What the ???

emmak

Songster
9 Years
Apr 29, 2010
165
4
111
North Central Texas
Yesterday we bought a two week old chick (EE or Wellsummer, not yet sure). Today we just brought home two 1 day old chicks. They were getting along fine. When we checked on them this evening, one of the younger chicks (EE) was pecking at the eyes of the two week old! It's all red around her eyes! Oddly enough, this chick is very similar in coloring (and may be the same breed) as the one it went after!! It hasn't bothered (yet at least) the smaller newbie (barred rock) who is a completely different color. I've removed the injured two week old to a separate habitat. I hate to do this because she was so lonely last night before we got the new ones, but I fear for her safety. Why would a new chick attack an older, slightly larger chick? Why would the larger chick put up with it?
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
431
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
It is fairly normal for most chicks to peck at each others' eyes, because they are shiny and attract their attention. NORMALLY they don't cause damage, though. That behavior usually stops after a day or two.

I'd put her back with the other chicks in a day. It will probably still happen, but she might be past the early stages of the behavior and everybody will be okay.
 

HHandbasket

The Chickeneer
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
3,319
62
241
El Dorado County, California
And that whole thing about pecking each other in the eyes... I just want to say that I'm really, really glad God got that out of the way with chickens.

I agree with others, tho. Check for mites, but sometimes they just do that to establish that ever-popular pecking order. It's hard to allow it, though, when one of your chicks is getting hurt. I hope they get over it and all do okay!
 
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emmak

Songster
9 Years
Apr 29, 2010
165
4
111
North Central Texas
Update - the victim (Cristina) is in a separate cage right beside the two other chicks so they can see each other. Her eyes improved today, but aren't completely well, like she was originally. I hope she will get back to normal. Thanks for all your support and advice. BTW I think I'm spoiling her, 'cause I took her out and held her for a while. She finally relaxed and fell asleep in my hands and I held her for about a half hour, but when I put her back she threw a fit and cheeped really loud. She did settle down after a while.
 

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