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Effects of cage-front design on the feeding behaviour of laying hens

By C. M. Sherwin, D. M. Alvey, J. D. Williamson

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The effects on feeding behaviour of 4 cage-front designs: vertical bars, horizontal bars, feed trough raised 33 cm, and feed trough enclosed within the cage, were examined. Cage-front design had no significant effect on mean feeding-bout duration (range of 69-85 seconds) or proportion of time spent feeding (46.2-49.8%), but significantly influenced the number of feeding-bouts (0.19-0.30/min) and the number of birds which fed simultaneously. In the cages with vertical bars the hens most frequently fed as singles; in the cages with a raised trough they fed most frequently as pairs, whereas in cages with horizontal bars the hens most frequently fed as triplets. Only infrequently were all 4 hens recorded feeding simultaneously which, the authors suggest, has important implications for welfare since hens usually show a strong tendency to feed synchronously.

Date 1993
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 38
Issue 3/4
Pages 291-299
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address University of Bristol, Dept. Animal Husbandry, Langford House, Bristol, BS18 7DU, UK.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Animal rights
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Birds
  8. Cages
  9. Chickens
  10. Domesticated birds
  11. Farms
  12. Feeders
  13. Feeding
  14. Feeding behavior
  15. Fowls
  16. Housing
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Poultry
  19. poultry diseases
  20. Social behavior
  1. peer-reviewed