Why chickens and roosters peck each other until blood

Many farmers wonder why chickens peck each other's blood. When breeding chickens, this problem is quite relevant. To understand why they peck themselves so or their brothers sometimes even to death, it is necessary to find out the reasons for this behavior. The first thing that poultry farmers can notice on the body of chickens is bald patches or even bleeding wounds. Hens strongly peck each other to the blood or even to the death of a relative.

Why do chickens peck each other's blood

There are many reasons for this, but as a rule, this is due to lack of nutrients. Basically, this period falls on the time when molting occurs or the cold season begins. Such pecking is nothing but pterophagy. What to do if chickens and roosters eat badly and peck each other? If you notice how broilers or layers are pecking another bird or chickens, then you need to make a fence from the most furious birds and understand the reasons for this behavior.

After all, if the laying hens or chicks are pecked to death, then in this case the farmer suffers a loss. Chicks or laying hens, unlike adult males, are not yet able to resist the fact that they are pecking by a relative. In this case, it is important to provide the bird with good care and maintenance, to select high-quality feed with a high content of protein, calcium and other nutrients.

Why do chickens peck each other up to blood

Why do chickens peck at each other, and chicks or laying hens attack? In fact, there can be a large number of such reasons, we will pay attention to the most basic of them:

  • Inadequate nutrition. Of course, the bird should regularly receive high-quality, balanced food, saturated with vitamins and minerals, but special attention should be paid to the quality of the food during molting and laying. If this condition is not met, then the bird will not even be able to move normally and actively. To compensate for the deficiency of trace elements, the chicken can begin to pluck and eat feathers from other birds, while injuring a relative. And if the wounded individual is not isolated in time, then there will be no chance of surviving it.
  • Crowding in the chicken coop. This reason manifests itself with improper maintenance or in the winter. If the hens are sitting in a small room, for a long time they are not able to go for a walk, then the lack of comfort forces the bird and it pecks itself and its brethren, plucks and also displays aggression. It is necessary to check the presence of feeders and drinking bowls, because their lack can provoke a conflict between individuals. It is also worth noting that chickens have their own hierarchy, which sometimes turns into hazing. If young birds are planted in old crowded chicken houses, bloodshed cannot be avoided.
  • Illumination or very long daylight hours. The quality of lighting in the chicken coop is also an important issue. In a very bright and continuous light, the birds become nervous and aggressive. The fact is that they clearly see blood vessels and veins and begin to deliberately peck at them, and if the chicken felt the blood, it could no longer stop, which could lead to death. The target of the lesion is usually the eyes, cesspool, neck, feathers, stomach.
  • Climatic conditions. It is necessary to observe the climate in the chicken coop. With a lack of moisture, the feathers become dry. Chicken or roosters with their beak press on the coccygeal gland and can damage their skin.
  • Incompatibility of breeds and color. In this case, the hens planted in the flock suffer most. Most conflicts occur in birds of different color feathers, so it is not recommended to plant white and dark hens. If planted together, then carefully watch them, otherwise there is an individual that pecks others.
  • Climate change causes stress in birds, as a result of which they become nervous and aggressive. It is necessary to transport chickens to a new place along with their feeders and drinking bowls, to which they are accustomed.

Please note that the optimal space for four hens is 1 square meter so that the roosters do not cling to their tail, the daylight should be no more than 12-14 hours with an intensity of 60 watts per 10 square meters.

Clinical picture

The scale of the disaster depends on factors such as the freshness of the wound, the location and size of the damage received.

  • deficiency of protein and feed provokes skin biting, near toes, also chickens pinch themselves and their relatives
  • in case the food is poorly digested, then the hens are actively pecking in the tail
  • with the loss of the oviduct and damage to the cloaca, chickens peck the cloaca

First, some individuals appear, they peck wounds where there are no feathers. Then the number of such hens increases and they pluck feathers. The wounded bird sharply grows thin and loses force to resistance. Such a bird can peck the whole chicken coop. It happens that a hen lays an egg with a thin shell and pecks it. In the future, this can turn into a bad habit - pecking normal eggs. I would like to note that roosters, as a rule, do not peck chickens, but from the side of the hens one can expect massive cannibalism. How the wounds look after peeling can be seen in the photo or video.

Features of feeding chickens

It is necessary to make and think out a balanced diet for every day. An excess of protein disrupts the acid - base balance in the body of the bird: vitamin A is destroyed, the metabolism changes. This leads to acidosis. Deficiency of protein and calcium causes an adult bird or chickens to make up for their deficiency in every possible way. Sometimes unhealed wounds after vaccination can become the cause of biting, but this is a rather rare case. It is necessary to review and adjust the daily diet of birds. If there is a need to change the feed, then this should be done gradually.

To replenish protein and nutrients, vitamins and minerals must be added to the bird menu, for example, legumes (peas, beans, soybeans), milk powder, dairy products, meat and bone meal or fish meal. It is also good to add ash, carrots, cabbage, shell, benign silage. Be sure to introduce substances such as arginine, sulfur, cystine, bromine, manganese, copper and iron sulfates into the feed. If chickens have different diets, then you need to separate them, since each individual considers the food delivered to her that this is my diet.

Spitting treatment and prevention

In order not to suffer huge losses in the chicken coop, timely preventive measures must be taken. With crowding, especially in the cold season, a little grain or pieces of vegetables should be sprinkled on a straw bed in the house. Paint the lamps with matte red or blue, then the chickens will not see the wounds and blood vessels on their relatives. it is necessary to equip the house with the optimal number of drinkers and feeders, to make ventilation in the room. If there are hot spots, then treat them with a special disinfectant solution and put off the wounded chickens.

If new or young chickens are hooked in a flock, then observe how the old residents of the chicken coop behave. Old-timers can attack new arrivals, in which case the aggressor will need to be temporarily isolated. Even if a bird or newborn chickens have small wounds, and even more so if they were seriously attacked, then they need to be set aside for a while separately from the pack. In addition to the bird that was attacked, suppose that it is a beta individual, you need to calculate the main aggressor and instigator, for example, the si individual, and also find and eliminate the cause of this behavior. The wound must be lubricated with disinfecting solutions. In more detail, treatment and prevention methods can be seen in the photo or video.


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