Please help! 5 day old chicks are pecking at vents!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marilynmobley, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. marilynmobley

    marilynmobley New Egg

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    Jun 23, 2016
    We have six chicks (two easter eggers, one welsummer, one cuckoo maran, and two black sexlinked). They are being kept in a 24 by 36 inch pen, with plenty of starter feed, fresh water, a comfortable heat lamp, bedding, and some toys to peck at (a glass bottle, some toilet paper rolls, and a feather duster hung on one wall).
    They were all doing just fine together until today, and now one of them won't stop pecking the other chicks in the vents! It's such a shame, because she's my favorite chick. I seperated her in her own box, but she keeps chirping loudly and trying to jump out! I let her back in with the other chicks a couple times to see if she'd learned her lesson, but she immediately makes a beeline to peck them in the rumps, and they scream in pain!!
    How can I get her to stop?! It just breaks my heart! She's not the only one pecking, but the others don't seem to cause any pain to each other.
     
  2. kbky1973

    kbky1973 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok just try this. crumble up some hotdog or ground beef raw. Really !!!! let them peck that, it will stop the pecking!!! They need some minerals from meat. I do this at times to stop this action. Just try this, make sure all has some. This will not hurt them at all . Learned this trick from an old farmer years ago to stop pecking each other.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  3. newmarch2014

    newmarch2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not introduce any food that is not soft and squishy (like yogurt) without first putting grit in with them. Sometimes they just get a fascination with a behavior for awhile. It sounds like your space is pretty small for them which encourages some bad behaviors. If you are using a heat lamp a red one helps to keep pecking down. I personally wouldn't feed myself or my animals raw meat, especially ground up since it has a much higher chance of contamination. Give the chicks things to do, a chick stick, some dirt from the yard to scratch in, a roost to investigate that will keep their minds occupied somewhere else besides each others butt.
     
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  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    x2! Use a red light instead if you've been using white. No raw hamburger! You can lightly spray their vent areas with something like Blue Kote too. And a larger brooder if at all possible. Mary
     
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  5. newmarch2014

    newmarch2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh I forgot, you can punch a few one inch holes in an empty, dry water bottle and fill it with chick feed, it gives them something to do besides easy feeding from the feeder. if you are doing grit you can sprinkle a few dried meal worms through the feed before putting it in and then they have something extra good to try for...but only after you have started grit.
     
  6. marilynmobley

    marilynmobley New Egg

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    UPDATE: I've tried EVERYTHING!! There's dirt in there for them to play with, I put in some golf balls and shiny things, I tried disciplining them like a mother hen would by pecking the naughty birds with a stick when they're being bad, I've tried Blue Kote, they have a red lamp, I tried offering them cooked ground beef and boiled egg yolks.... but she's STILL PECKING!!! It's just breaking my heart!!! She is currently in the Box Of Shame, but I know she's having a terrible time in there! :( Maybe I can try giving them a bigger space...
     
  7. newmarch2014

    newmarch2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The bigger space will very likely help....put a mirror in with the lone chick till you get the bigger space made. Are you using a plastic tote?
     
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  8. newmarch2014

    newmarch2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh and "pecking" them yourself is an at best useless at most dangerous for them idea.
     
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  9. marilynmobley

    marilynmobley New Egg

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    UPDATE #2: I gave them a bigger space... still, that one chick is determined to peck all the others. Will I have to get rid of her? She's everyone's favorite chick... it's such a shame...
     
  10. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]Just keep her separated for a few days, then try to re-integrate.
    And please..... "I tried disciplining them like a mother hen would by pecking the naughty birds with a stick when they're being bad".
    Stop doing that. You are not a mother hen.
    I have never heard of such behavior.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016

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