Hen Pecking


[Courtesy hans s]
Chickens can be mean. They often fight for domination and pull each other’s feathers out, and will even peck each other to death if given the chance.
This video helped me understand how the pecking order works with chickens:

I’m dealing with this right now with my flock. Olivia has a bald patch on her back from the other chicken, Penny, pulling out her feathers. To be fair, Olivia will attack or peck at anything, which seems like it would be annoying to live with. Maybe, if I were a chicken, I would want to put her in her place too.
There has been no blood so far, but to prevent that from happening, I’m thinking of getting some anti-peck lotion–something nontoxic that tastes bad and will deter, or at least reduce, the pecking.
I’m not sure what to get, so would appreciate any suggestions you have.

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2 thoughts on “Hen Pecking”

  1. I’ve heard there is some powder you can put in their water that you can buy at farm supply stores but I’ve not checked it out myself. I’ve also heard salt in their water- but that may be a wives tale. I had the same situation in my flock and one day I came home from work and (this is gruesome) the mean hen had indeed pecked right through and my pecked hen had her innards strewn all over the yard while she proceeded along without seeming to be distressed. Needless to say we had to kill her immediately and she was dinner. So I would try to take care of the situation asap because if Penny is persistent, Olivia may have the same outcome and once there is blood it seems like it’s too late. The other option is to get rid of Penny.

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