many posts and never one that states the problems I am having. This can't be true of everyone raising a small flock can it? Just seems a lot more work than I bargained for. John
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I don't have much wisdom for you - I just raised up a bunch of roos together and they didn't start really sparring like that until recently (around 10 wks) and they are now outside so the less dominate one can get away quickly to reduce the severity of the fights, so there's no bloodshed.

    Maybe it's the breed? Hopefully someone else can shed some light on this for you.
  3. mountain man

    mountain man In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2008
    i never have had a problem until there a couple of months old but then its not that bad maybe its the line of stock they come from
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Mine are 9 weeks old and they spar all the time. I may see a scraped beak or toe on occasion, but the fighting really is more posturing than anything else. There are 20 chicks in a 5x8 space and 13 of those are boys. It helps that they get to go outside on warmer days and they wear themselves out playing and dustbathing, etc, so when they have to be put up at night, they are tuckered out.
  5. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I have heard others suggest trying to distract them. You could use some cardboard toilet paper rolls or I have heard someone suggest a head of lettuce??? on a string hung up in their pen. Just a thought.
  6. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Quote:your problem may be you're not letting them finish it out. they need to figure out their pecking order and if you keep interrupting them, they may be constantly trying to figure out who's the top guy and having to spur. but i understand, you don't want them killing each other.

    but personally, i have straight runs all the time and have never had them fight like that. i keep 20 chicks as day olds in a plastic 100 gal tub and at two weeks, separate them in half. at about 4 weeks i start letting them touch the ground. and keep them in a 2 foot by 4 foot cage.

    sometimes it's just one guy that's causing all the trouble and you just need to give him a time out.

    just a thought.
  7. mhoward92

    mhoward92 Songster

    Oct 5, 2007
    Yup the males will fight. Next time you see it just watch it dont break it up yet. because blue has a point. the reason they spar is to see who the big guy is. if you break it up they are saying "NEXT TIME ILL GET YOU!!" so they do it again and again. but let them fight next time you notice it. see which one is causing the problem and seperate him for a little. see what happens. if it keeps occuring i would just let it be. thats their nature. if you live in a warmer climate let them run around a while outside and ware them out. if you live in a cold area then inclose an area (big as you can) and let them romp around. Hopefully the severity of this calms.

    --And i hope this helps some
  8. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Maybe you need more room in your brooders. Even adult chickens in too close quarters will pick on each other to the point of drawing blood.
  9. banter

    banter Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    I am not an expert by any means, but I've always given my chicks fresh food. I know there is a lot of controversy on this subject, however Ive never lost a chick or had cannibalism either. I give small amounts of very finely chopped spinach, chives, chard , kale, shredded carrots, apple and soaked oatmeal. Be sure to wash all veggies!
    . If hatched in the right season, I give them SMALL or chopped worms (they can choke the greedy little buggers) when there at least 5 days old. I think this might keep them occupied. Do you handle them? I think a little handling is a good thing as long as they don't get chilled.
    I've also had mine in the house at first and they get new sounds, new sights etc.....
    I think you'll do fine i you give it time!

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