Chicken Bad Behavior–Best Nipped in the Bud

Author: Meera, November 24, 2015

Many factors can affect the health and egg laying of your chicken flock, including weather, housing, size of population, breed, molting, parasite load, and nutrition. But when chickens start viciously pecking other hens or eating eggs, the underlying issues must be addressed.



The silver-laced Wyandotte (black-and-white) hen in the foreground succumbed to the extreme heat during the night

Silver-laced Wyandottes  (black-and-white) and a Giant Cochin (all black)




Most often, the issue is a case of stress. Causes of chicken stress include overcrowding, excessive heat, too much bright light, lack of food and/or fresh water, and bad diet.




Other factors can include disruption of the pecking order by introducing new birds, especially those of other breeds (for example, fowl with combs and those without) or mixing old fowl with young.  These factors all relate to flock management.



These six-month-old hens love treats like greens from the garden

My small flock devouring greens from the garden




When birds start eating eggs (usually finding a cracked egg or broken ones, tasting them, and then pecking eggs to break them to eat) or viciously pecking on other hens, it’s best to figure out what in the hens’ environment is causing the stress. The causes must be eliminated.


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