Aberrant Animal Behavior

     Laying hens (especially the common Leghorn breed) raised in confinement (housed but not caged) had the reputation of being nervous and flighty.  It was common practice to knock on the door before entering the poultry-house. Suddenly entering the facility without this advance warning would alarm the birds and the flock would rush to the opposite end of the building.  They would often pile up and some birds would die of suffocation.  It would affect egg production for several days.  Funny though: some canny poultrymen would add ground up coal or humates to the ration and the birds would settle right down and become calmer and more content, obviating the need to knock before entering. 

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     Groups of pigs raised in confinement often begin chewing on one another’s tail - tail biting.  It’s not known why they do this but some speculate boredom or some sort of nutritional deficiency - probably a combination.  Conventional remedy goes something like this — “Let’s cut off their tail when they are young so they have no tails to bite.”   Funny though: pigs raised with adequate protein and balanced minerals seldom engage in tail biting.  Unfortunately, once they start this habit they will usually continue the vice even after conditions or nutrition improves. 

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      Chickens in confinement have a similar problem - head pecking- also thought to be caused by confinement boredom or poor nutrition. Conventional remedy; “If you cut off the top beak they can’t peck on each other.”  Funny though: if you feed them well and give them a little space they rarely pick up this vice.

    The common thread to all of this is that malnutrition, dietary mineral imbalances and close confinement leads to all sorts of strange social behavior in animals. I believe this holds true for us humans as well.  With much of our population crowded into stifling cities and subsisting on food with low nutritive value and high levels of toxic chemicals - is it any wonder that crime and aberrant social behavior are rampant in our society? 

    Taking away our guns, the equivalent of debeaking; or enforcing political correctness, commensurate to tail amputation. will not fix the problem.

    Perhaps we need to add some coal dust or its mineral equivalent to our human diet.  

So say I, what say ye?

rjhdvm@gmail.com