Causes of Chicken’s Fighting
A chicken farmer may be worried if their chickens begin to fight each other. It is a common thing for chickens to fight. Especially if you bring new chicken (rooster) into the flock. The reasons of why they are fighting each other mostly are because of this matter :
- New chicken will have to blend with the old chickens and like other animals they want to claim or maintain their own territory. And to find the leader or the owner they have to fight. Mostly it happened for roosters.
- The amount of chickens that is not in accordance with the confinement. In a confinement we have to maintain the chicken’s crowd. Since it will affect on how to distribute heat or room temperature and feed or water supply. The more chicken you have then you must provide them with more supply. Chickens also commit cannibalism toward others to obtain a nice and warm place and also to get much food. They won’t hesitate to fight other chicken to get what they want.
- If you want to create a poultry farm then you must aware of age uniformity. The more uniform the better, because older chickens is tend to attack the younger one. And the result of their attack may be very dangerous for them.
- High temperature and moisture may cause stress for chickens. Stress will lead your chicken to be more aggressive and want to release the body heat by searching comfort places. In some place especially in tropical country rainy season will be a great treat to provide comfort place for your chickens. Water dripping, cold temperature, wet, and moisture will be a challenge. Therefore you must prepare yourselves to manage poultry during rainy season.
- Another natural character of chickens is they tend to attack something red like comb. So it will be a usual sight seeing them pecking each other.
What’s the Impact of Chicken’s Fighting?
If you want to keep your them healthy, you must learn how to take care of chicken then learn about how to prevent chicken from fighting. The injuries of chicken fighting will leave a scar, stress, decresed in appetite, decreasing egg production and in some case can lead them to death.
A farmer’s nightmare would be a stressed chicken, since for hen it will decreased their production, and for roosters it may cause a serious problems like injuries or increasing in mortality.
How to Prevent Chickens from Fighting
There are several tips on how to prevent chickens from fighting you can applied in your poultry farm. What we must understand first is that chickens including hens like other animals are naturally inquisitive, they use their beaks to explore and that is why pecking for chicken is natural behavior. But sometimes pecking can becomes aggressive and problematic for birds in the flocks. These are steps or tips to prevent chickens from fighting :
1. Understand the different between curious and aggressive
First is, as a chicken’s farmer we must understand the difference wether our chickens curious of surrounding, inspecting, or they develop an aggrissive behavior.
2. Find the reason why they are fighting each other
Chickens always have many reason of fighting as mentioned in the beginning. You must create a checklist which thing cause them to figh. Is it because of over population in confinement, feed or water problem, temperature, or is there any predator in the area like snake or stray dogs, or maybe because you introduce new chickens to the flock.
After identified the trigger then you must remove the problem and slowly the behavior will decrease and diminish.
3. Chickens lack of food, water or mineral
It is a must for you to control and maintaining their food and water supply. Especially if you have a big flock. Give them enough feeding place scattered in several places to avoid them fighting over food. By placing feeding place in several places you will split the flock and avoid them clustering in one place.
Chickens need grit to digest their food. A deficiency of grit, mineral (NaCl and calcium) or other nutritions will trigger canibalism symptoms and later will emerge fighting between them. The impact for layer chickens is they will pecking their own egg to add calcium deficiency and for broiler they will peck other chicken’s feather, comb, finger, and wattle to meet calcium needs.
4. Make an comfortable and clean confinement or coop
Do not put a lot of chickens in the same confinement, if it is to crowd it will make them feel uneasy and discomfort. Overpopulated coop also make the temperature increased especially during summer. It will make the moisture became high too. The result is your chicken will find the most comfortable spot and they will fight each other in order to obtain it.
It can be a guidance for you where chickens may comfortable with an average space of 4 square feet indoors and 10 square feet outdoors per chicken or birds. Monitor this minimum space ratio if you want to prevent your chicken from fighting.
5. New chickens in a flock
A new chicken can be a treath for a flock, since almost like other birds they have a dominance one. It is natural if your chicken will experienced uneasiness. Usually after the pecking order is determined the chickens will leave together nicely. But sometimes they may take more violent action to the new member or chicken in order to established their position (hierarchy ladder). It can be from rooster to rooster, hens to hens, or roosters to hens.
If you want to introduce new chickens into a stable flock than you should do it slowly and cautiously. Seperate the new chickens in a different pen but make other member of the flock still can see them. By doing this they still able to investigate or observe the new member but can not harm them. You must avoid adding lest than two chicken in a stable flock. By adding at least two member they won’t abuse to only one chickens. It will decreasing the stress of the new members too if they have a friend.
6. Isolate an abusive chicken
Chickens especially hens always have the dominant one. If the dominant chicken became more aggressive and the fighting drawn blood you must isolate them. Or separate them from the flocks to establised the situation. You may also want to read about easy ways to keep your chicken water from freezing in the winter.
It is a common method to minimize the risk of chicken’s fighting by debeaking. We can start debeaking to a chick, when their beak still soft. At least by debeaking they won’t harm each other and minimize the risk of scar or injuries and even mortality.
8. Give them a toy or item to peck
Chicken is like us, they sometimes feel bored. To relieve their boredom you can provide them by any toys or item to make their minds busy. Just like a hamster, give them a ferris wheel to play with. For chickens you can give them sturdy branches, chicken’s swing, or the block. A block can be a fun experience for your chickens and prevent them from fighting instead they will spend more time playing with that in the coop.
Those are tips on how to prevent chickens from fighting you could apply in your poultry farm. Hope this article will be useful for you all. Good luck!