? My bigger chick is pecking smaller one, what to do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mvktr2, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. mvktr2

    mvktr2 Out Of The Brooder

    Like the title says, my largest chick is a bit of a bully. It's pecking on the smaller one so much so that I've got them separated. This can obviously not be a permanent solution so what to do. It would be no big deal if it was just pecking at the toes or an occasional feather, but it keeps pecking at the other one's eye. I only have 2 chicks, wish it was more, I'd feel better about the 'flock dynamics' offering some shelter from bullying. The other little fella pecks back, has even got the bigger one in the eye, but it's clear who is boss. So they're separated for now, on in a shoe box in the brooder, one not. I have a 3rd chick in the incubator which will eventually help I'm sure, but he'll be even weaker and slower than the others for now. So what should I do?

    Your help is appreciated,
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have a cat carrier or suitable animal cage? Confine the bully in it and place the brooder in with the victim. Place it so it is warm but so the heat lamp is not a fire hazard. Put bedding in it. Keep the bully in the cage with its own food and water for several hours, and any time you see bullying, plop him in there. Bullies are sometimes insecure and defend themselves in vicious ways. You need to teach him that this behavior earns confinement. It also gives the victim time to heal and for you to treat any wounds.

    You see when you have only a few, they have only each other for amusement. It's a mini-flock and no place to dodge and hide among the others. How big is your brooder?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  3. mvktr2

    mvktr2 Out Of The Brooder

    The brooder is about 40" long by 36" wide, quite large for 2 soon to be 3 chickens! No animal carriers here, but I've got options, clothes baskets, wire, etc. The idea of behavior modification techniques in rather interesting considering the age and make-up of a chicken.

  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    If all else fails, you may have to trim it's beak back. Not too hard they say. Just use a pair of wirecutters.
  5. mvktr2

    mvktr2 Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:The problem with this is that the beak blunted or not will still take out the eye of the other chicks. I'm thinking of setting up wire separators and letting the chicks get used to one another this way! I may lower the light intensity so they have to huddle, forcing bonding... options!

  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Switching to a red light may have anti-peck benefits...and making a tiny cade of hardware cloth or getting a mouse cage

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