UPDATE: Babies arrived hale and hearty! One problem though...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by midd2005, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. midd2005

    midd2005 Chirping

    May 22, 2010
    i received my first ever shipment of chicks this afternoon -pretty exciting stuff. my husband and i definitely just spent the last 5 hours huddled over them. we have 4 BR and 4 LB.

    i've got them all set up in their brooder. red light is on with temps between 90-95 under it. paper towels are covering the pine pellets. nipple waterers are going like gang busters and the chicks learned to use them super fast. i elevated the feeder an inch or so so they have to do a little stretch to get to it and can't really walk on it. everyone is pooping and scrambling about eating and drinking.

    BUT, we have one severe eye pecker. when i first put them in their brooder they all were pecking anything and everything, but after teaching them about the food and the water and everything, 7 of them have almost completely stopped pecking each other at all. One of the little BR persists though. she knows how to eat and drink; we repeatedly held her over the food and under the waterer until she pecked them on her own. the second we set her down though, she targets all the other chicks eyes immediately. goes straight for them, whoever is closest. and it's not just an exploratory peck. it's a peck where she holds on as they kick to get away from her, screaming their devastating chick screams. she is like a bulldog with their shiny little eyes.

    so, we have resorted to putting their little shipping container back in the brooder and putting her in it. she is separated but there are little holes that she can quasi see the others through. she has her own food, water, and enough light. she is of course peeping her little head off with unhappiness over this situation, which has the others worried as well. i'm hoping she will get over the pecking in a couple days and can rejoin the others but who knows.

    any further thoughts on what we can do?
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    It sounds like you are doing what I would do. The only thing you can do is separate them. Give a day or 2 in solitary and she should come around. And congratulations on your new babies.
  3. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Try putting piece of mesh wire so they can completely see each other but she can't peck.
  4. midd2005

    midd2005 Chirping

    May 22, 2010
    Ok, well, it's been 2 days of keeping the one BR separate from the rest of the flock so she can't peck their little eyes. i just tried putting her back in with the others and guess what happened...

    the same freaking thing. she goes straight for the eyes. she doesn't pick on any one chicken, it's just straight for the nearest eyeball.

    i'm thinking i need to look into giving her away because frankly it's a pain to try to maintain 2 separate healthy chick habitats when you only have 8 chicks. however, i worry that one chick by itself won't do well. does anyone have experience raising a single chick from about a week old?
  5. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Sounds pretty unusual to me. Maybe she was born with a couple of little screws loose. If that's the case, there's not much you can do that you haven't already tried. She'll never be friends with the other girls, and the other girls will always be terrified of her, if not blinded. How do you feel about culling? It would be either now or later. Keeping a chicken in solitary all her life is not at all practical.
  6. midd2005

    midd2005 Chirping

    May 22, 2010
    i was thinking more about giving her to our electrician who expressed interest in one for his son as a pet. we initially had said he should at least take 2 as they are social creatures, but now i think i might give him a call.

    someone else just posted with what sounds like exactly the same problem, so i guess it's not so crazy unusual.
  7. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I've had a few like that......have never had any actual eye injuries, and they always grew out of it....make sure they have lots of stuff to do...maybe throw some crumble mixed into the shavings....put a little mirror in there for her to peck at, a mini disco ball, marbles, etc.....

    I've only seen the eye pecking issue in very very young chicks...they seem to find better things to peck once they are a bit bigger.
  8. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Quote:What she said.
    All your little eye poker is thinking is, "ooohhh, shiny thing, must peck...". [​IMG] It'll stop.
  9. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    Make sure their brooder light is red so if any blood is drawn she won't keep going for it (red things draw their attention and excites them)
  10. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I put marbles and dry pasta in on the floor for distraction, and I'll generally put a bit of chopped thawed corn on the floor also. Gives them plenty to do and peck at!

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