Need help with toe pecking chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by babsh, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    i posted this in the baby chick forum and am going to try here as well, as I am getting a bit desperate.

    I have 4 standard, 2 week old chicks that i have been trying to integrate with 12, 1 week old bantam chicks (silkies and sebrights). I was worried the 'big' girls would be mean to the little chicks but i have the opposite problem. When i bring all of the chicks together, they mercilessly peck at the big girls' feet. I thought maybe it was because they outnumbered them, so i tried just putting one in with the standards to see what would happen- that one sebright chased the 4 girls around mercilessly. They kept hopping up on their waterer and branch trying to get away. They do not fight back at all.

    I would love some ideas! i am sick of having to have separate set-ups for all of my chicks (I also have a 3.5 week old standard that is in it's own box as well). The chicks are all in one big box, but separated by wire until i can figure out how to get them to "all just get along". the sebrights are the worst culprits. They are literally half the size of the others, but it doesn't deter them.

    Barb, total newbie
     
  2. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    I had a sebright and he was an obnoxious spastic little thing even as a chick he earned the name "Skitz".

    I think as long as they aren't drawing blood they are just establishing a pecking order(who's the boss and who's not). It's natural for them to establish order, even at this age. I wouldn't seperate them unless blood was being drawn. You could also try putting halves of apples in the brooder as a toy/treat, that way the peck at the apples instead of each other. A day-care without toys very easily leads to boredom and boredom leads to destructive behaviors, it happens with almost all animals.

    Make sure there is ample room and feed. If you provide treats you will need to provide chick grit. Large treats like apples should keep them occupied, I've also heard of hanging mirrors or just shiny things in general. After they become use to eating the apples, try hanging the apples to make the game a little more challenging and time consuming.

    I hope you can simplify your troubles and I hope I've been a help.

    (P.S- I think posting the same problem on multiple boards is frowned-upon by the Moderators. Just a head's up.)

    -Kim
     
  3. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Thank you!!

    I have really been struggling to get an answer on this and keep coming up empty-handed. You have given me some ideas to try. I am getting a bigger box tonite, will add some things for boredom and give them a little time to 'work it out'. i just feel so bad for the 'big girls' cuz they don't fight back at all! And the sebrights are persistent.

    Barb

    p.s. and thanks, i had a feeling it might be bad netiquette to post on two forums which is why i mentioned it- i figured someone would set me straight.
     
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2008
    Glad I could help! Welcome to BYC!

    -Kim
     
  5. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
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    One more big Thank You.

    I put in some toys, reduced the number of chicks (I think they were crowded) and just simply gave them a little time to adjust without jumping in and interfering.

    It didn't take long at all and they are all coexisting happily.

    barb
     

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