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Operant determination of the cage and feeder size preferences of the laying hen

By J. M. Faure

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Abstract

The design of an apparatus which allows hens to work for feeder space or for cage size is described. Using this apparatus, it was shown that groups of 4 hens will only rarely work to obtain more than the 40-cm length of feed trough which is usually provided in Europe for a group of 4 medium hybrid hens in a deep battery cage. This implies that there is no requirement for a larger feeder. Given the opportunity, the hens chose to spend up to half of the day in a cage larger than their usual battery cage, but this effect was highly variable both between groups and from day to day. A more detailed study of which birds in a group work, and of what the birds do in the enlarged cage, is needed before firm conclusions about the cage-size requirements of laying hens can be made.

Date 1986
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 325-336
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address INRA Sta. Recherches Avicoles, Nouzilly, F-37380 Monnaie, France.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Battery husbandry
  5. Birds
  6. Cages
  7. Chickens
  8. Farms
  9. Feed troughs
  10. Fowls
  11. Husbandry
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. Poultry
  14. size
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed