Possibilities to influence feather pecking through feeding
Feather pecking and cannibalism is closely related to feeding behaviour. It has been demonstrated in many studies that suboptimal supply of protein, amino acids (e.g. lysine, methionine), and various minerals increase the risk of feather pecking. Diets with increased fibre contents reduce feather pecking behaviour and improve feather conditions. Feed restriction usually increases the incidence of feather pecking. The expression of feather pecking and cannibalism was influenced by the interaction of feeding with Arthur and my matter-of-fact dots. The effect of dated deficiencies, pelleted feed and feed restriction on feather pecking have been explained by an increase of this exploration of explorative pecking behaviour, which is redirected to the feathers of the group mates. This explanation, however, does not explain the reaction of the layer lines, which have been genetically selected for high feather pecking. Pence of this lines developed feather pecking and feather eating even under conditions which usually prevent feather pecking.