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The AI Outbreak: Sustaining Bird Welfare

With the AI outbreak continuing to spread, the Government announced that as of the 14th December 2020, all birds are to be kept indoors with strict bio-security, to help contain transmission of the disease.

As a result, now more than ever, it is essential to ensure the welfare of your birds- particularly with their access to enrichment items.

The Pecking Pan:

Our Pecking Pan has proven welfare benefits that can help to reduce boredom and injurious pecking. Made from limestone, oyster shell and sand, it helps hens to produce strong eggs and provides a source of calcium – preventing osteoporosis.

The pan can placed or hung, to create movement and increase interest. They are easy to clean and the inner ring is replaceable to minimise plastic waste and reduce costs.

The pecking pan is an environmental enrichment product with multiple benefits:

  • Encourages non-injurious pecking

  • Naturally blunts beaks

  • Source of calcium

The Science:

Vencomatic sponsored a 2 year Msc study and 3 year trialsThe study and found that “Pecking Pans for chicks/pullets can provide a long-lasting environment enrichment which may reduce injurious pecking, reduce plumage damage and enhance bird welfare” and therefore, is the only pecking enrichment shown to have welfare benefits*.

As stated by the RSPCA and Freedom Foods, for every 1000 birds, 2 items of enrichment are needed in each colony and therefore, the Pecking Pan is essential for any poultry farmer.

Where to put them?

The Vencomatic Pecking Pan can be placed or hung anywhere in the poultry house regardless of the system you have. Through our research, we have found the best results from having them in the scratch areas, including verandas/winter gardens and outside in the range under shelters. The Pecking Pan can also help to reduce and redirect boredom pecking in birds, who choose not to venture onto the scratch areas, by hanging the pan above the system.

Hanging or Standing them?

In trials, we have found that hanging the pans helps to keep the birds more interested, possibly due to the swaying motion. We recommend hanging the pans by their hook and having them at a height where the pecking material is roughly in line with the bird’s crop.

How to keep the birds interested?

Like most animals, the birds will only continue to stay interested in something if they get a “reward” for pecking. The Venco mat-ic pecking material is specially formulated to be robust enough to help naturally blunt the beak whilst giving the bird a reward for their pecking. As the pecking disk wears down the material can become smoother , some of our customers have found by scattering a hand full of feed on the pans while walking the birds helps to enhance the birds curiosity in the pans again.

If you would like to know more, call our team on 01845 521 360 or contact us.

*Msc study with the University of Bristol.

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