HELP...Mama hen pecking the back of baby chicks!

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


10 Years
Mar 16, 2009
I have a white hen that always wants to set. Last year and this year she has hatched out 10 baby chicks. They are less than a week old, and now I am finding one of the chicks has the whole top part of its back pecked down to the skin. There is no blood, (I caught it in time) but this is the 2nd year she has done this to her chicks. Last year I got very mad and threw her out of the pen. I then fed and watered the chicks until they were old enough to go with another batch of chicks. I think she is a problem. What causes this? How do I go about triming her beak to prevent it from happening to the other chicks? My husband wants me to get rid of her, but when she is not setting, she is a very good egg layer.
At the moment, the pecked chick is in a carboard box in my home with feed and water and a artifical white yarn hat to act as "mama". I am seriously thinking of placing it under another one of my hens who has chicks but I have to wait until the back heals.
Has anyone else encountered this problem?
Ouch! I have had a hen who did that to one of her babies, not the whole clutch, just one.

Did the same as you did last year and then got rid of her...tho' not for that reason.

Hope you get some better answers than just my 'been there, done that' story.
She sounds like she is a candidate for hatching and then removing the chicks and putting them in a brooder.

I had a hen that would hatch her chicks and then abandon them. I kept her. When she would go broody, I would put a clutch of eggs under her. About 3 days before they would hatch, I would take the eggs and put them in the incubator. Then I would put more eggs under her. When it was time for those eggs to hatch, I would take the eggs and throw her back into the flock. Some years she would go broody in the early spring and then again in late summer.

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