PECKStone mineral block fights restlessness.October 12, 2017 3:50 am
PECKStone mineral block.
The product imported from Germany is made to counter cannibalism and feather pecking.
BY JOHN MINER
An Ontario-based company has started importing a product from Germany that it believes may help Canadian poultry farmers reduce restlessness and cannibalism problems in their flocks. The PECKStone mineral block.
“If cannibalism and feather pecking is a big issue on a farm, this is certainly something to try,” said Lasse Jakobsen of Protekta Inc. in Lucknow.
“In our opinion, it is a genius idea.”
The product is the PECKStone mineral block manufactured by Vilofoss, part of the European Vilofoss Group.
The blocks, about 30 centimetres wide by 15 centimetres high and weighing 10 kilograms, provide calcium, magnesium, sodium and other micro minerals. One block takes care of 500 to 800 birds and should last for more than a month.
Retail costs for farmers runs from $24 to $26 a block.
Jakobsen said a key benefit of the blocks is providing birds with an opportunity to live out their natural birding behaviour.
“It is a toy for them. There is not normally anything in a poultry barn for them to interact with other than each other. This gives them a mineral access that they can peck away and get distracted.”
The mineral blocks promote natural beak wear.
The manufacturer recommends using the stones with chicks and broilers from the first day of life, as well as with pullets, laying hens and turkeys.
The blocks should be placed at the activity level of the birds – directly on the floor for chicks, on top of the pail for larger birds and with larger turkeys, the blocks can be hung.
“It takes a little bit of trial and error depending on the setup,” Jakobsen said.
Along with reducing restlessness and injuries, the blocks enable birds to increase their calcium storage to produce strong egg shells, he said.
In Germany, the experience with the blocks is the level of interaction with the blocks varies from one flock to another. Protekta received its CFIA registration for the product earlier this year. Much of the first shipment imported by the company went to a hatchery operation in Steinbach, Manitoba that had observed some of the initial tests of the blocks in Canada.
“They could see the attraction was positive. That was what sparked their interest.”
You may view the manufacture’s web page on PECKStone’s here
Established in 2003, Protekta is a privately owned corporation.