New chicks pecking each other a lot, what to do??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kristenm1975, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I've got five chicks in a large plastic tote (36"L x 12"W), a 250 watt red lamp on them at about the level of two feet above the rim of the tote, chick feed put out on the paper towels they're walking on, lengths of ribbon hanging from a line above them for them to peck at, water out with electrolytes in it...I can't think of anything else they need. Can anyone tell me why they might be pecking each other so much?

  2. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    How old are the chicks? If they are only a week or two old this would be plenty of space.It they are more like 5 week old or older it may not be enough space.

    I would not recommend having ribbon in the brooder. If they manage to break off a piece and swallow it, it will be very difficult for them to digest. I think it could potentially kill them. A 2' x 2" roost a couple of inches off the floor is a great addition.

    If you can post the page of the chicks it will make it easier for people to post ideas.
  3. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Whoops! Forgot to tell how old they are! They are two to three days old at most. Two of them are Silkies, one is a White Leghorn, one is a Welsummer, one is a Sicillian Buttercup. Good note on the ribbon. Will switch for something else. I will add a low roost instead.

    I'm not sure what you mean about posting a page of them, so it will be easier for people to respond. Do you mean a picture?

  4. FarmerMyers

    FarmerMyers New Egg

    Mar 7, 2012
    We have 12 laying hens. Bought them all at the same time 3/05/12. 6 are Red sex links, 3 are "red Leghorns," and 3 are black Austrolops. We also bought 6 cornish-rock hens at the same time.

    I had all 12 laying hens in a brooder together for two weeks, and the 6 meat birds in a brooder together for 6 weeks - then we put them all into a 10'X12' coop a week ago today. They did fine until this Friday evening when the laying hens started pecking at the meat birds. So I put wire up down the middle of the coop and separated the meat birds from the laying hens. That was fine for Saturday, but now Sunday morning the laying hens are pecking at one another. 3 or 4 of the red sex links have bleeding tails and one has had all of its tail feathers pecked off.

    I feel like they have plenty of space. They have plenty of food, 3 waterers. I don't know why they keep pecking at one another. This seems to be going beyond the normal pecking order and dominancy behavior. I am new to chickens so I have no idea??

    Any insight, advice, solutions?? This is very frustrating and I would like to resolve. I can't keep separating them out.
  5. StevieNay

    StevieNay Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2012
    Do you have food in a container? Maybe they aren't getting enough food?

    Also, you should watch and see if it might be mainly an instigator. We had a bully that would peck till the others bled, then the bleeding chick became a target to all.

    Hope they aren't pecking to bleeding, and that you can get it resolved. Our pecking chick made raising chicks stressful!
  6. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    heat lamp 2 ft above the tote? do you have a thermometer in there? whats the temp reading? (Just curious)
  7. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    We have 4 nine day old chicks in a big plastic tote...fresh food and water available at all times, heat range about 87-89 degrees but I have 1 that pecks at all the others feet. I haven't noticed sores or bleeding but wondered how to stop it before it gets to that point. Any ideas/tips?
  8. make sure they have easy access to water and food at all times. try and put in a large solid shiny object like a CD or a mirror or even large marbles to keep them distracted
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  9. henrunner

    henrunner New Egg

    Jan 13, 2015
    [​IMG]I too have bought 2 baby chick's yesterday one pecks at the other so I separated them I have tried putting them together & it goes on again one is bigger but she won't peck back at the smaller one I just don't understand, I'll try the CD idea. they are only day's old. PlZ help me. I just tried CD it doesnt work for me
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies

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