Vices in domestic animals and their remedies
Undesirable quality or bad habits shown by the animals are called vices of animals. Degree of these undesirable qualities vary individually. Sometimes these vices are dangerous either to owner or to the animal.
Types of vices in animals
Eye rolling, licking, sucking, intersuckling calves, intersuckling by adults, wool pulling, wool eating, head rubbing, kicking and sucking and eating solid objects are common vices of farm animals. Most common causes of all the vices are improper diet and restricted movement.
Causes of vices
Overcrowding, restrictive enclosure and indoor management systems plays significant role in behaviour of small ruminants. Lack of enough exercise and work also causes viciousness. Early weaning of animals produce stress and can generate vices. Vices like kicking are act of self defence due to fear.
Ways to treat vices in animals
Following measures can be followed to treat animal vices
- Food and exercise
By providing sufficient food and taking out the animal from the stall or allowing free movement of animal, vices can be controlled. Feeding good quality feed with roughage and concentrate helps in minimizing the vices. Adding salt in the feed of animals also plays important role in preventing these undesirable qualities.
- Feeding weaned calves
Early weaned calves of dairy animals develop vices like licking at their own bodies, at objects in their pens and at parts of bodies of other calves. It can be controlled by feeding calves with automatic nurses with teats and prolonging the feeding time.
- Good feeding management
To control the loss of milk yield and to prevent the damage of udder, mouth muzzle can be used. Sometimes due to bad weather or indigestion, animals start eating dung. Good feeding management like feeding hay before grain feeding help in reducing over feeding in bulls. In sheep and goat wool pulling is common abnormal behaviour which can be managed by increasing amount of roughage in feed.
- Avoiding overcrowding
To control fear in animals, over crowding in the farm areas should be avoided.
- Food and exercise