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Feather eating in layer pullets and its possible role in the aetiology of feather pecking damage

By D. E. F. McKeegan, C. J. Savory

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Abstract

Feather eating and its possible relationship with damaging pecking was examined in 144 pen-housed ISA Brown layer pullets. Collection and measurement of loose feathers in sample plots on 12 pen floors (feather were characterized as 'short' or 'long'), and examination of faecal droppings (eaten feathers are not digested) were used to assess levels of feather eating. Feather eating was rarely observed directly, but the presence of feather material in a high proportion of droppings (up to 48

Date 1999
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 65
Issue 1
Pages 73-85
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00051-9
Language English
Author Address Environment and Welfare Division, Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS, UK.
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Tags
  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Age
  3. Agonistic behavior
  4. Animal behavior
  5. Animal roles
  6. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  7. Birds
  8. Cannibalism
  9. Causality
  10. Characteristics
  11. Chickens
  12. Deviant behavior
  13. Domesticated birds
  14. Etiology
  15. Feather pecking
  16. Feathers
  17. Feces
  18. Floors
  19. Fowls
  20. Hens
  21. pens
  22. pica
  23. Poultry
  24. Vices