Pecking and cannibalism in laying hens is a real problem. These are usually a consequence of some stress problem suffered by the hens.
Stress problems can be classified into four groups:
They can also be of pathological origin: the presence of diseases, external or internal parasites… Of diverse origin are those cases caused, for example, by startles, noises, or turning on the night light.
A stress situation caused by any of these factors can lead to multiple problems that are difficult to detect and solve. For example, a degenerated pecking process in its hardest phase results in cannibalism.
There is a phenomenon called “pterophagia” that ends as pecking and begins by plucking the feathers with the beak from each other. It occurs more in laying hens than in broiler breeders. Different causes can contribute to this phenomenon: error in the formulation of the feed, overpopulation, excess temperature, low humidity, hens at the beginning of laying, and excessive lighting. It can also appear at the end of the laying period and coincide with the molt. The animals are stung on the back, the insertion of the tail, the area of the cloaca, and the breast. Some hens lose their back feathers completely.
The first manifestation of pecking is observing
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