The old phrase “pecking order” comes from the fact that chickens do peck at one another, sometimes inflicting considerable injury and even death. To prevent this, the majority of commercial egg farms trim beaks when chicks are 10 days of age or younger, when there is little stress, a practice supported by the scientific community. The process is similar to clipping a dog’s nails or trimming a horse’s hooves. Of course, chicks and hens with trimmed beaks can still eat and drink. Research has shown that mortality in flocks that are not beak-trimmed is considerably higher than in flocks that are beak-trimmed.