Mean chick, we've tried everything


14 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Southwest Missouri
Ok, so we have a Welsummer pullet chick about 3 weeks old. She has 11 broodmates, same age plus 3 younger ones.

A couple days ago she started picking feathers from the breasts of the 4 Speckled Sussex chicks (they are the same age as her). She would not quit & had them all slightly bloodied. We separated her day before yesterday, first in her own box with feed and water, and then in a section of the brooder with a screen to see the others through.

Tonight, we let her out for a few minutes to see if she would be any better. She immediately ran to one and then the other of the SS chicks and started pulling out feathers again. Got several of mouthfuls of Furazone for her trouble, but didn't seem to care. Then started grabbing feathers from another chick.

She is back in isolation.

Let's see, we have increased the protein for all by switching temporarily from regular chick starter to a gamebird starter. Space, the total floorspace is about 4x4 or a bit more in two different sections, with several roosts to play on, plenty of shavings, fresh food & water 24/7, a red heat lamp, cool areas, warm areas. The room is dark at night other than the lamp.

No other chicks are doing this; the others don't bother the SS chicks even though they have sores from where she has been at them.

Any other ideas, you guys?

I really wanted some Welsummer eggies later this summer...

Thanks, sorry this is so long.
All the things your are doing is what I've seen suggested ( red lamp, more protein, separation) not sure what else to do either. I had one that was meaner like that when they were almost ready to join my adult flock. It was taken care of then as she became low bird and had to run from my older hens. I must say I didnt feel sorry for her and it was worked out after a day or two but that's a long way off for you. Good luck, maybe someone will have a good suggestion.

We had a "terrorist" chick as well...he was so bad, the kids named him Osama Bin Laden. We put him in an isolation pen within the brooder - he could see all of the other chicks...and if they got too close he'd even peck them through the wires...He pecked at himself in the mirror... and every time we let him out there was a mad dash to attack as many chicks as possible. After a week of isolation, he finally calmed down...when we let him out, he attempted to terrorize a couple more - they gave him a confident counterpeck, and he was done. Calm chick.
Hope yours has a happy least for you and the other chicks!
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Thanks you guys, more time in the isolation area it is then. I'm glad to know that sometimes they do reform with a bit more time.

Can't put her in the freezer yet, she'd be about 2 bites. But she will be culled in the end if necessary.

If anybody else sees this, let me know if you have an opinion about whether separating her outside the brooder will cause her to lose more status/lose status faster than being inside it, but separated. I'm leaving her in the inside isolation cage for now.

Thanks all!

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