Will Chickens Kill Each Other? Important Facts to Consider

In an ideal world, raising chickens is all flowery and rewarding. Unfortunately, this only happens on an unreal planet.  It is worth highlighting that even the most experienced chicken farmers often encounter a killer bird in the flock. Remember that pecking is pretty typical in the chicken industry as the birds establish their social order.

However, sometimes the most resilient and robust birds may overpower the weaklings and injure them to death. Although this rarely happens, there are a couple of solutions that can help maintain peace on your farm. Keep reading as we define why chickens attack each other and how to keep the issue under control.

Why Do Chickens Kill Each Other?

During winter and fall, farmers tend to keep their poultry more in the coop. After spending long durations indoors, your birds may become highly bored. One common way that chickens vent out their frustrations is through pecking.

In some species with more vicious dispositions, the habit can get overboard. It is not unusual for a flock to isolate or starve a weak bird to death. Also, since birds are naturally curious, they may use their beaks to explore stuff on the flock mates.

There is a popular notion of chicken’s reaction when they spot blood or anything in red color. True to this statement, poultry almost goes berserk when they spot a bloody spot.

As a result, they may plunge on the hapless chicken and peck it severely. In such a situation, isolate any injured birds, even those with minor bruises.

Another alternative is to cover the wounded areas on your flock to minimize the attention. All in all, understanding the disparity between harmless pecking and aggressiveness goes a long way in keeping your birds safe.

Aggressive Behavior in Chickens

Violence among chickens varies depending on several circumstances like bird species, food competition, and so forth. Naturally, some breeds may display ferocious traits compared to others.

For instance, an excellent egg layer like Rhode Island Reds may be somewhat meek amongst humans but extremely aggressive towards other chicken varieties.

Therefore, avoid keeping ferocious chickens with more accommodative ones in the same confinement space. However, if you are keen on keeping assertive breeds, take note of their behavior or habits daily.

If some birds display extreme unbecoming behaviors, segregate them from others or harvest those within the ideal death weight.

Do Roosters Kill Each Other?

Roosters are naturally protective and territorial over the hens in the vicinity. Keeping multiple roosters in one coop can quickly turn into a warzone as they fight for their position. Sadly, these alterations may turn fatal to the extent of weak birds losing their lives.

You may realize that these brawls only happen if there are hens in the enclosure. In fact, your boys may live peacefully together in one pen without any major confrontations.

If your roosters coexist peacefully, avoid keeping them apart for long durations. That way, they may end up losing touch with each other and viciously fight when reintroduced.

Will a Rooster Kill a Hen?

There are various reasons why hens get harassed by roosters. It can either be a case of environmental conditions, mating rituals, or even a problematical rooster among the flock.

Beyond anything else, it is essential to discern whether your rosters are hurting the hens or it is just a customary mating ritual. Bear in mind that roosters often pick a favorite hen amongst others.

During mating, you may notice that the cocks harass these hens most. Sometimes, rowdy roosters pick on meek hens for no reason and make life miserable for them. In the process, they may harm the hens or put their lives at risk.

One quickest remedy is to separate roosters from the hens unless during the breeding period. Above all, kindly place them in a ratio of 6 hens to 1 rooster for a safer environment.

Will Adult Chickens Kill Baby Chicks

Adding new chicks to the flock can be exceptionally exciting to the farmer. Unfortunately, the birds may not share your joy about newcomers invading their space or most likely feeding on their food.

For these reasons, agitated adult chickens may undoubtedly kill baby chicks if no proper measures are kept in place. Therefore, never introduce one chick bird to a flock of mature counterparts because it can become an easy target.

Given that chickens sheepishly copy each other behavior, a single attack can lead to the entire flock joining in the scuffle. If you really need to get new baby chicks, wait until they are much older and fully grown. In short, the best time to bring in chicks in the coop is from 14 to 15 weeks.

How to Prevent Chickens Killing Each Other?

Even if there should be some level of dominance in a chicken cage, immediately the pecking order gets determined, everything should fall in place. Nonetheless, if the aggressive nature with your birds becomes intense, take time to find out the triggers.

For example, take time to consider whether the cages are overcrowded or too hot/cold. Do you have predators around, or is there something making your birds distressed? Note that lack of enough food is one major stressor that can prompt violence or death.

Additionally, an invasion of lice and mites can make the birds unruly and stressed. Hence introduce dust baths to keep them calm and less aggressive. You can also add minimal quantities of diatomaceous earth to eradicate the parasite menace entirely.

Lastly, keep your chickens in spacious pens and offer them toys to peck and kill boredom. Unknown to most people, boredom can be frustrating with poultry and easily prompt them to fight to their death.


No farmer wishes to lose their chickens from any factor. Consequently, it can be tremendously depressing for a poultry keeper to find their chickens fighting to their death. The best solution to the predicament is to evaluate probable triggers.

Whatever the cause, ensure that your birds live in a serene and spacious environment. If worse gets to worse, isolate the offending bully for a safer and more satisfying experience.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *