How to Stop Feather Pecking in Chickens

Updated November 21, 2016

Raising chickens can be a dangerous and frustrating job. Chickens are extremely skittish and often violent to one another or to you. One of the more frustrating occurrences that might happen with your chickens is when they feather peck one another. Feather pecking is a practice in which the chickens peck one another's bodies, often tearing out feathers and sometimes causing injuries. However, the intelligent chicken farmer can take steps to stop this harmful behaviour.

Increase the space that the chickens have to roam. Oftentimes, when a chicken feels cramped, it will start acting hostilely toward other chickens in the coop. Simply spread the fences out farther so that the chickens will have plenty of space to stretch and move around.

Increase the amount of food and water you give to the chickens. If the chickens feel like they do not have enough food, they may fight for the rights to what little food there is. If there is no food left after the chickens are done eating, simply increase the amount you are giving them until there is some left over.

Keep the temperature comfortable. In a chicken's environment, it should never be hotter than 21.1 degrees C or cooler than 4.44 degrees C. If it is, the chickens might become agitated and violent.

Remove weaker chickens. If a chicken has been sick or is noticeably weaker than other chickens in the coop, it might be a target for attack. Remove it until it is back to full health and then replace it into the coop. This will prevent it from being attacked.

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