Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Chickens are a lively addition to any homestead. But it’s not all fun and games when you welcome a group of hens to your yard. Some flocks fall prey to pecking spells, where chickens begin attacking each other. Hen pecking can be an annoying problem at best, and devastating to the health of your flock at worst. Follow these best practices to keep the peace with your egg layers.

Manage stress levels

Chickens are just like people: they act out when they’re stressed. Pecking is often a symptom of a much larger problem with your hens. Address the source of the stress and your pecking problem will end.

Unfortunately, chickens aren’t able to tell us what’s going on. You’ll have to do a little detective work to spot the source of your hens’ woes. Do your chickens have at least four square feet per bird? Do they have mites or lice? Are they too hot or too cold? Are they hungry? Did a fox move into the area?

Whatever the reason for their pecking, aim to please your hens to stop pecking at the source.

Peck deterrents

Addressing underlying stress is the best way to combat pecking long term. But how do you protect your hens while getting to the root of the problem? Try store-bought peck deterrents like Pick No More. It will minimize the chances of pecking while you try to cure the hens’ anxiety.

Dust baths

Chickens will often peck when they feel dirty. Prevent pecking by giving your chickens baths. Not normal baths, of course: give your chickens access to dust baths. Your hens may have dug holes where they give themselves dust baths. If they don’t give themselves dust baths, or if digging has been discouraged, create your own dust bath. Mix sand, soil, and wood ash together in a sturdy 2’ x 2’ box.

Pecking alternatives

Remember, chickens are just like people. Chickens can get bored, and sometimes they start pecking when bored. Life on the farm doesn’t have to be boring for your hens. Provide DIY toys that let chickens use their natural instincts. Give them plenty of free range time, as well as toys like branches, string, or chicken swings.

Pecking is an irritating habit that wreaks havoc on the homestead. Instead of opting for inhumane alternatives like beak-cutting, target the source of your chickens’ stress to combat pecking.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of



Oh, we are all about…

  • Cheer Up KitCheer Up Kit
    by Dee Dee Know somebody who is feeling a little …



Healthy Skin: 4 Sun Safe Tips To Stay Safe In Heavy Sunlight

Sun Safe Tips for Staying Healthy & Gorgeous in the Sun

by Christina Schneider, MPH

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one American dies every hour from preventable melanomas. Long-term sun exposure damages your skin and leaves it discolored and wrinkled, so staying healthy and beautiful go hand in hand, especially when you’re outside around the garden or homestead. You don’t have to give up beach vacations or stay inside forever to prevent cancer and keep your skin looking great. Follow these four sun safe tips to protect yourself before heading outdoors.

Protect Your Eyes

You can’t get a sunburn on your eyes, but you can damage them permanently with too much sunlight. Plus, your eye region can get skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 5-10% of all skin cancers affect the eyelid. You don’t want to smear sunscreen on your eyelids because it can drip into your eyes and irritate them, but you can implement other sun safe tips to keep your peepers healthy. First, wear sunglasses whenever you’re outside. Choose shades that block UVA and UVB light. Second, wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers your entire forehead and eye area.

Choose a Hat

Hats do more than protect your eyes. They also shade your face and neck, the two most important areas to keep healthy for long-term beauty. Protecting your delicate facial skin from sunburns helps fight wrinkles, spotting, and other unsightly damage. If you prefer small-brimmed hats or ball caps, be sure to use sunscreen on the back of your neck, ears, and other exposed areas.

Wear Protective Clothing

Imagine a stereotypical desert dweller. Most people will conjure up a nomad with fully covered arms and legs underneath a long robe. Now think about what you normally wear to the beach or outside on a hot day; you probably show a lot more skin than your imaginary friend from the desert. Although it’s common to strip down when the weather heats up, you are doing long-term damage to your skin by not covering up. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you should protect yourself from UV rays by wearing long pants or skirts and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors. Synthetic materials like nylon, rayon, and acrylic provide the greatest levels of protection.

Use Sunscreen

Even if you wear sunglasses, protective clothing, and a hat, you still need to use sunscreen to cover your exposed skin. Choose products with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 15 and reapply every 2 hours. If you’re going to push long sleeves up your arms, cover your forearms and the back of your hands with sunscreen, and be sure to cover your neck, chest, and back.

Whether you’re headed for a safari or just want to know how to make it through summer without a sunburn, these four sun safe tips will help keep you safe. If your friends or family make fun of your efforts to protect yourself, just remember that you’ll have the last laugh when they’re suffering through a sunburn and you’re not. By making smart decisions, you can keep your skin healthy and beautiful for years to come.


Picked For You

  • Not Your Normal Livestock GuardianNot Your Normal Livestock Guardian
    Those who raise farm animals and livestock will be familiar with LGDs or Livestock Guardian Dogs. There are several breeds that are bred specifically for living with and protecting livestock on the farm. One of the most common that immediately comes to mind would be Old English Sheep Dogs. You often see these fluffy white …