Discussion created on 03/10/2012

Vent pecking in poultry

Forum: Vent pecking in Broilers

Vent pecking is seen in 30 day old broiler birds in the farm refer as Cannibalism. Cannibalistic behavior performed by poultry is the pecking, tearing and consuming of skin, tissues, the case i met with birds have started pecking cloaca l region in some case intestine it is to harsh that intestinal loop drop outside through wound. However, this problem has been a consistent problem in layers but can also be encountered in broilers as i do. The I.B.D has been ruled out by P.M examination here and the bird are medicated with a salt solution as Cannibalism has been linked to deficiencies in protein, sodium and phosphorus, with increase in number of drinkers and feeders also supplied with Vit C as a stress reliever as the high temperature might be a cause of problem.

Please throw light on this topic so that it is efficiently deal with.

Dr. Rahul Hardas
Veterinary Doctor
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Muhammad Farooq Muhammad Farooq
M Sc (hons) Animal Nutrition
January 25, 2016
i dnt agree its purely limited amino acid defficiency especialy due to methionine
Juvy Lago Juvy Lago
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
January 25, 2016
Very rare you can see vent pecking in broilers. it is more common on laying birds. If it occur in broilers it is mainly cause by crowding ang too much light intensity.
January 25, 2016
Pecking is rare in broilers. Salt deficiency and aminoacid deficiemcy can lead to pecking. When the feed is mash improper grinding leads to pecking. If the maize particles are too large selective feeding leads to imbalance leading to pecking. We had this problem in few flocks which got corrected after replacing the feed with properly ground feed. May be tried.
January 26, 2016
Overcrowded high temperature mineral deficiency
Georges Tenny Ngu Georges Tenny Ngu
B.Agric. Tech. (Animal Productions), MSc. in Animal Science (options in Monogastric Nutrition and Reproductive Physiology), PhD student
January 26, 2016
We experienced this phenomenon, in a batch of 2,000 birds kept in our farms. From the contributions so far i think our problem was light intensity and maybe insufficient feed. Thanks to all for their contributions. We will certainly use the advise to work to correct this anomaly.
January 26, 2016
Thanks for this topic. In my experience too bright light and inadequate salt in diet are the course for vent pecking from observation. It also happens in layers and fourteen days old cockerels.
Sai Mahesh Reddy Sai Mahesh Reddy
M.V.Sc & Ph.D.
July 7, 2018

We recently succeeded in preventing the menace by keeping neem tree tender stems and those of Moringa millata.
Along with important things like addition of salt and mineral mixture to feed or water.


July 17, 2018

To prevent picking.
1. Feed should be given which is low in protein.
2. Green leaves, legumes should be spread in house.
3. Salt is added to water.
4. Electrolytes application through water.
5. Red colour plastic or red coloured rubber balls should be spread in house to divert bird attention.
6. Prevent overcrowding.
7. Ventilate the birds.
8. Beak trimming or touching.
9. Application of neem oil on injured areas.

July 17, 2018

Vent picking in broilers is a rare happening. Besides the points given elsewhere, we found that improper grinding of grains initiated pecking in broilers. This can be reversed by replacing the feed with properly ground feed.

July 17, 2018

It's a common problem in layers especially with poorly cited nesting boxes and insufficient feed. In broilers, it happens to those with insufficient feed and overcrowded birds.

February 25, 2020
Hi , all
I like to thank all of you about sharing this topic , I work in a with more than million pullet sites and I often see this problem, among the causes but not all is the over crowd and high illumination. Once the pullet taste the blood , condition get worse. Salt deficiency of course play important role as well . Stress also play a major role specially at the time of 7 wks vaccination.
I see that all the time. Solving the problem completely depends upon decrease the number of bird per cage , salts adding specially sodium chloride. Pls try to control ectoparasites as well .
Best regards
Dr. Abe Dessouki

February 25, 2020

I came across a serious problem of vent picking in a broiler flock. We found it to be due to improper grinding of feed. Oversized maize was left in the feeders. Feed consumed got imbalanced. Replacing the feed with properly ground feed solved the problem.

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