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Jalex® Retail

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Feather Pecking

Feather Pecking can be a major issue and is usually caused by either a  management problem or a mineral deficiency or both!  Once the habit is  formed it’s very difficult to break.  Read on to hear suggestions on how  to break this habit.  

First and foremost stop feeding scraps of left-over food, its illegal!!   Under DEFRA rules, unless it’s a vegan household you can’t feed left  over vegetable waste that has been in your kitchen,   Hens will happily  fill up on scraps at the expense of a well-balanced diet.  Never fed pellets – always meal (mash). Hens can eat pellet very quickly  and when they are full they become bored and look around for something  else to do – feather pecking seems like a handy option!!   Meal takes  them much longer to eat so they have less time for vices – this is  probably the most important change you will make.   Provide both insoluble and soluble grit.  The soluble grit is used for  mineral supply which is important for egg producing shells and strong  bone development. The insoluble grit is a ‘grinding aid’ in the crop to  help with food digestion.   Nutri peck blocks suspended in the run or poultry house will provide  interest, distraction, occupation and has great nutritional value as  well – this usually has a very successful result.   Scaper is a powerful vice-buster as acts as a deterrent to feather  pecking.  We supply both the regular foul smelling (but effective) can  and the scarper clear which is the odourless clear version.