Steps to Reduce Cannibalism in chickens

By Mary Nakirya
Cannibalism is still a serious problem amongst farmers that leads to losses in terms of eggs and birds in chickens. It includes vices like feather pecking, vent picking in laying birds and toe pecking. It is important to understand clearly the cause of cannibalism in order to reduce it.

Some of the major causes of cannibalism include

• Boredom especially among birds confined in very small areas,
• Lack or a deficiency of nutrients in a poultry ration may lead to irritation of the birds which may eventually lead to cannibalism in the flock
• An abrupt change in the tastiness of the food ration may also be a contributing factor because birds are then forced to spontaneously seek alternative sources of food.
• Poor ventilation, high temperature, low humidity, excessive population density are some of the environmental conditions that may lead to this vice.
• During egg laying the cloaca / vent may become damaged and swollen especially with the passage of large eggs and this protrusion of the vent may attract other birds to peck this part due to its red color difference against the white body.

How to reduce cannibalism

The best way to prevent cannibalism is debeaking of birds as recommended. How ever the following can also help to reduce it;

pay particular attention to the dietary factors by ensuring the birds get enough protein and sodium.

Make sure the food given to the birds in palatable enough and in case of any change in food type, do it gradually.

Avoid over crowding of the birds because this may also push them to start the vice. This is because when birds are overcrowded, its hard to ensure enough supply of food and water.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by bolutife. on September 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    i have a mini poultry,i need ur assistance my mobile numb is 08103221664. PLS SEND ME UR CONTACT Add or numb. than ur blog has bless me.


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