Poultry in the farm are so sensitive to slight changes in the farm practices and other factors. The changes can affect egg production in the farm, the growth of the birds and can also encourage behavior changes in these birds.
Farmers should due care when carrying routine management, choose wisely the places they are building the rearing house systems for the birds. These rearing poultry systems should not be built near busy roads used by large locomotives and also in busy working areas since these birds could get scared and cause stress in them.
These are conditions and practices that make birds uncomfortable in places they are.
Causes of stress in poultry in the farm
- Farm birds are so sensitive to the surrounding, whether it is raining or in hot seasons, these weather changes may affect the birds especially when things like rain hit them directly or when the hot rays of the sun hit them and they have no shade to hide.
- Improper handling of the poultry in the farm, when carrying it from one place to the other or when performing daily poultry management practices. The birds should not be thrown up or kicked because in lay egging poultry you can temper with eggs in their stomach.
- Poor feeding practices and not giving them enough water in a regular basis.
- In the case of pest and disease infestation, the poultry will changes how they perform since most will have a tendency of sleeping and even not eating.
- Noise caused from large locomotives as tractors working in a quarry will cause the birds to panic hence poor egg laying capability.
- The introduction of new birds in the farm may lead to fights which can lead to cause of injuries to other birds and to some instances it can cause death.
- Predators can drastically change the way these birds can stay in the farm. Predators will make the birds always in the run and not concentrating in egg laying process. Make sure these birds are well housed to avoid such occurrences.
Control of stress in poultry in the farm
- You can build the poultry house in such a way that it can distribute evenly heat in the house and stays warm in colder seasons.
- Always remember to dust the poultry house to kill pests and also vaccinate them to prevent them from being attacked by deadly diseases.
- Avoid at all cost introducing new birds in the house.
- Routine management should not be changed abruptly. This process should take time; gradually over a period of time.
- The farmer should be in a position to provide enough and well balanced diet to the birds.
These adoptive behaviors that the birds acquire while in the farm and may include;
- Cannibalism – this is a situation where birds eat their fellow birds in the farm which is caused by the following situations: too much brightness in the poultry house, over crowded birds in the farm, lack of a well-balanced diet and minerals especially calcium, infestation of external parasites and introducing new birds in the house.
Cannibalism can include toe pecking, feather pecking and eating other parts of another bird.
Control of cannibalism in poultry farming
- The farmer should be able to routinely give the birds a well balance diet containing proper ratios of minerals and proteins as calcium, ground nuts and small milled fish.
- The farmer should also put a colored material maybe a green colored paper bag on brighter bulbs; this is to help reduce brightness in the house.
- The cannibal birds should be immediately debeaked, debeaking can be done by slightly burning the sharp front part of the bird.
- Birds which are in the laying period or process should be kept in a separate room from the ones which are not laying eggs at the moment.
- Wounded birds should be isolated from other birds because this will be a good chance of cannibalism starting in the rearing house system.
- The farmer can as well cull the perpetual cannibal bird.
- Egg eating – this is a scenario where birds starts eating either their own eggs or that of others due to the following reasons: lack of calcium and other minerals, too much color or brightness in their laying nests, soft shelled in the poultry house and idleness of the birds.
Control of egg eating in poultry farming
- The egg eating birds should be immediately debeaked; debeaking can be done by slightly burning the sharp front part of the bird.
- The farmer should also be able to frequently monitor and collect eggs.
- Make sure the laying nests are darker by providing deem light in their houses.
- Provide the birds with enough of minerals, water and feeds with lots of nutrients.
- Hang green vegetables slightly from the ground part of the house to keep the birds busy and not concentrating on eating eggs.