Newly Aggressive 4-week Old Chick

fulla03

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
5
13
27
We have a four week old chick who we recently discovered is very aggressive toward another chick of the same breed. (I'm not sure of the breed at the moment - we're new to baby chicks and they weren't sent to us with breed info so it's a guessing game until they're older.) The "victim" pullet was clearly scared as she was cowering and hiding from the aggressive pullet who would charge and peck at her repeatedly. It was causing quite a commotion in their living quarters, which is what prompted us to look and see what was going on. We immediately removed the aggressive chick and separated her from the rest of the flock.

We thought that the *very large* box the chicks are living in at the moment (19 total) was not big enough any more so we split the flock up into two groups with the intent to rotate them to keep them used to each other but still have adequate space. We've had a very challenging time getting them comfortable with us picking them up so we thought it would also be a great opportunity for us to spend more one on one time with them.

The aggressive chick has been separated for two days now. We attempted to integrate her into the small group that had the original victim pullet and after setting her down into the group, she immediately went for her again. We have no idea what to do at this point other than continuing to keep her separated and attempt integration every couple days until she adjusts her behavior. We're open to any thoughts or suggestions on how to handle this. And, if separating the flock to give them more space was a bad idea, please let me know. We want them to be happy chicks!
 

Folly's place

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Welcome!
At four weeks, they should have a lot of room, and be out in the coop and run, with some supplemental heat in one corner of the coop. Having space, and areas where birds can be out of sight of each other, and more then one feeder and waterer, all make a difference.
Separating the bully for a few days or a week might help too. Is it a cockerel? Sometimes a pullet will behave badly too, but cockerels are a bit more likely to behave this way.
Is the victim sick or injured?
How about posting some pictures?
Mary
 
May 25, 2020
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Separating them wasn’t a bad idea, as long as you’re making sure that you’re switching them very frequently so they all get to know each other. As for the aggressive pullet every flock has an aggressive chicken and once they get older she might not be as bad- though if she gets worse you might even need to sell her
 

azygous

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Usually, this type of aggression is more common in week-old chicks and is transitory and easily disciplined to mitigate it. When an older baby chick behaves this way, it's usually due to temperament. I culled a young cockerel of five weeks a year ago when I observed this behavior.

Here on BYC, over the years, there have been people who had success disciplining this behavior by putting the older chick in with older chickens who in turn disciplined it. Then they returned the subdued chick to its peers and all was well. You could try this if you have any older chickens. It might work for you. Or you might consider culling.

A note to any folks with an unruly week-old chick, this will only get a very young chick killed or seriously injured. Do not try this unless the chick is four weeks or older.
 

CRCL

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
19
45
33
Usually, this type of aggression is more common in week-old chicks and is transitory and easily disciplined to mitigate it. When an older baby chick behaves this way, it's usually due to temperament. I culled a young cockerel of five weeks a year ago when I observed this behavior.

Here on BYC, over the years, there have been people who had success disciplining this behavior by putting the older chick in with older chickens who in turn disciplined it. Then they returned the subdued chick to its peers and all was well. You could try this if you have any older chickens. It might work for you. Or you might consider culling.

A note to any folks with an unruly week-old chick, this will only get a very young chick killed or seriously injured. Do not try this unless the chick is four weeks or older.
I have a very mild Australorp who is shunned at 3 weeks. I went and bought 4 more chicks and moved her to a separate enclosure with them. 2 are Cochins and 2 are Rhode Island whites. So far, so good.
 

fulla03

In the Brooder
May 26, 2020
5
13
27
Welcome!
At four weeks, they should have a lot of room, and be out in the coop and run, with some supplemental heat in one corner of the coop. Having space, and areas where birds can be out of sight of each other, and more then one feeder and waterer, all make a difference.
Separating the bully for a few days or a week might help too. Is it a cockerel? Sometimes a pullet will behave badly too, but cockerels are a bit more likely to behave this way.
Is the victim sick or injured?
How about posting some pictures?
Mary

These are the three we have of the same breed.
#1 was still in quarantine today. The moment I put #1 in this box tonight to try and integrate again, #2 ran and hid behind other chicks and wouldn’t come out. #1 kept trying to escape and fly out of the box and #3 started to attack and peck at #1’s eyes! Do we have two bully’s in the bunch now? #3 would not let up so I had to remove her. The others seem to be okay right now together.
Anyone know what kind of breed they are? They were from a colored egg layer bunch - all female.
04F38479-BCA3-454B-8FD0-54504FBC5187.jpeg

C53D20F6-0F35-44FB-BEE7-265F5EB23A5E.jpeg
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Please show the whole enclosure...am betting crowding is a factor even tho you split the 19 into separate brooders
What about heat, are they still on heat?
 

MANNA-PRO

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