To peck at

to attack with petty and repeated blows; to carp at; to nag; to tease.
to eat slowly and in small portions, with litle interest; as, to peck at one's food.

See also: Peck, Peck

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pecking at a red cube : During the first 5 days of life, chicks were allowed 60 min daily to peck at a red plastic cube (l3x3x3 cm).
Sensitivity to pressure--force used to peck at food : Birds were deprived of food for 1-1.5 h prior to testing.
Sensitivity to pressure-force used to peck at a red disc : Birds were placed in the test cage for three min, after they were deprived of food for 1-1.5 h.
Sensitivity to pressure-force used to peck at food : The number of birds pecking at food in this test ranged from 30% in 12-week old non-trimmed birds to 70% in 22-week old non-trimmed birds (Table 3).