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Effects of male presence on agonistic behavior and productivity of White Leghorn hens

By A. L. Bhagwat, J. V. Craig

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Abstract

Three experiments were performed, involving 18, 16 and 48 flocks with 9-16 females and 0-4 males per flock. The White Leghorn strains used had been selected either for egg mass or age at sexual maturity, or were unselected. Age at 50% egg production, rate of lay, survival rate, egg weight, egg mass and body-weight gain from 20 to 50 wk of age were the traits studied. Effects of genetic stocks, time elapsed after flock assembly, developmental age and laying-house environment (cage v floor pens) were also examined using a factorial experimental design. Strains within systems of selection differed significantly for body-weight gain only. Mean body-weight gains from 20 to 50 wk of age were 317.0 and 379.6 g (P <0.005) and females kept in the presence and absence of males resp. The corresponding mean egg weights were 56.4 and 57.0 g (P <0.10). Pullets kept in colony cages were older (P <0.005) when 50% egg production was attained than pullets kept in floor pens, and had a lower (P <0.1) survival rate; rate of lay and egg mass were lower (P <0.1) and egg weight was greater (P <0.1) in colony cages than in floor pens.

Date 1979
Publication Title Applied Animal Ethology
Volume 5
Issue 3
Pages 267-282
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA.
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Tags
  1. Agonistic behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal fighting
  4. Animal husbandry
  5. Birds
  6. Cages
  7. Chickens
  8. Domesticated birds
  9. Egg production
  10. Fowls
  11. Housing
  12. Laying characters
  13. Laying performance
  14. Males
  15. Management
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Poultry
  18. strain differences
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  1. peer-reviewed