Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The lessons to be learned from the fast of Tzom Gedaliah

See also:
צום  גדלי-ה

It is a fast day that commemorates a tragic time in our people’s history, one that the Gemorah (Rosh HaShanah 18b) equates with the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash itself – a very jarring thought. And yet perhaps even more jarring, are the words of the Panim Meiros on the Yerushalmi in Horios (3:5). The Panim Meiros states as follows:  Gedaliah caused his own death.

He was, himself to blame, not only for his death but for the deaths of thousands of others.How so? 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger

US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger attributed to Abraham Lincoln the following quotation

"Discourage litigation.

Persuade you neighbors to compromise wherever they can.

Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser--in fees, expenses and waste of time".

Sunday, January 14, 2018

SHOCK: Passaic ‘Glatt Kosher Restaurant’ May Have Been Selling Non-Kosher: UPDATE #5

Have your Rav check w/Hashgocha- if you must kasher your keilim.
THE KASHRUS ADMINISTRATOR SAID "HE CAN'T TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED AS YOU MUST UNDERSTAND CERTAIN ISSUES ARE CONFIDENTIAL". I'm sorry but that is unacceptable in such an instance. I have more on hand experience in this are than most others in kashrus. Therefore, I investigated and concluded that "this must be dealt with as a restaurant that was serving "TREYF".... 
Rumors have been swirling on social media the past few days regarding the sudden closure of the “Jin Glatt Kosher Chinese & Sushi Restaurant” in Passaic, NJ. Many people were claiming that non-Kosher food was used by the establishment, while others claimed the store was closed just due to a health violation.  Sadly, it appears that this is more than a “health violation”.

The following is an official statement from “PCK = Passaic Clifton Kashrus”, which was giving the Kosher certification to the store:

“The mashgichim at Jin restaurant, located at 227 Main Avenue in Passaic, recently raised questions regarding certain procedures at the restaurant. PCK has determined that these matters merit investigation and, effective January 8, 2018, suspended its supervision of the restaurant pending completion of the investigation, which is being undertaken in consultation with leading kashrus and other experts. At this time, PCK has not concluded that any non-kosher food entered the establishment.

PCK is committed to maintaining the highest standards of kashrus in the Passaic-Clifton community. Following completion of its investigation, PCK intends to report on the results of the investigation as well as any policy changes that may be put in place to prevent similar situations from arising in the future.” We are still awaiting the outcome.

Jin has been in business for at least 15 years. The store has had more than one owner over that time. YWN will continue to bring our readers any additional updates on the outcome of this investigation. (YWN World Headquarters- NYC
Since mashgichim concerns, some recent changes were made by the hashgocha at the restaurant re: meat & poultry to match the invoices, the volume that the restaurant from the kosher purveyors suddenly went up even though business did not increase.  One may conclude that the restaurant was using a large quantity of non-kosher meat & poultry.  Therefore keilim should be kashered.

A customer that eats in Chinese restaurants was very surprised when he ordered “Spare-Ribs”, that were large, meaty, etc. not like in all of the other Chinese restaurants. He wondered to himself, how could they serve such beautiful spare-ribs so cheap?
He never went back there.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

להסיר מכשול

להסיר מכשול 

The recent speech and STAR_K demonstration of "INFESTATION"

in Lakewood at Sunset Ave Shul, was completely not according to Halacha at all.

(almost) All Rabonim and infestation experts were shocked and taken aback by the unacceptable "heteirim" presented.  

Update- It's said that "even KCL" says it's unacceptable.

The fish infestation group say Star-K is the greatest "Machshil" of the Heimish Tzibur.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Botei Dinim and their Toi'anim are a major problem that must be addressed-Is ADR an option?

Article appeared in Hamodia פרשת ויחי תשס"ו

There is popular misconception that we can close our eyes to issues that fall under the category of "NIMBY" (Not in my backyard). The following allegory illustrates how what's not in your backyard may in reality be much closer than you think.

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might that contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! The chicken clucked and scratched her head and said "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it's no consequence to me. I can't be bothered by it".

The mouse turned to the goat and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! The goat sympathized but said "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers".

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house! The cow said "Wow" Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose." So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night, a sound was heard throughout the house-like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmers wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap caught.

The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with chicken soup, so the farmer went to the farmyard to fetch the main ingredient for the fresh chicken soup. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat. The farmer's wife's condition wasn't improving. So many people came to the house that the farmer slaughtered the cow to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness."I warned them all-but they knew it was only my problem". Remember, each of us is a vital thread in another persons tapestry; So the next time you hear someone in our community is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember-when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED!
(Wake up and smell the coffee!) עורו ישנים וכו

For a lesson in life, go to the following:

Winston Churchill: "The truth is incontrovertable, Malice may attack it, Ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."


Reb Noson Wachtfogel OB"M described what "Emes" looks like:
An old, slow moving, hunched back,
with a cane in each hand,
every one poking fun at him etc.

"UBB'ER - ER - VET - UN'KUM'EN, - Tzum - Soif.
* * * * * * * * *
Hi Rabbi,
Because of your blog, I along with some of my friends are trying to be more careful in what we put in our mouths. We are in brooklyn. What meat & poultry brands do you recommend. Also I sometimes need to buy bet yosef because I have sephardic guests, can you recommend someplace? Much appreciated. Keep up the good work.
I must say I was bit skeptical about your accusations against agri as they do have the hashgocho of the OU & KAJ who are.... I met last week with a shochet who I know personally to be a yarei shomayim, he's been to AGRI & saw them in action & he told me it's a disaster. He said he even questioned some of the shochtim there & they admitted that they themselves won't eat the meat that they shechted by AGRI. I am no longer skeptical.

Romaine lettuce is fully infested- Positive & kosher Garden are not infected with E. Coli

1 Dead, Dozens Sickened After Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak In U.S.
Asia & Perr foresight in other endeavors are one of the reasons that Positive and Kosher Garden don't have any EColi issues.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Who is Gershon Spiegel- the Toen Rabani-???

מה טיבו?
If Gershon Spiegel is a borer or "toen"?
only go to the RCA Bais din.
עצה טובה קמ"ל

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lakewood et al-

MAILBAG: The Alcohol-Drinking At Prominent Yeshivos Is Out of Control And Being Ignored

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This headline may sound familiar to many. I’ll remind you. In August, I wrote a letter to YWN titled “The Alcohol-Drinking At Yeshiva Camps Is Out of Control And Being Ignored”. Now I’ve decided to change the word “Yeshiva Camps” to “Prominent Yeshivos”.
It may be a bit harsh, but things are getting a bit out of control.
First off, I hope all of you just had a wonderful Purim. Wait, Purim? Have you been drinking early? It was Chanukah last week, not Purim! It was Chanukah at your family Chanukah party perhaps, but in the most prominent of Yeshivos it was PURIM.
Hatzolah in many communities had many calls for intoxicated Bochrim on Chanukah. At one very prominent yeshiva located in Upstate NY, Hatzolah needed Paramedics for one boy. In Lakewood, I heard from multiple Haztolah members that there were “intox calls” at Yeshivos as well. To say this clearly, the booze was flowing like water at these Yeshiva Chanukah parties.
While discussing this topic with my nephew in Eretz Yisrael, he informs me of a new fad called “Drunken Dreidel,” played by bochurim in dirahs of prominent yeshivos. Based on a graphic description from my nephew, it seems this ‘game’ entails taking turns spinning the dreidel and knocking down shots of vodka based on what letter the dreidel lands on. If it lands of a “Hay,” then everyone drinks a half a shot. A “Gimmel” would be a full shot for everyone etc. By the time the game is over, the boys are nearly passed out.
I’ve heard stories about Bochurim even getting arrested for disorderly conduct on a night of Chanukah! The famed Mashgiach at one of the most prominent Yeshivos was busy getting Bochurim out of jail instead of focusing on the more important things… like banning local stores from being opened past 11PM…..
There are stories every Shabbos in Yeshivas of Bochrim dead drunk in the dormitories.
I can go on and on and I should probably start naming Yeshivas. This is Pikuach Nefashos Mammish!
Nothing is being done about this. Nothing at all.     Our community is in total denial.
But lets all keep our heads in the sand and pretend that we don’t have a crisis on our hands.
Do these Roshei Yeshiva have any idea what an “AA” meeting looks like in the Frum community in 2017? They are PACKED with Frum people. Just wait until year 2025 when the number triple and quadruple. We are raising a generation of drunks.
What are these Yeshivos waiting for? Do we need a few boys to die of alcohol poisoning before people boycott these Yeshivos? Why is the “zero tolerance for a smartphone” enforced but the drinking epidemic being ignored?
I am demanding that the Yeshivas take action before I and others like myself take appropriate action to ensure the problem is dealt with another way. We will make sure your Yeshivos are (legally) exposed and blacklisted by every single family in America.
Thank you for publishing my letter, and I am sorry for being so harsh, but the reality demands this.
Yeshaya Dovid Braunstein – Lakewood

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Disease in disguise- Silence is not an option- Li'Chaim

Communities in crisis

Dinners / parlor meetings- limited to 2 bottles of up to $20.00 @
No Ruv should sell w/ chometz-no more than 1 bottle per household.

I'm not that familiar with all of the pratim; what I do know is that more and more people, especially the under 40 chevra are becoming addicts...they are seen in big numbers at AA meetings, and Rabbonim admit to me that it has become a major issue in their kehillas

Drinking in ModerationBy Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
The use of alcoholic beverages is a primary example of something that our Torah permits, yet prescribes definite limitations. In fact, there are Scriptural references, which are reinforced by Chazal in numerous ways, concerning the need for moderation in drinking alcohol. Indeed, the Talmud (Yoma 76b) relates the very word yayin (wine) to the word yelala (woe).

The rise of substance abuse, including alcohol, among adults and teenagers in our community is very troubling. Children who witness adults engaging in alcohol consumption—beyond what is reasonable or necessary for halachic purposes—learn that alcohol is a substance to which one can resort when looking for fun or when trying to alleviate feelings of anxiety or depression. Using alcohol this way can lead to addiction, with all of its serious consequences.

Then there is all the all-too-common phenomenon known as the “Kiddush Club.” These clubs consist of those who leave shul during the Haftarah reading on Shabbat morning to drink single-malt scotches and other liquors, often to excess. This practice disgraces the holy words and messages of the prophets found in the Haftarot; ironically, it is these very messages that these individuals would be wise to learn. I have personally witnessed how the effects of practices such as Kiddush Clubs can sometimes be literally lethal.

An Orthodox Jew cannot limit his concern to the kashrut of ingredients but must also consider the kashrut of his personal demeanor and the example he sets for others, especially children.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Confectionary items kashrus

כשרות בממתקים הרב עודד בוגרד

על מנת לענות לשאלה זו, עלינו ל"פרק" את הממתק לגורמיו השונים ולדון בהם – כל אחד לגופו. נעבור מרכיב אחד למשנהו וננסה להסביר את הבעייתיות שבו אם אכן... ואת חששות הכשרות ורמת חומרתן. למרבה השמחה, נוכל לדעת מה מכיל כל מוצר גם מבלי לבקר במפעל. רשימת הרכיבים המופיעה בכל מוצר. כמובן שיתכן בהחלט שישנם רכיבים נוספים שהתקן מאפשר להשמיטם או שהיצרן חפץ להשמיטם בניגוד לחוק... יתכן וחלק מהרכיבים ילכו לאיבוד בתרגום לעברית, ויתכן שרכיבים מסוימים יסתתרו תחת שם כללי שאינו אומר הרבה, אך באופן כללי הרכיבים גלויים וידועים.
החוק הישראלי (והבינלאומי] מחייב לציין ע"ג כל מוצר מזון את רכיביו השונים. נכון שלעיתים אנו קוראים את רשימת הרכיבים ותמהים ומנסים להבין – האם זה כתוב בעברית? מה המילים הללו אמורות לומר לנו? מדוע משתמשים במספרים, באותיות לועזיות ובמילים משונות? בהמשך מדור זה, נלמד להכיר רבים מרכיבים אלו ונפענח את שמותם. לאחר שנכיר אותם, נוכל לדון בנושא כשרותם והצורך בהשגחה מהודרת – אם לאו.
ונתחיל באחד הרכיבים ה"פחות בעייתיים" הנמצא בכל ממתק, כמעט ללא יוצא מן הכלל. זה הוא צבע המאכל. בשונה מהתפיסה הפשטנית אותה רוצים היצרנים שתאמצו, אין הכוונה במילים אלו לצבע הראוי ומשמש לאכילה, אלא לצבע הצובע את האוכל...
במרבית המקרים, יופיע הצבע ברשימת . אות Eהרכיבים כמספר הצמוד לאות אנגלית זו היא האות הראשונה במילה  , דהיינו אירופה. התקן EUROPE האירופאי מסודר לפי קבוצות מספרים של סוגי חומרי גלם לתעשיית המזון. הצבעים  – כורכומין, 100למשל, יופיעו מהמספר  – פיגמנט רובין.180ועד המספר
לפיכך, בכל פעם שנראה ברשימת הרכיבים  – 100 כשלאחריה מספר בין Eאת האות  נדע שהכוונה לצבע מאכל. 180
מה הוא הצבע הזה? האם ניתן לקנות אותו בחנויות לחומרי בנין? לערב ולגוון עם צבעי טמבור למשל... ובכן, התשובה היא – לא!!! לא מדובר בצבע ברמה של זה הנמרח על הקירות והמשקופים אלא בצבע האמור להיות ראוי למאכל אדם. צבע שאינו רעיל ומזיק. נכון שצבעי מאכל מסוימים אינם ראויים להיקרא "ראויים למאכל אדם" ומדינות שונות ברחבי העולם אוסרות את השימוש בצבעים שונים, אך באופן עקרוני הם ראויים לשימוש – שלא כמו צבע פלסטי או צבע שמן וכיוצא בהם. קיים לפחות צבע אחד המשמש גם לצביעת קירות וגם לצביעת מזון. הצבע הוא לבן ונקרא טיטניום . גם בצבע זה, 171-Eדיאוקסיד וסיווגו הוא תנאי הייצור שונים והצבע המיועד למזון או למשחות שיניים וכדו', מסומן ככזה.
מטרת הצבעים היא בדרך כלל הטעיה וגניבת דעת של הצרכן. בעיקר של
הצרכנים הצעירים. הילדים. הצבע משווה לאוכל צורה מושכת ומגרה. לפעמים, משתמשים בצבע על מנת לחפות ולהסתיר שינויי צבע הנובעים מחשיפה לאור, אוויר, טמפרטורה שאינה מתאימה ואפילו שינויים הנגרמים מחוסר טריות או קלקול. אין כמעט מוצר שאינו מכיל צבע. בשר בקר ודג סלמון מאכילים את דגי הכלובים בצבע על מנת לקבל את גוון ה"סלמון" המפורסם..., חלמון ביצה וגבינה לבנה, לחם ודברי מאפה ואפילו וויסקי סקוטי האמור להיות בצבע אופייני...
שלא לדבר על עולם הממתקים והחטיפים למיניהם. נסו לתת לילד חטיף נטול צבע... למרות שמרבית צבעי המאכל אינם תורמים מאומה לטעם המאכל אותו הם צובעים, התרגלנו כל כך לקשר את הצבע עם הטעם, עד שאם ניתן לאדם רגיל משקה בטעם תפוז הצבוע בצבע לימון... הוא יזהה אותו כלימון. ניסיתי את זה והופתעתי.
צבעי המאכל מתחלקים בעיקרון לשתי קבוצות – הצבעים הטבעיים והצבעים המלאכותיים. המלאכותיים מיוצרים באופן סינטטי מנפט, פחם וכדו' ואילו הטבעיים מיוצרים מעולם החי והצומח בעיקר. מלבד סוגיית מחיר הצבע, צריך להתאים את הצבעים ומזון אותו רוצים לצבוע בהם. למשל – צבע עמיד בטמפרטורות גבוהות, צבע מסיס בשמן, צבע עמיד גם בסביבת חיידקים בשר, דגים, יוגורטים ואינו משנה את צבעו. מפעל גדול לעיבוד בשר, נסגר ע"י משרד הבריאות לאחר שעברו על החוק
ƒ‚‡ –‚–‚
   21.12.17    יום חמישי ג' בטבת, תשע"ח 3גיליון מס'  

וצבעו את הבשר בצבע מלאכותי. למרבה החרפה, הם השתמשו בצבע אדום ששינה את גווניו לירוק...
אם נחזור לנושא הכשרות, הרי שצבעי המאכל המלאכותיים כשלעצמם הינם כשרים בדרך כלל. לעיתים נתקלים בבעיות כשרות כאשר מוסיפים לצבע חומרים שתכליתם הוספת גוונים, דילול, חומרים שיאפשרו את המסתו במים או בשמן וכדו'. אך באופן עקרוני, אין איתם בעיות כשרות מיוחדות.
הצבע הטבעי לעומת זאת, הינו בעייתי בהרבה. צבעי מאכל טבעיים עלולים להיות מיוצרים מחומרים שאינם כשרים. הדוגמא המפורסמת ביותר היא צבע   או קראמין 120-E המאכל האדום הנקרא ועוד שמות דומים. זהו צבע המופק מייבוש וטחינה של נקבות חרקים מסוימות. אם ניקח בחשבון שמשרד הבריאות   ולכן – אוסר הוספת צבע מלאכותי לבשר מוסיפים צבע סלק, צבע שאינו עמיד בחום
  יש נטיה בעולם להשתמש בצבע זה, לא – רק לממתקים אלא גם לבשר וכדו'.   מופק גם מדגים, 161G-E הצבע סרטנים ושאריות שרימפסים וכן מנוצות של צפורי פלמינגו.   מופק גם מחמאה 161C-E הצבע ומנסיוב דם שור.   מופק גם מזגי ענבים 163-E הצבע מתעשיית היין.
מספר סוגי צבעים מופקים מחלמון ביצה. לא ידוע לנו האם זו ביצת תרנגולת או ביצת עוף טמא בסין, נתקלתי באיטריות ביצים שיוצרו מביצי עוף שאינו ידוע ככשר ואין עליו מסורת כלל. הביצים לא נבדקו כמובן שאינן עם דם וכו' וכו' וכו'.
שלא לדבר על כל סוגי הצבעים בהם הצבע עצמו מופק אמנם מצמחים כשרים אך מערבים אותו עם חומצות שומן שונות המגיעות לעיתים קרובות מן החי.
וכמובן, שאין זה המקום לדבר על הכשרות
אם נסכם את נושא הצבע והכשרות, הרי שמדובר ברכיב בעייתי המחייב פיקוח רציני וטוב.
לא אשכח את הביקור במפעל ממתקים בסין בו הסבירו לי שבדרך כלל הם  2 משתמשים בצבע מלאכותי, אך יש מדינות הדורשות שימוש בצבע מאכל טבעי - אותו צבע קראמין (המופק מחרקים] שהוזכר לעיל. מיותר להדגיש שאחת משתי המדינות הייתה ישראל... ולא מיותר להדגיש, שהמפעל הסיני מייצר ב"כשרות" עבור גוף כשרות שאינו מהודר.
בשבוע הבא אשתדל להרחיב מעט בהבנת רכיבים נוספים של הממתקים. אי"ה, נסביר את התעלומה המונחת מאחורי  ." "תמציות טעם וריח – המילים שבת שלום ומבורך.

Kaliver Rebbe thanking President Donald Trump


Prending to be everybody

Kashrus issues

With the several references in the parsha to wine and grapes, I thought an article dealing with some practical grape skin problems might be in order.

Observing a Colorful Lifestyle
By Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff

          Question #1: Are there any non-kosher food colorings?

            Question #2: Why would a hechsher insist on a recall of a product?

           Question #3:How can a non-kosher ingredient be noticeable, and yet the finished product is kosher?

At one point in my life, when I worked as a kashrus supervisor, I made a surprise inspection of a company that produced juice drinks – let’s call it Generic Juices, Incorporated. I was surprised to discover that the plant was not following the instructions it had received from its hechsher and was bottling beverages containing enocianina, a coloring derived from grape skins. This product was not on the list of approved ingredients, and for good reason, as I will explain shortly. The kashrus concerns involved now created a serious problem for the hechsher, the company, and most of all, the unsuspecting consumer. Before discussing what happened, I must present the halachic issues involved.

           Whether we like it or not, many of our foods are colored with a host of coloring agents. Some are derived from food items, such as beets, berries, sugar (caramel coloring), turmeric and annatto, whereas others are derived from inedible materials whose sources most consumers would prefer to ignore. Although processing colorants can compromise the kashrus of the finished product, few food colors are themselves obtained from non-kosher materials. However, there are two common food pigments that originate from non-kosher substances: One is carmine red, also called cochineal, which is a very common color used to color fruits, yogurts, juice drinks, maraschino cherries and more. Cochineal is extracted from an insect that is native to South America. A closely related dye color, kermes, is a shade of scarlet derived from scale insects, which may have been the source of the tolaas shani dye used in the Mishkan and Beis Hamikdash. We should note that the Hebrew word tola’as, which is usually translated worm, may include insects and other small invertebrates. Thus, it may indeed be that the tola’as of the verse is a scale insect that produces a red dye.

The verse (Yeshayah 1:18), “if your sins will be like shanim, they will become as white as snow; though they be red as the tola, they will become white like wool,” clearly indicates that tola’as shani is a red color. On this basis, some authorities identify tola’as shani as kermes (see Radak to Divrei HaYamim II 2:6). One can rally support for this approach from the verse in Divrei HaYamim (II 3:14), which describes the paroches curtain as woven from techeiles, argaman, karmil, and butz, which is linen; whereas the Torah describes the paroches as made of techeiles, argaman, tola’as shani, and sheish, which is linen (Shemos 26:31). The words karmil and kermes certainly seem to be cognate. Similarly, the Rambam explains tola’as shani to mean “wool dyed with an insect” (Hilchos Klei HaMikdash 8:13). Thus, karmil appears to be another word for tola’as shani. The ancients derived a red dye from the dried bodies of the species called Kermes ilices, which served as one of the most important pigments for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, the English word crimson derives from this ancient dye.

(Without going into the subject in detail, it is appropriate to mention that some responsible rabbinic authorities rule that cochineal is kosher, since it comes from an inedible part of the insect. However, I am unaware of any major kashrus organization today that treats cochineal as kosher.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Chicken pecking- any concern for kashrus? Usually not-

Alert: $$$$$$$some are attempting to claim that they have "the" exclusive chicken with a mesorah, etc. [ another Braekel scheme$$$]

Cannibalism in poultry is the act of one individual of a species consuming all or part of another individual of the same species as food. It commonly occurs in flocks of domestic hens reared for egg production, although it can also occur in domestic turkeyspheasants and other poultry species. Cannibalism can occur as a consequence of feather pecking which has caused denuded areas and bleeding on a bird's skin.[1] Cannibalism can cause large mortality rates within the flock and large decreases in production due to the stress it causes. Vent pecking, sometimes called 'cloacal cannibalism', is considered to be a separate form of cannibalistic pecking as this occurs in well-feathered birds and only the cloaca is targeted.

Motivational basis

Poultry species which exhibit cannibalism are omnivores. For example, hens in the wild often scratch at the soil to search for seeds, insects and even larger animals such as lizards or young mice,[4] although they are mainly herbivorous in adulthood. Feather pecking is often the initial cause of an injury which then attracts the cannibalistic pecking of other birds – perhaps as re-directed foraging or feeding behaviour. In the close confines of modern farming systems, the increased pecking attention is easily observed by multiple birds which join in the attack, and often the escape attempts of the cannibalised bird attract more pecking attention.


Chicks brooded with a hen had lower mortality levels due to feather pecking and cannibalism compared to non-brooded chicks. This may indicate the hen guides the chicks to peck at more rewarding substrates, such as food or litter.


Cannibalism among layer hen flocks is highly variable; when it is not problematic, mortalities among production systems are generally similar. Published data on the prevalence of cannibalism could be misleading due to the inclusion of vent-pecking by some researchers but not others. Mortalities, due mainly to cannibalism, can be up to 15% in egg-laying flocks housed in aviaries,[7]straw yards,[8] and free-range systems.[9] Because egg-laying strains of chickens can be kept in smaller group sizes in cage systems, cannibalism is reduced,[6] leading to a lowered trend in mortality as compared to non-cage systems. In a study which examined 'skin damage' (most of which would have been cause by pecking) on hens at the end of their productive lives, damage was lowest in hens from free range systems, followed by barns, then furnished cages, and highest in conventional or battery cages.

Methods of control


Beak-trimming is the most common method of preventing or reducing injuries by cannibalism. In a three-year study of floor-housed laying hens, death by cannibalism was reported as 7% in beak-trimmed birds but was increased to 18% in non-trimmed birds.[

Group size

Increased group sizes in larger cages or floor systems can elevate the risk of cannibalism and feather pecking, probably due to the spread of the behaviour through social learning.

Light manipulations

Lights are sometimes provided in nest-boxes to attract hens to use the nests, but this practice has been correlated with an increased risk of cannibalism.


Rearing chicks with access to perches by four weeks of age has been associated with increased use of perches, and reduced cannibalism, in adulthood.[