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Use of space by domestic chicks housed in complex aviaries

By Madison Kozak, Bret Tobalske, Candace Martins, Stephen Bowley, Hanno Wuerbel, Alexandra Harlander-Matauschek

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Abstract

To improve the understanding of the development of locomotor capacity in layer hens, we measured how female laying hen chicks (n=120) of four different strains (LSL-lite, Hyline Brown, Dekalb White, Lohmann Brown; 3 groups of 10 chicks per line) utilized the ground, the air, elevated horizontal (platforms and perches) and inclined surfaces (ramps and ladders) in an aviary until 9 weeks of age. We used infra-red video recordings to perform all-occurrences sampling of locomotive behavioural and perching events that occurred on the ground—where bedding material, food and water were provided, in the air, and on elevated horizontal and inclined surfaces within weekly 30-min sampling periods. Chicks preferred level ground during the first week of life compared to weeks 5–9 (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 181
Pages 115-121
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.05.024
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Tags
  1. Aviaries
  2. Chickens
  3. Locomotion