Pica or Licking of Inanimate Objects

The behavior of the licking inanimate objects or pica includes licking the wall and floor surfaces of the pen, mangers or chewing of woods, rags, polythene sheets, rubber or any other things which is available in the vicinity of the animal. The adult animals as well as calves both have been found to be distinctly indulged in this type of anomalous behavior. However, the early-weaned calves that are housed in individual calf pens are more prone to the development of this behavioral problem. The deficiency of phosphorus or the imbalanced calcium and phosphorus ratio in the animal diet also predisposes the animals to develop habit of licking of inanimate objects. Pica also occurs in young calves and in high yielding dairy animals suffering from

In order to minimize this type of behavioral anomaly the diet of the affected animals should be supplemented with phosphorus and the ratio of calcium and phosphorus should be maintained at 2:1. Some times deficient animals fails to ingest a sufficient quantity of supplemented feed to attain satisfactory level of phosphorus, in such cases phosphorus should be given to the affected animals in the form of injectable solution. In addition to this the animal should be given sufficient space and allowed for grazing and if grazing is not possible then they should be left loose for few hours. The animals should not be allowed to graze in areas where the garbage has been thrown.