Pecking is normal and natural for chickens, these birds have done this for as long as we have known them and they will continue to do this for as long as they exist. But sometimes, the pecking gets out of control.
This article explores why chickens peck each other bloody, how to stop it and how to help the pecked bird.
Chickens pecking each other bloody:
Chickens peck at each other for a variety of reasons, these animals will peck if given the chance but the pecked bird doesn’t always become too bloody and injured. A pecked chicken will become bloody if the other birds go overboard with the pecking.
Over pecking happens when birds start to see red, literally. The color red is very attractive to chickens, if a bird is pecked, the redness of its inflamed skin will be like a siren call for other birds to attack and peck at the red area.
The red, inflamed area will eventually become red, wounded, and bloody. Over pecking can eventually lead to the death of the bird if you don’t intervene and stop the bully birds
How to stop the pecking:
Birds peck at each other for a variety of reasons, if you want to stop the pecking then you need to find the root cause of the pecking and address it, here are reasons why birds peck at each other and how to stop it:
Give them all their nutrients: Birds will peck at each other if they lack nutrients in their body, specifically protein.
Solve this problem by giving the pecking birds foods rich in protein. Mealworms, scrambled eggs, or black oil sunflower seeds are all chicken-friendly sources of protein.
Isolate ill birds: Chickens have evolved to see, peck, and attack ill birds. Ill birds are a liability to the flock, this is why flocks peck and kill ill birds both in the wild and in captivity.
If you notice that an ill bird is being pecked then you’d need to separate the bird and treat it for its illness before reintroducing it to the flock.
Keep the birds occupied: Pecking, and over pecking, can happen if birds become bored. You can relieve your birds of their boredom by giving them a pecking block, a cabbage hung in an onion sack, large branches, or, large logs to peck at
Remove stress: Stress of all types can make birds peck at each other, relieve your birds of their stress by making sure that their coop is not too hot, keeping a routine with the flock, keeping predators away, and only using light in the bird’s coop when needed.
Use pinless peepers: These are a sort of chicken glasses that keep bully birds from pecking at other birds.
These chicken glasses keep chickens from seeing what is in front of them, birds wearing these glasses can only see what’s beside them.
This allows the bird to perform everyday activities but keeps them from pecking at other birds. Seeing what’s in front of them gives them the opportunity to peck at other birds.
How to help the bloody and pecked bird:
Isolate the bird: Keeping the bird on its own will prevent it from being pecked at by the other birds, give it time to calm down, and give its wounds the opportunity to heal.
Stop the bleeding: Stop the bleeding as soon as you can. Use a paper towel, gauze, or a clean towel to do this, apply pressure directly onto the bird’s wound until the bleeding stops.
You can apply a blood-stopping powder onto the bird’s wound after you’ve managed to control the bleeding.
Pluck the feathers: Feathers can sometimes interfere with the bird’s wound healing, plucking the feathers around the wounds will prevent interference.
Clean the wounds: Cleaning the wounds using betadine, Vetericyn wound care spray, or Chlorhexidine 2% solution spray is recommended.
Offer electrolytes: Giving the bird electrolytes will help the bird recover from the shock that it likely experienced while being pecked. You can offer the bird electrolytes for a day or two after the pecking incident.
Offer food and water: Make sure that the bird stays hydrated throughout its recovery, food is less critical but it should still be offered.
If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Syringe Feeding A Chicken, Home Remedies For Chicken Pecking, Can You Stop Chickens From Pecking Each Other Using Vinegar?, Pedialyte For Chickens, Chicken Swollen Foot, Not Bumblefoot