1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Chicks pecking own feet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SthrnChicks, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. SthrnChicks

    SthrnChicks Hatching

    Aug 28, 2011
    I'm very new to the chicken thing. I have a pair of chicks (pic below). When scratching in the yard or when eating in the dog crate (temporary housing) they peck at each others' toes and at their own toes, even with food right before them. I haven't seen any drawn blood. I've done some searching and can't find anything on whether this is normal behavior. I assumed they were mistaking their toes for worms, but wanted to ask the experts. And can you tell what breed they are? I was so excited, I forgot what the Feed Store clerk told me.


  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They should get over that behavior quickly. The only time I have seen it happen that they drew blood by pecking toes was in very cold weather, when they ran out of food overnight (they were older chicks). I felt horrible and immediately separated the bloody chick until no more blood visible. I had to use blood stop powder. There were no permanent effects from it.

    So yes it happens, and is normal, but they shouldn't remain obsessed by each others' feet or draw blood. You can put no-pick lotion on them if they draw blood (tastes bad), but you probably won't see this problem.
  3. KDK1

    KDK1 Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    Quote:Barred Rock???
  4. chickenhawk73

    chickenhawk73 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    haw river
    This is normal.Probably just curiosity.Chick on right looks like a barred rock.The other is hard to tell maybe a gold laced wyandotte.
  5. SthrnChicks

    SthrnChicks Hatching

    Aug 28, 2011
    Thanks for the help!

    I noticed yesterday while they were free ranging in the yard that they stopped pecking at their toes when they became more adventuresome and started exploring their environment. Discovering an ant hill was like Christmas to them.
  6. Wawa Coffee

    Wawa Coffee Chirping

    Jul 1, 2017
    I've got a chick who is pecking his own foot and seems to be limping a bit and generally not up on his feet as much as the others. Anything to sweat or do you think it's minor and clears itself up?
  7. Daisy Chickens

    Daisy Chickens In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2016
    At my store: Wild Cargo Pets
    I got the same breed as you
    I know its 2017 now and its late but that black one with the spots is a Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock) Chick and the the yellow one is a Campine Chick
    I remember because I got 2 Plymouths and 2 Campines

  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Look like Barred Rock and Easter Egger.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old is the chick?
    This is very common behavior but usually stops at less than a week old, once they figure out that live chicken feet aren't edible. I have seen a chick tip itself over grabbing and pulling at it's own feet. :D
    If it's limping badly and not eating drinking pooping and as active as the others,
    best take a good look at it's feet and legs, make sure there's not injury or deformity.

    Ancient thread alert ;) I'm seeing a bunch lately!
  10. Wawa Coffee

    Wawa Coffee Chirping

    Jul 1, 2017
    Yep it had a cut on the bottom of it's foot. All healed up now and hanging with her pals again. Thanks!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by