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My chicks are pecking at me! Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickNalabama, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ChickNalabama

    ChickNalabama Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2013
    Mobile, AL
    I have 3 Rhode Island reds and 3 white pullets (not sure their breed yet). They are 6 weeks this week. The reds have all their feathers and the whites almost all of theirs.

    Ive kept them in a box in the laundry room and take them out in the sun when I can and leave them out as long as I can. I live in Mobile, Alabama so it is warm in the day and about 65 at night here.

    The last few days I've noticed when I give them fresh food and water they peck AT me. Don't actually touch me but I don't like that they aren't a little more friendly toward me. I'm jealous of people that say their hens follow them and sit in their lap and I don't think mine will do that! I don't have children yet, and my dog and husband leave them alone, so nothing is bothering them to my knowledge.

    Are they getting cramped? Can I make them happier by giving them a special snack? And if so what can I give almost 6 week old chicks? Are they just trying to create a dominance thing??

    My dad and I have been building their coop and run over the weekend, so I can leave them out longer. It should be done tonight or tomorrow night.

    Also, the water issue. They make such a mess with the water. I've suspended it and I think they want to sit on it. When its own the ground they make just as big of a mess! Does anyone have a good solution? Will it get better once they are outside? I don't want them walking in mud though.

    Thanks for any comments!
  2. mattsinger

    mattsinger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2013
    Davison, MI
    we had RIRs last time.....cant say they were the most social birds in the world.
  3. Kasey

    Kasey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2013
    Waco, TX
    You can definitely give them treats! I have been giving mine treats since 2 weeks. Get a bag of meal worms for them they will love those. I also give mine dandelions they love those, although I had to pull the flowers apart for them until they realized how to eat them. Just experiment with different things and see what they like.
  4. kidsbme3

    kidsbme3 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    Forsyth County, NC
    I have never raised RIR but I have heard that they are mean birds, especially the roosters. I personally want Orpingtons, heard they were very sweet birds
  5. tinah

    tinah Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2013
    Do you wear nail polish?
  6. SonShine

    SonShine Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2013
    Rochester, WA
    I have 2 RIR's that are 1.5 weeks old, got them when they were 2 days old. Freckles loves to jump up on my hand when I reach in for her, Honey has not quite taken to that as well yet. Some of my chicks peck lightly at my hands or arms... I think they are "taking care of specks on me that they think are bugs, like they do themselves. I look at it as a loving thing, not a mean thing.


  7. ChickNalabama

    ChickNalabama Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2013
    Mobile, AL
    I do wear polish but I haven't over the past week or so.
  8. ChickNalabama

    ChickNalabama Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2013
    Mobile, AL
    Aww. That's what mine looked like when I brought them home! Now there's no more fuzz on them!

    they were friendly, and still are for the most part. My white ones are the ones pecking at me. RIR flutter about, and I find them perched on the side of the box.

    I have 3 little bantams too. They're about 3 weeks old now. And they peck at me too! That's why I wondered if it was because of space confinement. I hold the little ones more often ill admit because they're still fluffy!

    This is my first time and I don't want to do anything wrong or end up regretting diving head first into taking care of so many chicks!
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 7, 2012
    I hand feed treats, and withdraw my hand when they get agressive with their beaks. So far, this 2 batches of chicks are the most gentle birds I've ever had. (2RIR, 3 BSL (3 of which are roosters) + 4 weeks old and 3Dom, 3 Araucanas 2 weeks old. They will peck at any disparity of skin color, buttons, skin wrinkles... they are birds... that's what birds do! If they are truly rough, I "trill" at them. That's the universal "danger" sign in chicken language. They scatter, freeze and hunker down. Then I reassure them until they start their usual wanderings, and resume hand feeding. I also think it's a good idea for them to be used to a human "trill". It may save their hides some day when you're out with them and you spot a hawk.
  10. ChickNalabama

    ChickNalabama Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2013
    Mobile, AL
    Thanks for that advice!

    I know that it's normal for them to peck, but I guess I wanted them to be a little more friendly. I'll start to hand feed a little and give treats too!

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