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"almost all causes for feather pecking can be traced so that you can quickly do something about it"

CHICKENS BEHAVIOUR | Chickens pecking feathers, what can I do about it?

Sometimes chickens don’t feather peck at all, but sometimes chickens peck at each other or by themselves.The feather-pecking behavior can have several reasons. Because this behavior is not desirable and also does not fit in the life of a healthy chicken, it is good to keep an eye on this. Fortunately, almost all causes for feather pecking can be traced so that you can quickly do something about it.

Pecking due to boredom

A common reason why chickens start feather pecking is that they are bored.

That boredom is often because they simply have too little to do in a day. This is easily solved by giving the chicken more to do. An easy action for this is to giving the chickens the opportunity to forage around (on a rough bottom) and to look for food. If the chicken continues to peck, you can also give it more of a challenge by making the feed less accessible. You can also give the chicken some roughage, so that it is busy with that again.

Please note: do not use straw as a floor covering due to the risk of suffocation.

Pecking due to lack of space

Chickens need space. It is therefore always useful to check carefully what space you have available for them before purchasing chickens. As soon as there are too many chickens on a piece of land that is too small, they will peck at each other or they will pluck themselves bald. Just like humans, chickens don’t necessarily like to sit too close together. If you have several males, it is especially important to give them the space they need.

Furthermore, chickens within the group have a clear pecking order. This is usually stable, but when new animals are added or there are several roosters in a group it can sometimes become restless. A chicken that is at the bottom of the pecking order or that does not fit well in the group is often pecked. In this case too, more space may be the solution. If the chicken is still not in its place, it is better to place the chicken in another group.

Tip: In addition to the above causes, stress or antibacterial agents can also negatively affect digestion and cause inner tension, which can lead to feather pecking.

Pecking due to parasites

Another reason we can give for chickens feather pecking is that they suffer from parasites.

Grab hold to the chicken to see if any parasites are walking between the feathers. When a chicken suffers from parasites such as lice or fleas, they get itchy. Due to the itching, the chickens will be feather pecking a lot with the hope of reducing the itching. If your chickens suffer from this, it is very important to tackle the source of the trouble and thus remove the parasites.

Pecking due to mineral deficiency

If a chicken is deficient in minerals, this can manifest itself in feather pecking at itself and at others.You can recognize this reason because new feathers do not grow back quickly in this situation. Then the chicken is not balanced and simply needs more minerals. This reason is easy to prevent and solve: complete feed! If you opt for a complete diet, your chickens will not suffer from mineral deficiencies.

In some cases the solution is very simple, but sometimes you will have to put a little more effort into stopping the chicken from feather pecking. Do the above reasons not at all fit your situation? Or do you still have doubts about something? Let us know!

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