Most people have heard of the phrase "Hen Pecked". This is exactly what pecking is all about.
It occurs when for no apparent reason the Hen and sometimes the cock start to peck at the chicks in the nest. This can be a brutal attack where the chick dies or looses a limb. There is no known cause but some believe that the hen is killing the weaker chick/s so that the strong survive. Some believe itís the cock that is trying to get the hen back for himself.
The chick/s are bleeding and sometimes thrown from the nest.
By the time you realise there is a problem it is often too late. However the first thing to do is remove the Cock, and observe what is happening. If the problem continues all you can do is foster the chicks under another Hen.
It is surprising how easily the Hen accepts additional chicks.
Don't give up on the pair, as next nest is usually perfectly ok, however to play safe change the pairing.
Published Joseph Gallea 15th July 2005