Backyard chickens are usually pretty hale and hearty creatures. But if you have your own flock of chickens, you may find that you have to deal with some chicken health issues from time to time. Cannibalism in chickens is one of those problems that can crop up under certain conditions.
Generally speaking, most chicken health issues can be prevented with meticulous care of your birds living areas and by providing quality feed and clean water. But, even if you provide the best of care for your backyard chickens, it is still possible for chicken health issues to crop up.
Under certain conditions, your chickens can turn on each other in cannibalistic behavior. The flock will pick one bird to cannibalize and then move onto another one when that one is killed. Some chicken breeds like Barred rocks and California Grays are less prone to cannibalism than others. If you are worried about this problem, you can talk to the hatchery you are going to get your chicks from and ask them to only give you the non-cannibalistic chickens breeds.
While some birds are just more naturally prone to cannibalistic behavior, there are some things that can increase the chances of you having the common chicken health issue.
- Overcrowding your chickens is one thing that can really cause a spike in cannibalistic or feather picking behavior in chickens.
- Not providing enough feeders and waterers for your chickens can cause excessive competition for “scarce” resources.
- Birds that are malnourished will also turn on each other very quickly.
- Cages that have wire floors increase the chances that your chickens will become cannibalistic.
- Using sand on the floor of your chicken house and chicken run will also cause increased incidences of feather picking or cannibalism. You should only use shavings or straw in these areas.
There are several things that you can do to help reduce this common chicken health issue. CLICK HERE to find out what you can do to help stop this problem.