aviculture au maroc


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Picking and Cannibalism


Pecking is not a disease but a bad behaviour whose causes can be different from one farm to another depending on whether it is private or professional, extensive or intensive, in outdoor or not.

Pecking involves pecking and plucking the feathers of other birds, which may result in injury.

If left unchecked, pecking can develop into cannibalism and is responsible for very large economic losses due to the extent of evisceration mortality. Mortality can be very rapid and severe: feather plucking can cause some blood to appear. Poultry taste and appreciate this supply of protein and minerals (which are rich in blood). Thus begins cannibalism. Afterwards pieces of flesh are torn off and often dead birds are found after the entire viscera has been torn out and eaten by other birds.

Main causes of pick-and-cannibalism.

Rearing conditions:


* Overcrowding.
* Poor ventilation.
* Overheated building.
* Difficulty to control the internal temperature of the henhouse because too much heat outside....attention to ventilation.
* Brightness too high.
* Too much humidity...attention to ventilation.
* Ammonia level too high....attention to ventilation.
* Litter is bad quality and too hard. Poultry must be able to scratch, reasonably turn the litter to be able to assume natural pecking as part of its normal behaviour.


Feeding conditions :


* Lack of minerals, vitamins, salts and trace elements.
* Poor feed grain size with large and small particles. Poultry sort and eat the larger pieces. The fine remains at the bottom of the feeders with minerals etc...
* More spiking with pellets than with flour. Poultry spends less time feeding on pellets and transfers its natural pecking need to the birds around it.


Most common consequences of pecking :


* Poultry pecking
* Injuries to the neck, back and cloaca.
* Decommissioning of carcasses at slaughter or seizure of excessively damaged poultry.
* Mortality due to infection of wounds.
* Significant economic losses.


How to react to pick-and-cannibalism?


The best fight is preventive first. It is necessary to act on all the conditions of breeding


* Hygiene, disinfection of the building and equipment.
* Avoid overcrowding which induces permanent stress and therefore leads to pecking.
* Distribute a balanced diet, healthy and good quality with noble raw materials.
* Avoid feed stress and disruption of water supply.
* Add moderately sea shells (or oysters) on plates scattered around the building.
* Spread new bedding if temperature conditions permit. If it is too hot, let the birds rest, do not disturb them.
* Decrease the intensity of natural or artificial light.
* Lower the temperature by diffusing a light water mist into the building, which evaporates and "pumps" heat out of the building, lowering the temperature a little.