Cannibalism in poultry: Causes, prevention, and treatment 

Cannibalism in poultry is a common problem for farmers. This problem often begins with a few birds picking the toes, comb, or feathers of other birds. Once the wound is open and blood starts oozing out, the entire flock may adopt the cannibalism habit.

Not once or twice have I heard poultry farmers complaining about some of their birds feeding on other birds as food.

So, why are your chickens feeding on or cannibalizing each other? What causes the habit of cannibalism in poultry, and how can you prevent it?

If you are caught up in the mess of cannibalism, then it’s high time you move with speed to find the solution.

One crucial fact poultry farmers need to understand is that poor management practices mainly cause cannibalism in poultry. What happens is that an unconducive rearing environment can lead to stress in birds causing cannibalism.

When birds are stressed, they tend to react with extremely wierd behaviors. Cannibalism is one of such habits.

Cannibalism can be the result of many factors. The most most cause of this problem are overcrowding, poor nutrition or unbalanced diet, injuries and death, feather eating, excessive heat or light, poor feeding practices, mixing different kinds of birds, and prolapse pecking.

We explored each of these causes of cannibalism in poultry one by one in our article on the causes of cannibalism in poultry.

As a poultry farmer, cannibalism is something about which to be concerned. You can prevent cannibalism in poultry using several recommended methods.

The best practices to prevent cannibalism habit in birds include regulating the pen temperature, avoiding overcrowding in pen, controlling lights, providing adequate feed with a balanced diet, removing injured and dead birds from the flock, keeping different birds separately, and preventing prolapse pecking.

Check my article on the prevention and treatment of cannibalism in poultry.

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