Pecking In Birds And Control

Pecking is the natural means by which birds inflict injuries on themselves leading to a behavioural attitude. Poultry have a tendency to imitate each other, so when one member of the flock begins aggressive pecking, others will follow suit. It can persist and spread within the flock even when the cause has been corrected.
Causes Of Pecking
– Stress as a result of vaccination, starvation‎, poor management;
– Irritation caused by lice and mites;
– Inadequate floor space or overcrowding;
– Deficiency of any of the essential amino acids, vitamins, fibre and minerals‎ in the feed;
– Injured or dead birds left in the flock;
– Flocks of different ages and sizes;
– High temperatures cause birds to become uncomfortable and prone to pecking. Provide adequate fresh, cool water and proper ventilation for the type and age of the birds in your flock;
– Long beaks or poor debeaking;
– Enteritis;
– High light intensity‎ coupled with any of the above
Prevention
‎- Vaccination should be done at the cool hours of the day;
– Use Vitamins whenever any stressful operation is being carried out;
– Efficient control of lice and mites;
– Adequate floor spacing;
–  Provide adequate fresh, cool water and proper ventilation for the type and age of the birds;
– Do not provide more than 16 hours of light per day , constant lightning can be stressful to the birds;
– ‎Good farm management;
– Ensure stress free trans‎ition from rearing to laying section;
– Farmers must use good quality feed from a reputable feedmill or analyse feed milled personally must be analysed from a reputable laboratory;
– Timely debeaking;
– Avoid giving exessive light in the poultry houses;
– Isolate birds doing that has injuries.

Having identify other factors like insufficient feeders or drinkers, mineral and vitamin deficiencies which leads to mortalities and skin injuries. The loss of birds due to pecking trauma and cannibalism often leads to transmission of infectious diseases. Trimming of the upper beak will decrease skin trauma from pecking which is ideal at 1 day of age and repeated between 6 and 12 wk of age in maturing birds. From the hatchery the tip of the beak can also be treated with infrared heat on the day of hatching.

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