Chicken Behavioral Problems



Predators, pests and diseases are not the only challenges a backyard flock owner will have to deal with. Sometimes the problems are originated in the flock itself, and solving them involves lots of creativity, ingenuity and even diplomacy.

Here are some examples of chicken behavioral issues we have dealt with over the years:

Egg-pecking and egg eating. Few things are more annoying than walking into your coop with the expectation of gathering some beautiful fresh eggs, only to encounter a spectacle of some piled-up shells and chickens with egg yolk on their beaks. Being omnivores, chickens love a nice fresh egg as much as we do, and once they get into the habit of eating their own eggs, it may be hard to cure.

This may sound obvious, but nice padded nesting-boxes are the first step in preventing cracked and broken eggs, which are a lot more likely to be eaten. Also make sure your chickens’ diet has plenty of calcium for strong shells.

Make a point of surveying your coop for eggs starting early in the morning, and every hour or so, until all eggs are laid and collected. The quicker you remove the eggs, and the more consistent you are about it, the sooner your chickens will lose the habit of eating them. I have found this method to be the most simple and effective in stopping egg-pecking practice, but it does take a few days of thorough commitment.

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