pecking - Breed related?


11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
Ann Arbor, MI
This is our 3rd (or is it 4th?) year with hens - We've always had 4-6 hens in the same size coop as we currently have. Right now I have 4 ladies, all about a year old - we got them all over the summer. 2 Javas and 2 Marans. They are pecking the heck out of each other - I don't really see it happening a ton, but they look like crap. Is it these particular breeds (or one of them?) that makes them more prone to this behavior?


Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
Strasburg Ohio
You know, I had that happen one year.....I think over the winter when they're penned up more, they just get stir crazy and start pulling out eachother's feathers. A good idea is to just set a spell, and watch them....You might discover that one particular hen is doing the feather plucking.....a bully hen.

In my case, it was a pair of New Hampshire Reds that were pecking the crap out of everyone. So I rehomed them to a bigger farm.

Another thing to consider is lice. I never had lice until this winter. This is my third year with chickens, and I noticed some of the looked perfect, while others seemed very "scraggly" looking. My eyes aren't so great, but I managed to grab one up and look down into the feathers, and there were a few creepy-crawlies. I was so grossed out! But other BYC folks tell me that winter time is a common time for chickens to get lice. I didn't know that.

So I used seven dust--two applications and now no lice. A few of them still look kind of rough, but they should begin to improve with time.

Good luck! I hope you get things worked out,

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