Racist chicks!? Advice?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by angelicflamesva, May 29, 2012.

  1. angelicflamesva

    angelicflamesva In the Brooder

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    May 3, 2012
    Oregon
    Here is the story, we got our first batch of 8 chicks from Meyer Hatchery on Monday and our second batch of 24 (what was supposed to be 16, but they threw in some extras) from Chicken Scratch Poultry on Wednesday. They were all alive & healthy & once we got them into their brooder with food & water, they all seemed happy. On Thursday we noticed a problem...all the different breeds we got are darker in colors except the 5 Light Sussex, they are pure bright yellow...we noticed that all the other chicks are picking on them, literally! They were pecking at their eyes (pulling the lids out!) and ganging up on them...on just the yellows! So, we separated them and put the Sussex's in a clear tote where they can still see all the others but are not getting bullied. None of the others are behaving this way to any of the others but the yellows keep trying to fly at the wall of the tote & watch the others all the time like they want to be in there with them. My step mom says to clip all their beaks with fingernail clippers but I just can't bare to do that to them. Does anyone have any other suggestions or know when it will be a good time to try to re-introduce them to the rest of the flock?
    We talked to a farmer that said it was normal for a larger number of chicks who are similar in appearance to pick on the minority color...are chicks seriously racist, or could it be something else?

    Here is a pic of them all together on their first day...[​IMG]
    As you can see, there are many other breeds/colors...so why are they ALL only picking on the yellows?!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  2. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Songster

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    Aug 17, 2011
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    I have seen it happen before and I jus keep them separate for a while and reintroduce in a few days and keep doing it until they stop.
     
  3. crazychickenwom

    crazychickenwom Chirping

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Central Ohio
    Mine did that too, I had 1 yellow one and 6 red ones. Eventually they stopped for a while, but now they are back at it. My now white hen is on the bottom of the chicken ladder and the 6 red ones are all on top... I have decided to move my Bertha into the coop with the Cornish X until my other set of chicks grows up. Bertha was a rescued chicken and I feel bad about having to put her in with the meats, but at least she is happier now! She will soon be able to be in with the 13 babies, they are about 4 weeks old now and are almost fully feathered.

    Good luck with your babies!
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

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    it's actually a natural survival instinct. In a flock of birds (or any animal), an individual that is radically different is going to attract predators. So, the instinct is to drive away the birds that stand out.
    Remember the old saying "birds of a feather flock together"?

    Think of a herd of zebras. The stripes are there to confuse the predators and to raise the chances of survival. Now think if an albino zebra was born. The stark difference would be like a neon sign for predators who are always after an easy meal.

    ETA: give them space to get away, plenty of hiding spaces, etc. Don't be surprised, though, if they tend to stay in their own groups inside the larger flock. Even though my birds don't fight, as soon as they get out of the run for free-range time they divide up. Older girls in one group. RIR by herself. Younger girls in another group.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

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