Poultry Vicesphp

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Vices are bad behavior in chicken brought about by stress due to poor management. They need proper attention and care for complete eradication.

The cost associated with poultry vices are;

  • Mortalities
  • Reduced productivity-less weight gain and egg production
  • Treatment cost
  • Loss of market


1 Cannibalism

 This is a condition where birds in the flock attack their mates and eat their flesh. This imposes deep wounds, reduce production, and high mortalities


  • Overcrowding
  • Bleeding on external genitalia due to laying stress
  • Protein deficiency in diet
  • Deficiency of arginine and methionine in the diet
  • Deficiency of salts and minerals



  • Debeaking at week 14
  • Isolation of wounded birds
  • Sufficient feeds at all times
  • Peaceful environment for laying birds
  • Adequate vitamin-mineral mixture and salt in poultry ration


  1. Egg eating

Birds deploy a tendency to eat their eggs. This starts due to the presence of cracked eggs or accidental breaking of eggs and once the birds develop a test for it, they start breaking their own eggs. 


.Soft egg shellS

.Lack of proper bedding materials in the nest

.Presence of eggs for a longer period in  the nest


  • Isolate the  affected birds
  • Increase calcium and protein in the diet.
  • Debeaking
  • Reducing light in the  laying nest
  • Reduce the interval of collecting eggs in the nest
  1. Vent pecking

This occurs in well-feathered birds and the cloaca remains to be the only targeted region. 


  • Too much light and overheating
  • Overcrowding
  • Poor  nutrition
  • Prolapse 
  • The idleness of the birds


  • Correct stocking density
  • Debeaking
  • Proper lighting
  • Provision of perches and roosts


  1. Toe pecking;

it may result from;

  • infestation of parasites
  • exposed wounds
  • too much light

Prevention ;

  • Minimize light in the poultry house
  • control  parasites
  • isolation of birds with wounds 
  1. Feather pecking

This is where chicken plucks feathers due to external parasite infestation.


  • control of parasites with an appropriate insecticide.
  1. Egg hiding

This vice mostly affects the free ranged birds; whereby they hide eggs in fields and bushes


  • Provide laying nests in the poultry house with comfortable bedding for laying.
  1. Pica

This is a behavior in which birds eat materials not fit for consumption ie feathers, litter material, and threads.


  • inadequate feeds
  • Phosphorous deficiency
  • Bright litter material


  • provide adequate feeds
  • provide feeds rich in phosphorous
  • proper management of litter and consistency of the litter material used