Mean Chicks

Posted by: Boobear7

Mean Chicks - 08/12/05 01:05 PM

I just got 15 chicks yesterday (hatched Wednesday)...4 Anconas, 4 Silver Laced Wyandottes (maybe 5) and 7 Roos. Based on their color, they could be New Hampshire Reds, Rhode Island Reds or that Red Star sex-link. I don't know is some chicks are better then others together or what, but these 7 are not nice at all. They targeted my Anconas chasing them around, dragging them by the top of their heads and pecking at their eyes mad . I seperated the 7 (in the same cage, but with a divider...they can see each other). Am I going to ever be able to combine these? I had two other groups, 15 and 10, and had no problems combining them, or with peeking issues. They all get along fantasticly laugh
Did I just get a mean batch or is this their normal for the possible breeds? They don't bother each other at all...just my poor Anconas. frown
I tried to put the smallest one back in with the group this afternoon, thinking that because he didn't do anything yesterday, he wouldn't today...boy was I wrong. Immediately started peeking at the others and grabbing their wings. I put him back with the others.
Any thoughts?

Posted by: CJR

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/12/05 05:11 PM

People who buy mixture of breeds do not realize that chicks that hatch together are usually good friends from the start, and often are not easy to integrate after living a few days with their own kind. Your chick's breeds would not have likely hatched together, but with chicks of their same breed. When put together, chicks immediately become defensive/aggressive/passive, can't predict which! Hard to say how soon they may accept each other, but separation by groups is probably best. If only one chicks is a bully, a time out for a day or two, often corrects the problem--sometimes needing a second time out==a separate cage ALONE. Occasionally a chick, most often a cockerel just can't be with the others!! So, I wish you well, you are just going to have to work it out--they may get along reasonably well after the initial fright (they are actually afraid of each other) settles down--Good Luck! CJR
Posted by: Boobear7

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/12/05 06:28 PM

So it doesn't matter that they were all shipped together the same day they were hatched?
It isn't one...its all. They are all the same breed that are the bullies. The other 8 are very docile...they really relaxed when I seperated the 7. Based on the fact that I unfortunately had a small order due to the hatching schedule, the 7 were packed as Roos. I'm not totally set up to keep these seperate when they get bigger...sounds like I may have to though right???
I want to have them together but I don't want my Anconas to suffer ( I waited a long time for these girls).
How do you suggest I get them back together? They are only 3 days old.

Posted by: Boobear7

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/12/05 06:33 PM

I mixed 6 breeds together and had no problems AT ALL!! Knew it couldn't be this easy.
I didn't want these additional 7.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/12/05 06:49 PM

The additional Seven were more then likely thrown in for warmth.

I hope that you are able to work things out between them. next year I want to mail order chicks and I would be getting over 16 diffrent breeds. I am a little worried about how they will all get along after reading this thread.
Posted by: CJR

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/12/05 08:41 PM

Funny what things we will try to sort things out. I have been successful in stopping attack- chicks (my chicks are bantams and very small) by putting a plastic mesh berry carton (not solid clear plasitc) over each of a couple of bad actors within their brooding box. Sometimes, just an hour will take their little "minds" off being the king! You must be sure they do not draw blood,or drive one into a corner, head down to try to survive a beating, as the victim will be so timid, he will always be a victim.

You might just let the ones that are causing the commotion together--and see if they will settle their differences without drawing blood, for any chick kept away from food and water at this age, is at risk of becoming a "fading chick". A larger brooding box with feed and waterers at each end might help let them separate--and yet get acquainted??? Without seeing the little scamps, I can only guess what else might help. Having several soft things, like a nylon netting- sponge (or I have used a small flocked Easter Ducky) for the chicks to dodge behind and yet not be far from food and water--well, you must think of something to take their attention--try different things--or you are doomed to separate the little tyrants.
All mixes will not have this trouble, but it is not unexpected--it is best to be prepared. I do not put hatches even a few days apart, together, and same breed and color, for about 4 or 5 weeks--and then it is not always successful. I just keep lots of boxes while hatching and into cages or pens when they are out of the boxes. By that time I move them into very large pens, cockerels together and pullets together--the boys usually are fine without pullets with them. They still stay with their hatch mates, but are not so likely to harm each other. After the pullets start to lay, they are much more agreeable with others the same age, even if a different color or hatch.

Good luck, CJR
Posted by: Elda

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/13/05 04:34 AM

Hi Everyone

When i see that there is "bad Behaviour" amongst my hens or roosters, i usual add some behaviour adjustment disapline. Because my chickens are all free-range, they enjoy the freedom that they have. The one who is naughty or being ugly to any other is removed and placed into a large cage...within view of the other chickens. He stays in the cage for about 30min, just so that he can realise that freedom is better than picking on others. I do this each time if he/she is naughty...and it WORKS!!! Soon after a few lock-ups they realise what is going on, especially if they are locked up while being nasty, they soon note that a certain behaviour of theirs equals no-freedom for 30min.

They say if you do a thing with an animal more than a certain amount of time, they soon learn how to do things and also learn what not to do.
Posted by: Deb AZ

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/13/05 09:18 AM

My system is very much in keeping with CJR's but I will add that there are some breeds that just do not do well together as chicks and this may be the case here.
Those that show natural agressive tendancies may need to be brooded apart untill those that are docile in nature mature to a point that they can establish themselves in a pecking order. Not only a pecking order amongst themselves without the interference from the more agressive ones, but old enough to assert themselves in the pecking order of the whole group.
You might try using a divider in brooder, a screen of some type, that allows for visual but keeps them seperated. If not that as CJR suggested adequate space is most important.
Having a mixed flock is wonderful but it can have its disadvantages. Pecking begins at day one and shows you temperament.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/13/05 09:46 AM

maybe there rhode island red roosters the one's i had were very agressive towards the other chickens and people. got some other ones in march same thing so they went away i'm sure theres some nice ones buy i have yet to see one.good luck
Posted by: Boobear7

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/14/05 12:51 PM

I couldn't stand the thought of keeping them seperate. Figured the longer I waited, the worse it would be. I took out the divider and simply sat and watched for a very long, trying period of time. When the roos pecked, I picked them up and held then for a few minutes. One guy did it twice...poor thing was shaking like a leaf each time I picked him up...but he STOPPED!!! Another one took like 7 or 8 times before he got the picture. The second I put him down each time, he went right back to peeking anyone and everyone! He has finally quit though. My Anconas seem to have grown some 'balls' these last couple of days which is wonderful to see. A few times, when one got picked at, they would go after the roo doing it. They even bucked up to a few of them. Funny watching them trying to out do each other as to who can be bigger!! They are now napping peacefully together and I haven't heard any squabbles as of recent. They are in the garage next to the door, so they are easily heard.
I have decided to keep two waterers and feeders in with them for a few days just to make sure they all have a fair shot at food and water. Thanks for the advice!!

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Mean Chicks - 08/14/05 08:14 PM

Its wonderful that you got everything sorted out.