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How can I stop my chickens from fighting or feather pecking?

There are a few ways to stop chickens from fighting and pecking each other.

  1. Make sure you pick breeds that are compatible, you can use our breed guides (link to breed guide page) to help you with this. Incompatible breeds will fight.
  2. Make sure you have enough room, if you have too many birds in too small a space they will be crowded and frustrated and this will result in bullying and feather pecking. For larger rangy breeds we recommend no less than 2-2.5mtr sq per bird and for bantams 1-1.5mtr sq per bird as a bare minimum.
  3. Ensure your run area is well enriched, you can do this very easily with homemade climbing frames, perches, swings, dust bathes, mirrors etc… Keeping your hens from becoming bored will reduce feather pecking.
  4. Don’t allow any hens to stay in the flock if they are bleeding.
  5. Use a purple wound spray to cover areas that might be bleeding, this works in a few ways: it stops bleeding, works as an antiseptic and the purple colour hides the red of a blood or a scab so the other hens won’t be tempted to peck at any wounds that are healing as they are attracted to both the smell of blood and the colour red.
  6. Pin-less peepers, these are humane peck specks, they are attached over the beak and into the nostrils, they create a vision impairment for the frontal sight, this really helps to stop feather pecking, but should only be used for no more than 14 days at a time. You will need to remove and clean the nostrils and beak before reattaching.
  7. If you have tried everything and you still have pecking then your flock is fundamentally not matched and you may need to think about changing the flock hierarchy, adding a cockerel or rehoming any overly aggressive birds.
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