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Smallest chick pecking larger chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tooshay89, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Tooshay89

    Tooshay89 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2016
    Central Florida
    We have 8 chicks that are all supposedly the same age (almost 4 weeks). My two golden sex-links are double the size of the others, but I digress. I went to check on them in their coop this morning and my two large sex links are being pecked by the smallest chick, a welsummer. They each have a bloody looking spot on their shoulder from being pecked. They're in a 4x4 coop with roosting bars and plenty of room to get away from the pecker, but I'm not really sure what to do. Do I separate the offender? They haven't really explored their run yet (4x11) so should I encourage them to go out there? I'm not sure what to do to remedy the situation. Is this bird just establishing pecking order, or is this something dangerous that needs to be taken care of?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  2. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Colorado Rockies
    You can administer discipline to this little tough guy. I wrote about how to go about it in an article linked below under "Articles by azygous. It only takes a maximum of two days of sporadic attention to turn an aggressive chick around.

    Typically, a broody hen or an older member of the flock administers discipline by pecking a chick on the back when it steps out of line. You are the head chicken in this case, and your finger is your beak. The chick will quickly fall into line.
     
  3. Tooshay89

    Tooshay89 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2016
    Central Florida
    Awesome, thank you. I separated the chick while I administered "pick no more" lotion that I just grabbed at Tractor Supply, but she's not happy being alone in the run. By the time I got back from the store, she had started in on a third chick, both on the shoulder area and fail feather area. All of the wounds are covered now, but I'm afraid to put the offender back in with the others. I'm going to read your article and hopefully this behavior can be stopped.

    Just an observation... only the light chicks are being picked on. My darker/brown chicks haven't been harmed (that I can see.) Coincidence?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Not a coincidence. Chicks can be targeted for subtle and not-so-subtle differences.

    This should be very short-lived, both because chick aggression is common but disappears by the end of he second week, and if you discipline the chick, even faster.
     
  5. Tooshay89

    Tooshay89 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2016
    Central Florida
    I tried re-integrating the offending chick into the coop/run with the others and I went out once every 30 minutes to discipline the chick (which was a lot, by the way. She really likes pecking feathers!) I also tried adding grass clippings and and treats for them to forage on. As of this afternoon, my light chicks are now hurt to the point that I may have to quarantine them to heal (bleeding wounds on their shoulders/wings, rear feather area and on one, her beak is now beat up and bleeding) and this chick has now moved on to pecking the remaining dark chicks. I can't have this one bad egg kill my whole flock. What else can I do?? HELP!
     

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