Feather pecking in layers

Feather pecking is a behavioural problem, which can be caused by environmental, genetic, or nutritional factors. The common age for feather pecking is during peak egg production, but it can happen earlier and once it starts, it is difficult to control. Feather pecking behaviour can be categorized into different levels based on the severity of the pecking and the body part being pecked: gentle feather pecking without removal of feathers, severe feather pecking leading to feather loss, aggressive pecking especially on head and neck, tissue pecking in featherless areas, and vent pecking. Damaged plumage, reduction in feed efficiency, increased injury, and cannibalism are some potential outcomes of severe feather pecking. Read on to learn more!