Feather pecking

Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.wikipedia
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Feather-plucking

feather pluckingFeather pickingpluck its feathers
Feather pecking is also distinct from another psychopathological behaviour called feather-plucking or feather-picking. In feather-plucking, birds, often housed in isolation, remove feathers from their own body; in feather pecking, however, birds peck at each other's feathers.
Although feather-plucking shares characteristics with feather pecking commonly seen in commercial poultry, the two behaviours are currently considered to be distinct as in the latter, the birds peck at and pull out the feathers of other individuals.

Domestic turkey

turkeyturkeysdomesticated turkey
Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.
Feather pecking occurs frequently amongst commercially reared turkeys and can begin at 1 day of age.

Poultry

drumstickdomestic fowlpoultry meat
Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.
In intensive systems, cannibalism, feather pecking and vent pecking can be common, with some farmers using beak trimming as a preventative measure.

Debeaking

De-beakingbeak trimmingBeak-trimming
Beak-trimming, sometimes misleadingly termed debeaking, is perhaps most accurately described as ‘partial beak-amputation’.
Beak trimming is a preventive measure to reduce damage caused by injurious pecking such as cannibalism, feather pecking and vent pecking, and thereby improve livability.

Pecking

pecks
Feather pecking occurs when one bird repeatedly pecks at the feathers of another.
Feather pecking

Battery cage

battery cagesbattery hensbattery farming
EU legislation (Council Directive 1999/74/EC) will ban battery or conventional cages in 2012 meaning that many producers will change to using free-range systems, possibly exacerbating this welfare problem until effective methods of its control are learned - see Defra's "A Guide To The Practical Management of Feather Pecking & Cannibalism in Free Range Laying Hens"
To reduce the harmful effects of feather pecking, cannibalism and vent pecking, most chicks eventually going into battery cages are beak-trimmed.

Poultry farming

poultry farmpoultrychicken farm
Because of this, they are not used widely in modern poultry production, except for gamekeeping.
Cannibalism, feather pecking and vent pecking can be common, prompting some farmers to use beak trimming as a preventative measure, although reducing stocking rates would eliminate these problems.

Blinders (poultry)

BlindersSpectacles or 'blinders
*Spectacles or 'blinders' are pieces of plastic or metal shaped like opaque spectacles and attached to the bird's beak to block its vision.
Blinders, also known as peepers, are devices fitted to, or through, the beaks of poultry to block their forward vision and assist in the control of feather pecking, cannibalism and sometimes egg-eating.

Beak

billcereculmen
*Bits or bumpabits are small, plastic circlips, the body of which passes between the maxilla and mandible of the beak and are held in place by the ends of the circlip being placed in the nostrils or nares.
Because the beak is a sensitive organ with many sensory receptors, beak trimming (sometimes referred to as 'debeaking') is "acutely painful" to the birds it is performed on. It is nonetheless routinely done to intensively farmed poultry flocks, particularly laying and broiler breeder flocks, because it helps reduce the damage the flocks inflict on themselves due to a number of stress-induced behaviors, including cannibalism, vent pecking and feather pecking.

Chicken

chickenshenhens
Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.

Pheasant

pheasantspheasant meatcock pheasant
Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.

Domestic duck

ducksduckdomesticated duck
Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.

Ostrich

ostrich eggStruthioniformesostrich feather
Feather pecking is a behavioural problem that occurs most frequently amongst domestic hens reared for egg production, although it does occur in other poultry such as pheasants, turkeys, ducks, broiler chickens and is sometimes seen in farmed ostriches.

Biological specificity

conspecificcongenerconspecifics
In combination, these cause the birds' foraging activity to be re-directed to the feathers of their conspecifics.

Feather

feathersplumagebarbule
Eating feathers increases gut transit indicating that feather pecking and feather eating have a different motivational basis.

Uropygial gland

preen glandpreen oiluropygial
Feather pecking is not aggression. During aggressive encounters, hens peck exclusively at the top of the head or the comb, whereas during feather pecking, the areas of the body that are usually targeted are the base of the tail over the uropygial or preen gland, the back, the tail feathers and the wing feathers.

Pecking order

dominant otherslow henpeck orders
Although feather pecking activity may be related to dominance relationships or the pecking order, formation of the dominance hierarchy is not involved in the causation of feather pecking.

Animal psychopathology

Animal psychopathology § PicaActivity anorexiaCanine compulsive disorder
Feather pecking is also distinct from another psychopathological behaviour called feather-plucking or feather-picking. In feather-plucking, birds, often housed in isolation, remove feathers from their own body; in feather pecking, however, birds peck at each other's feathers.

Ad libitum

ad libad-libad-libs
Ad libitum feeding

Animal feed

feedanimal feedscompound feed
Mashed feed rather than pelleted

Protein

proteinsprotein synthesisproteinaceous
Diet balanced for protein and methionine

Methionine

Metmethionine metabolism L -methionine
Diet balanced for protein and methionine

Tryptophan

Trptryptophan metabolism L -tryptophan
Dietary tryptophan

Dekalb Amberlink

Amberlink
White breeds such as the Amberlink compared to pigmented breeds

Keratin

keratinouskeratinizationkeratinized
Beak-trimming causes welfare concerns because the internal tissue of the beak contains many nerves which are transected during the process - it is only the surface and extreme tip of the beak that is keratinised, dead tissue.