+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Feather Pecking and Cannibalism in Non-Beak-Trimmed Laying Hen Flocks-Farmers' Perspectives



Feather Pecking and Cannibalism in Non-Beak-Trimmed Laying Hen Flocks-Farmers' Perspectives



Animals 9(2):



Pecking-related problems are common in intensive egg production, compromising hen welfare, causing farmers economic losses and negatively affecting sustainability. These problems are often controlled by beak trimming, which in Finland is prohibited. An online questionnaire aimed to collect information from farmers about pecking-related problems in Finnish laying hen flocks, important risk factors and the best experiences to prevent the problems. Additionally, the farmers' attitudes towards beak trimming were examined. We received 35 responses, which represents about 13% of all Finnish laying hen farms with ≥300 laying hens. The majority of respondents stated that a maximum of 5⁻7% incidence of feather pecking or 1⁻2% incidence of cannibalism would be tolerable. The majority of respondents (74%) expressed that they would definitely not use beak-trimmed hens. Only two respondents indicated that they would probably use beak-trimmed hens were the practice permitted. Among risk factors, light intensity earned the highest mean (6.3), on a scale from 1 (not important) to 7 (extremely important). Other important problems included those that occurred during rearing, feeding, flock management and problems with drinking water equipment (mean 5.9, each). The most important intervention measures included optimal lighting and feeding, flock management, and removing the pecker and victim. Concluding, Finnish farmers had strong negative attitudes towards beak trimming. The study underlines the importance of flock management, especially lighting and feeding, in preventing pecking problems and indicates that it is possible to incorporate a non-beak-trimming policy into sustainable egg production.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 066446240

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30704113


Related references

Modelling of feather pecking behavior in beak-trimmed and non-beak-trimmed crossbred laying hens: variance component and trait-based approach. Poultry Science 93(4): 773-783, 2014

Vocalisations and acoustic parameters of flock noise from feather pecking and non-feather pecking laying flocks. British Poultry Science 49(3): 241-249, 2008

Effect of rearing factors on the prevalence of floor eggs, cloacal cannibalism and feather pecking in commercial flocks of loose housed laying hens. British Poultry Science 40(1): 12-18, 1999

Effects of floor type during rearing and of beak trimming on ground pecking and feather pecking in laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 22(3-4): 359-370, 1989

Feather-pecking and injurious pecking in organic laying hens in 107 flocks from eight European countries. Animal Welfare 26(3): 355-363, 2017

The effects of environmental enrichment and beak-trimming during the rearing period on subsequent feather damage due to feather-pecking in laying hens. Poultry Science 94(5): 852-859, 2015

Genetic parameters of natural antibody isotypes and survival analysis in beak-trimmed and non-beak-trimmed crossbred laying hens. Poultry Science 92(8): 2024-2033, 2013

Effect of light intensity on growth, feed intake and feather pecking behaviour in beak trimmed and bitted pheasant chickens (Phasianus colchicus). Archiv fur Geflugelkunde 61(4): 167-171, 1997

The development of feather pecking behaviour and targeting of pecking in chicks from a high and low feather pecking line of laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 77(3): 183-196, 2002

The influence of beak trimming on behavior, feather pecking and production traits of laying hens. 1993

Effect of manipulating feathers of laying hens on the incidence of feather pecking and cannibalism. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 68(3): 215-229, 2000

Development of a prognostic tool for the occurrence of feather pecking and cannibalism in laying hens. Poultry Science 97(3): 820-833, 2018

The prevalence of feather pecking and development in commercial flocks of laying hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 74(3): 223-231, 5 November, 2001

Influence of farm factors on the occurrence of feather pecking in organic reared hens and their predictability for feather pecking in the laying period. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 121(2): 120-125, 2009

Ethological studies on domestic fowls of different hybrid origin under intensive floor management with special reference to aggressive behaviour as well as feather pecking and cannibalism. 5. Feather pecking behaviour. Archiv fur Geflugelkunde 39(Heft 2): 37-44, 1975