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Beak treatment is not necessary under good

conditions and adjusted management. In

practice, it is still widely used, also in environ-

mental controlled and light-tight facilities, as

an efficient precaution against cannibalism

and feather pecking. Such behaviour may

develop at any age as a result of excessive

light intensity, unbalanced feed, poor venti-

lation, overstocking or boredom.

Especially in cage free management and/or

open houses with uncontrollable light inten-

sity, we recommend beak treatment subject

to local animal welfare regulations. A very

gentle and highly recommended method

of beak treatment is the infrared treatment

of the upper and lower beak by means of a

special technique, performed shortly after

chicks hatch. This procedure can already be

done in the hatchery under very hygienic

conditions by specially trained personnel.

Another method of beak treatment is to treat

the beaks with a hot blade. A good and uni-

form beak treatment is necessary, an improp-

er beak treatment can bring massive damage

to the birds.

Observe the following pre­

cautions for a conventional

beak treatment:

Treat only healthy, unstressed birds, at the

age of 7–10 days.

Allow only experienced personnel to do

the work.

Work slowly and carefully.

Use only equipment and blades in perfect

working order; adjust the blade tempera-

ture so that cauterisation is guaranteed

and the beak is not damaged. Change the

blade after 500 birds in sharp new one.

Adjust temperature and duration of the

treatment according to the chicks beak

size, strength and quality.

Do not feed for 12 hours before treating.

Use extra open drinkers/ bowls so the birds

can immediately drink after the treatment.

Nipple drinkers are painfull at that time.

Offer free feeding immediately after treat-


Increase the level of feed in the troughs.

Increase the temperature in the house for a

few days after treating.

For 3–5 days after beak treating provide an

extra hour of light and supply feed in the

late evening or at night.

Giving vitamins via the drinking water can

also help to alleviate stress.