Pecking Order Behavior? Is this "OK"?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PamB, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    My chicks are about 8 weeks old and have always been together. They've recently started to "challenge" eachother by getting face to face and stretching their necks out, chest bumping, and kicking their feet forward at eachother. One chick does it much more than any of the others. He (I'm assuming because he is so fresh... [​IMG]) is also pecking at the others. Usually one quick peck and the chick he is pecking sorta yells at him, and he backs off. I'm worried because he is the only one that actually pecks at the others. Is this normal? Is it okay as long as it is only a quick peck and he isn't pulling feathers or drawing blood?

    I appreciate your help! Thanks!
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yup, that's establishing pecking order behavior. It's far more painful for owners than it is for the chickens themselves..... After all, "Sticks & Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!" taunts are not quite articulated through beaks very well. So they have to fluff up their neck feathers, bump chests, and peck to work out who will be Top Chicken and all the rungs lower on that ladder.

    As long as no blood is drawn, it's nothing to worry about. It just makes us cringe observing it.
     
  3. chicksbestfriend

    chicksbestfriend Chillin' With My Peeps

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    claiming their spot in the pecking order is what they naturally do, as long as no feathers are being plucked and there is no blood, a little bit of pecking is okay to find their place in the flock. At this point, doesnt sound like much of a problem as both of them are backing down to each other. If the one is continually harrassing the one chick, and only that one, I would consider removing the one that is being pecked at until it is stronger and healthier as they do go after the weakest link. If the one doing the pecking is pecking on all the others, I would remove that one for a day or two then reintroduce it back into the flock, as it will return less aggressive towards the others. I have used both methods and seem to have worked because the pecking stops.
     
  4. Rooster Cogburn

    Rooster Cogburn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two, two week old EEs out of the six already doing that. My guess is they're cockerels. Time will tell.
     
  5. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So long as no one is getting hurt, I wouldn't worry. It sounds normal to me.
     
  6. Jasmine1998

    Jasmine1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think that is really any indication that they are roosters. Now that they are old enought that I am 100% sure on the sex, looking back I have to say that it was my hens that chest bumped all the time...my roos just stood by & watched. My most agressive chick ended up being a hen.
     
  7. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Thanks for your replies! I guess I'll just let them be unless he/she really hurts one of the others. If that happens, I'll separate him/her for a day or so. It makes me feel better to know that it is normal behavior. Thank you, again!!
     
  8. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have a really weird pecking order. Maisie pecks Carmen, who pecks Roz, who pecks Maisie. Everyone pecks Ginger, but she has started standing up for herself. Of course, the whole thing is being thrown for a loop since I've had to isolate Roz since her bald eagle attack. Who knows what will happen when I put her back.
     

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