How to Stop Chicken Cannibalism


Chicken cannibalism occurs when chickens do not have enough feeding and watering room, have too little nesting space, or if a chicken is underweight or has open wounds. The best thing to do is take preventative measures, but if you are already dealing with chicken cannibalism, there are some methods you can employ to stop the killing. Be aware that chicken cannibalism has been linked to dietary deficiencies, such as low sodium, protein and phosphorus.

Things You'll Need

  • Adequate food
  • Lighting
  • More space and nest boxes
  • Separate chickens that are fighting. Isolate the chicken that has been pecked at and allow it to heal apart from the other chickens. Clean wounds with antiseptic sprays. If there is one bird in particular doing the pecking, also isolate that chicken for a period of time until you have improved the living conditions.

  • Dim the chicken house lights significantly. Too bright a light can aggravate the birds.

  • Give the chickens more foraging options and give them more room to do so. This may mean making the chicken pen larger.

  • Add food that is high in protein, sodium and phosphorus. Give the chickens more feeding and watering boxes and spread them out so all birds can get food at any time.

  • Build more nest boxes so that chickens do not feel crowded. Chickens like to be on the top roost, so putting all nest boxes at the same height can stop fighting.

  • Introduce injured chickens that have healed and aggressive chickens back into the group once you have improved living conditions.

Tips & Warnings

  • If these methods don't work, you may want to consider beak trimming as an alternative.


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