Pecking issue

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NevadaRon, May 28, 2010.

  1. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
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    I have 10 pullets, about 4 weeks old. 4 Rhode Island Reds, 4 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Black Sex Links. One of the Rhode Islands has started chasing the others around and pecking at them. I have them in a 100 gallon galvanized water tank - it's 4 feet long by 2 feet wide by 2 feet high. According to Storey's, floor space requirements for chicks 0-10 weeks are 0.8-1.0 sq. ft. per bird, so I should have enough space. They are fed Purina Start and Grow, non-medicated. Fresh water is given daily. The bully doesn't seem to be injuring the others, though the victims do squawk loudly. What should I do? Should I be giving them treats like I've read about in the forum here (I didn't know that was possible at this age)? What should I give them? Thanks!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Welcome to BYC!
    Do you still have your chicks under a heat lamp? If so, you may want to switch to a red bulb as it tends to lessen pecking issues.
    Good treats to start with are chopped hard boiled egg and plain yogurt.
    My guess is that they are getting bored and restless in their brooder, even if it is spacious enough.
    If the weather allows it, I would be taking them outside for some fresh air, sunshine and play.

    ETA: Some pecking is normal and to be expected. They have to set up a pecking order.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  3. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks Kat! And thank you for helping [​IMG]

    Quote:I do have a heat lamp - a red 250 watt. It's been warming up here lately, though (well sort of [​IMG]), so I haven't been using it as much.

    Quote:Thanks - I'll hard boil an egg tonight and give it to them in the AM!

    Quote:The weather has not been great here (N. Nevada) lately but it is supposed to start getting better this weekend. Should I just take there whole brooder out? You're not suggesting I let them run wild at this age, are you?

    Quote:I figured that is the case - and this one Red has established herself as the "alpha". It's just that she seems to be upsetting the others more in the past day or so.

    - Ron
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2010
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I let mine run loose in the fenced yard with constant supervision, but at the beginning it was a hassle to wrangle up chicks. Better to take the whole brooder outside or rig up a little pen for them outside.
    At four weeks old, they can be going out regularly on any day that isn't too cold (below 70 or so), that's dry and not windy.
    You'll have to be their surrogate mama hen at first. If they start bunching up and peeping loudly, they're cold and ready to go back under their heat lamp.
    I suspect that your chicks are going to adore being outside and the aggressive one will be too busy running around to cause much trouble.

    A note about treats. They're afraid (okay, chicken) of treats at first. You'll have to leave the treat in with them awhile so they can work up the nerve to try em.

    ETA: With treats they'll need grit. I didn't offer grit for egg and yogurt, but some folks do. If you have a place on your property where you can scoop up a pile of dirt mixed with small pebbles that works fine as a first grit. Chick grit is also sold commercially or if all else fails you can buy parakeet grit at walmart and offer that - just make sure it's the kind without added calcium.

    Good luck to you. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010

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