Chicks and Bigger Chicks: HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-21-2008, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi mamas:
Last week I got 2 chicks from a local feed store (they had sold out) and this week we got 6 (born yesterday) more. When I introduced the new chicks to the old chicks, the top old chick (10 days old) instantly started to try and kill the smallest new chick. I understand about pecking order but I can't have a chick being torn limb from limb in my back room. I removed the problem chick (the old one) to her own brooder and the other old chick seems ok with the new ones. am I going to have to rehome the top one? Do you experienced chicken keeping mamas have any good advice? If I wait a few days until these chicks are bigger will that help? TIA
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#2 of 5 Old 03-21-2008, 08:43 PM
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When my mom had this problem, she'd pull out the problem chick. Usually it sorted itself out as they got bigger. Sometimes they can sense an illness in the bird, which can make them peck on the other chicks. The illness issue usually came up in our older chickens; at that point we'd remove the chicken and treat whatever problem came up.
What is your housing situation for the birds? We always had an apple box (or equivalent) when they were little, and then an outdoor cage as they got bigger. Maybe putting cardboard or a baking cooling grid in the box can keep the chicks together, but not within pecking range?
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#3 of 5 Old 03-21-2008, 09:56 PM
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Try leaving the to chick in wiht the others, but seperated by an old window screen. They'll get used to each other gradually. Don't let the top chick peck the others! Once they start, they never stop!
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#4 of 5 Old 03-22-2008, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Red View Post
Once they start, they never stop!

Now you know why they call it "pecking order"

We had this happen and tried to let them "work it out" on their own. It just never stopped and we ended up having to give the victim away to another family where it lived a much more peaceful life

It was exactly the same situation, trying to introduce a different age group. Good luck!!
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#5 of 5 Old 03-23-2008, 03:55 PM
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If there is a definite victim, we cull the chick. I agree with a previous poster that sometimes chickens chose to get rid of a sick chick.

Is it extra runty? We tend to cull anything particularly runty (we've tried waiting, but inevitably for us, we have to cull it eventually in my experience). That's a typical recommendation for poultry keeping.

Homebirthing, homeschooling AP, gardening maniac running a working farm. No circ, no vax, no cable TV. EC'd and CD'd, tandem BF'd.  Cheese and soap making goat and child herder.
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