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 Post subject: Mean chick
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:14 pm 
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I have five 7 week old chicks (silkie cross), one of them is being very agressive towards one of the other chicks, biting its neck, ripping feathers out and throwing it around, all the while the chick being attacked keeps trying to burrow under the one attacking it. Is this just them sorting out the pecking order or do they need to be separated? Tia


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 Post subject: Re: Mean chick
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Unless the victim chick is black - buy a bottle of blue food dye and give it a blue rinse. You should find that the aggressor loses interest. By the time the blue wears off the dynamics will hopefully have changed.
You do need to change the behaviour or once blood is drawn the others are likely to attack and the victim cycle will get worse.
Make sure that they have plenty of room and some interesting distractions in their pen.


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 Post subject: Re: Mean chick
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:19 am 
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Thank you! I dyed it blue and four of the other chicks started chasing it and pecking it, so I made another two white ones blue, now they are all friends again. Very curious to know how changng their colour works?


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 Post subject: Re: Mean chick
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:49 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Great that it worked. I suspect that the other chicks first saw it as an intruder.
Blue colour is used to disguise wounds for protection as many animals are attracted to red (blood) or unprotected flesh - eg during feather growth and moulting, and will attack it - there is a blue wound spray for horses which is useful but it is quite expensive for 1 chick. (maybe the colour even deters flies?)
Birds don't see well in blue light so a blue globe/cellaphaned torch are useful for incubating and night time chook management. I have a hanging trouble light light in my garage with a blue globe which is useful and use blue globes for heat in my indoor brooders (so the chicks are quiet at night)
Using it as you have done to change the flock dynamics is interesting - I find stuff like that fascinating


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 Post subject: Re: Mean chick
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Golden Swan
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:laughing :laughing Well done and so glad it is working. Shows how you can manipulate chookies! They are funny things!

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