Pecking Order in 2 week old chicks: What is Normal behavior?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BarredChicks, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. BarredChicks

    BarredChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Greetings! My 2 week old BR's are pecking at each other and I found a couple that seem to be losing thier top feathers...it scared me so I moved them to another side of our box with a screen to keep them from what I percieved to be unhealthy pecking.

    I actually found one chick, lying in the pine shavings letting another one peck it. The little one screeched out but didn't leave the pine shavings...it acted like it had to "take it" from the other chick... it was so sad and the top feathers are gone...

    What is normal pecking order behavior and what is not?

    I am a new Momma to 15 BR's and I want them to have a great life with us!
    Thanks so much![​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I agree that they are being a little too aggressive in their pecking. Do you have them under a white heat lamp? Red bulbs tend to calm over-stimulated chicks.
    Also, make sure they are not too warm which can lead to irritability.
     
  3. BarredChicks

    BarredChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    They are under a white light but just today I bought a red one in hopes it will calm them some.

    Is it normal that some chicks are very obviously dominant while others are very relaxed and passive?

    Out of 15 chicks I have about 7 very dominant strong behavior chicks I feel like I have to keep an eye on? Am I just hyper-sensitive??
     
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Maybe they need more room so the underlings can get further away??
     
  5. BarredChicks

    BarredChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    That might be the case and for now they are inside my basement (until we can move them) and if I separate them out there will be 2 brooders essentially. I can't expand the space they are in so I have to divide them up.

    Doyou think it will be a problem when the group is reintroduced to each other?

    I wish we had just gotten 5 little chicks instead of15!! Because I am totally a novice!
     
  6. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. It sounds like they might need a little more room/cover to run from the alphas'. I've noticed in my little experience that yes, there are obvious roles in the pecking order. However, there is a line that crosses usual and unusual behavior. Your chicks sound a little unusual. When the pecking order is in actual order....I've noticed very little pecking. Good luck!
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The usual 95-100 for the first week is simply too hot for some chicks, IMHO. Be sure they can move far enough away from the heat to find their own comfortable temp. Too much heat can make them lethargic, or it can make them aggressive.

    Give them plenty of space!

    It would be better if you could leave them together. A fridge box from the local furniture store, or some similar thing, would allow them to remain together. If you separate and reintroduce, they will have to start all over with choosing who is highest in the pecking order.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I agree with ddawn. Seperate them now and you'll have pecking order issues to deal with all over again when you re-introduce. Red heat lamp bulb and more space would be better solutions.
     
  9. BarredChicks

    BarredChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Great advice, I will try it out!
     

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