Problem with new Barred Rock chicks


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 17, 2011
Cape Cod
Hi there,

We have had 2 buff orpington chicks for 1 week and they have been doing great. They have doubled in size in there first week. Today we brought home 2 barred rock chicks that are half the size of the buff orpingtons. As expected, for the 1st 5-10 minutes, the buff orpingtons pecked at them, then things settled down for a few hours. They were eating and drinking together with no problems. Then the all of a sudden, the barred rock chicks went on the offensive. One a little more then the other, but both were aggressively pecking at the eyes of the buff orpington chicks to the point that we said enough is enough and we put a divider in the brooder. So now we have them separated, but don't know what our next step should be. Is it common of smaller chicks to go after ones twice their size that aggressively? How long should we keep them sepatated for?

I don't have your answer, but just wanted to say that our BR chick is the most aggressive one of the three, we have a BO and a RIR as well. The BR, from the beginning, has stomped all over and pecked at the other two. It made me worry that maybe she's a he, but at 5 weeks old, I'm thinking it's still a pullet.
You could try to snip the tips of there beaks with nail clippers or use the pine tar method,they hate the taste and will eventually stop pecking.

We have been having trouble regulating the temperature all afternoon with the divider in. The temperature for the barred rocks seemed ok, but the buff orpingtons were looking stressed. I have taken the divider out, but now have feeders and waterers at each end. I have also installed a piece of 1" x 2" pine board on end from front to back that the orpingtons seem to be able to jump up on to get away from the attack. It definately seems that one of the BR's is much more aggressive then the other......has me wondering if she might be a he??? Thinking of leaving this arrangement until morning.....just affraid of what I might wake to find.

Just an update to our barred rock chick situation. After watching the 1 very aggressive chick constantly attack the buff orpington chicks and the other barred rock chick for a day, we had had enough. We returned her to the feed and grain store and exchanged her for another. There was an instant change in the brooder when we brought the new one home. It has been over 24 hours now and all 4 are getting along fine.

Glad it worked out! How about some photos of the babies all getting along?
I will post pictures as soon as I have the ability to. I don't think I have enough posts yet to post pictures.
Wow! That is amazing. We have three Barred Rocks and 3 RIRs and the rocks have always been as docile as could be. Two of the rocks appear to be rising up as #1 and #2 in the pecking order but not violently so. A little chest bumping and posturing, every now and then they jump on each other's back but nothing big at all.
I'm glad it worked out.

MY BR was actually the one picked on so I'm not sure it's a breed thing. (We had two at the time and both were picked on. We lost one later.)

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