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From time to time you may end up with a bad egg, errr, chicken, that pecks or picks your other birds. The bullying can be caused by boredom, lack of nutrition, or sometimes for no reason at all (some birds are just nasty from the start). If you suspect it is nutrition try adding:
- black oil sunflower seeds
- oyster shell
- mixture of other bird seeds
- free ranging your birds more often
- add a dust bath to keep them clean
- add perches or obstacles (tree stumps work great) in the run
- expand the run/pen for more space per bird
Fixing the cause of the problem (boredom, nutrition) won't alone stop the pecking necessarily as pecking is habit forming.
A great way to break the habit is to use Pinless Peepers. A Pinless Peeper is a plastic blinder that stops the bully from being able to target your other chickens while not interfering with regular feeding, watering and laying. The Pinless Peepers cause no harm to the bird and can be used short or long term. Some people keep them on their birds permanently.
How to install Pinless Peepers:
- Drop the Pinless Peepers into a bowl of hot water. Let them sit for a couple of minutes to soften the plastic
- Get a partner to hold the chicken on their lap while keeping the head from moving.
- With the chicken happily immobilized, pry the plastic prongs apart and insert one into each nostril of the bird. Once you release the peeper, it will hold snugly on the chickens beak.
- Using our special installation pliers makes the job easier when dealing with multiple birds.