Pecking??

abgraves69

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 6, 2014
129
11
73
FL
Ok, so, I'm raising my very first chicks and I have 2 that are 2 and 3 days old. Well, until now, the younger one has been huddling under the older one and definitely trying to find comfort in the older one. well, today, all of a sudden, the younger one has started pecking at the older one. Of course it doesn't hurt, but it's so small, but is this normal? Are they establishing a pecking order. Will it stop?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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Pecking is normal but sometimes more frequent if the space is too small and they get bored. Give them some things to walk around and peck at.
For the first few days, I keep them on paper towels and sprinkle the feed and chick grit on the paper towels. Grit isn't essential if only giving starter feed but helps the gizzard develop.


Pecking order is part of flock life and never stops.
 
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ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,826
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St. Louis, MO
Maybe a mirror, feather duster, a tender leaf of clover, lettuce, carrot top, etc.. Or a small piece of fruit. It isn't necessary to give anything other than starter feed at this point and the things I mentioned are just to give them something to do. If they were outside with a hen, they'd be pecking at greenery and scratching up seeds.

See my edit in the last post about grit. It is necessary if they eat anything other than crumbles and I give it to all chickens.
The #1 chick grit is good up to about 4 weeks.
http://www.tccmaterials.com/pdf/CSgritinfo.pdf
Feed stores will have it by the pound or in small bags.
I raise a lot of chickens so buy #1,2 and 3 in 50 pound bags. It lasts a long time.
 

abgraves69

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 6, 2014
129
11
73
FL
Thank you, I do have grit in the brooding box for them, and I will ad in a safety mirror and some greenery. This helps a lot. Thanks again.
 

abgraves69

Chirping
5 Years
Oct 6, 2014
129
11
73
FL
I do actually have a red light, because when I did my research, it said it was the best for them. He really doesn't seem aggressive. Just curious. So I will try the "toys" and greens.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,826
27,260
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St. Louis, MO
A lot of people use glass infrared heat lamps throughout brooding. I did the same years ago. I now make sure the chicks have a dark period after the first 3 days. I keep the light on the first days so they can get food and water 24 hrs. a day.
For heat, I use ceramic heat emitters. They're a little more efficient since they don't produce light. They can break but not as messy as a glass lamp does if it breaks.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/360797200760?lpid=82
If they're out in the brooder house, I just go with hemeral natural light. If they're indoors, I usually use a CFL for their light period. If there's too much aggressiveness, I switch to a blue light.
I shoot for 8 hours of dark each night indoors.
 
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