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  1. Welfare Assessment of Two Free-range Laying Hen Flocks in Turkey

    Contributor(s):: Petek, Metin, Çavuşoğlu, Enver

  2. Breed-related differences in the preference for inanimate objects between chicks of laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Kasperek, Kornel, Zięba, Grzegorz, Pluta, Adrian, Ziemiańska, Agnieszka, Rozempolska-Rucińska, Iwona

    Our previous study showed significant behavioural differences between breeds of laying hens. Birds differed in their excitability, reactivity, decision-making speed, behavioural strategy, and interest in elements of the surroundings. The results of our investigations and studies conducted by...

  3. Impact of flooring type on the sham dustbathing behaviour of caged laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Moroki, Yuko

    Feed particles are preferred for foraging and they are also a stimulus for sham dustbathing. Most sham dustbathing bouts start with bill raking in the feed by caged hens. As hens often exhibit a floor scratching behaviour, an element of both sham dustbathing and foraging, by moving their legs...

  4. Vigilance and roosting behaviour of laying hens on different perch heights

    Contributor(s):: Brendler, Christina, Kipper, Silke, Schrader, Lars

    Laying hens prefer roosting on high compared to low perches during night time. According to the antipredator hypothesis, hens on high perches can afford to be less vigilant while roosting at night. A total of 120 LSL hens in groups of five were presented a single perch, which was varied in height...

  5. Predicting feather damage in laying hens during the laying period. Is it the past or is it the present?

    Contributor(s):: de Haas, Elske N., Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth, de Jong, Ingrid C., Kemp, Bas, Janczak, Andrew M., Rodenburg, T. Bas

    Feather damage due to severe feather pecking (SFP) in laying hens is most severe during the laying period. However, SFP can develop at an early age and is influenced by early rearing conditions. In this study we assessed the risk factors during the rearing and laying period for feather damage at...

  6. Flocking for food or flockmates?

    Contributor(s):: Asher, Lucy, Collins, Lisa M., Pfeiffer, Dirk U., Nicol, Christine J.

    Animals in groups behave cohesively, even when those animals are domesticated and are housed in limited environments. But how is such group cohesion maintained? Do animals move in an independent manner, according to their own motivations, or in a social manner, with respect to the movements of...

  7. Evidence of competition for nest sites by laying hens in large furnished cages

    Contributor(s):: Hunniford, Michelle E., Torrey, Stephanie, Bédécarrats, Gregoy, Duncan, Ian J. H., Widowski, Tina M.

    Furnished cages are designed to accommodate behaviour considered important to laying hens, particularly nesting behaviour. Few researchers have studied the degree of competition for nest sites or the extent to which the amount of nest space affects nesting behaviour in large furnished cages. We...

  8. The effect of rearing environment on feather pecking in young and adult laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Gilani, Anne-Marie, Knowles, Toby G., Nicol, Christine J.

    Although the rearing period has an important influence on the development of feather pecking in laying hens, few studies have quantified the risk factors operating on commercial farms during this time and identified their long-term impact. Our aim was to conduct a longitudinal study to...

  9. Does nest size matter to laying hens?

    Contributor(s):: Ringgenberg, Nadine, Fröhlich, Ernst K. F., Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra, Würbel, Hanno, Roth, Beatrice A.

    Laying hens in loose housing systems have access to group-nests which provide space for several hens at a time to lay their eggs. They are thus rather large and the trend in the industry is to further increase the size of these nests. Though practicality is important for the producer, group-nests...

  10. Comparison of the tonic immobility duration, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and fluctuating asymmetry of chicks reared with or without a broody hen, and of broody and non-broody hens

    Contributor(s):: Campo, José Luis, Dávila, Sara García, Gil, María García

    The purposes of this study were to determine whether rearing with a broody hen influenced duration of tonic immobility, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and relative fluctuating asymmetry of chicks and to analyze the differences between broody and non-broody hens in fear and stress indicators. A...

  11. Astroturf as a dustbathing substrate for laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Alvino, Gina M., Tucker, Cassandra B., Archer, Gregory S., Mench, Joy A.

    Furnished cages for laying hens often contain an Astroturf (AT) pad which may be sprinkled with feed to promote foraging and dustbathing. We evaluated AT and AT plus feed (ATF) to determine if hens use these substrates for dustbathing. Hens (N=30) without prior exposure to substrate were housed...

  12. Roosting behaviour in laying hens on perches of different temperatures: Trade-offs between thermoregulation, energy budget, vigilance and resting

    Contributor(s):: Pickel, Thorsten, Scholz, Britta, Schrader, Lars

    Laying hens usually select an elevated position for resting at night-time. A previous study showed that the position a hen takes during resting was affected by perch material, most probably due to its thermal conductivity. The aim of the present study was to analyse the effect of perch surface...

  13. Influence of nest-floor slope on the nest choice of laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Stämpfli, Karin, Roth, Beatrice A., Buchwalder, Theres, Fröhlich, Ernst K. F.

    Group nests in alternative housing systems for laying hens primarily fulfil the hen's needs for seclusion and protection. Commercial nests used in Switzerland are built according to the provisions of the Swiss Animal Welfare Legislation. However, nest types can differ in aspects, such as floor...

  14. The effect of dark brooders on feather pecking on commercial farms

    Contributor(s):: Gilani, Anne-Marie, Knowles, Toby G., Nicol, Christine J.

    Commercial laying hen chicks experience continuous light for up to 24h/day in the first week of life. Under these conditions, active chicks disturb, and may direct feather pecks towards resting ones. Previous experimental work with small groups showed that both problems were reduced in chicks...

  15. Applying chemical stimuli on feathers to reduce feather pecking in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra, Rodenburg, T. Bas

    Recent studies have shown that spraying a distasteful substance (quinine) on a bird's feather cover reduced short-term feather pecking. The present experiment evaluated if other substances offer similar or better protection against feather pecking. One hundred and twenty birds were divided into...

  16. Sham dustbathing in cages by subordinate hens is increased by a partition providing isolation

    Contributor(s):: Moroki, Yuko

    Subordinate hens express less sham dustbathing in cages than higher ranked hens, their bouts often being disturbed by a higher ranked hen. However, seeing conspecifics seems to encourage this behaviour by hens. So to avoid being disturbed, a partition between hens in a cage may facilitate sham...

  17. More eggs but less social and more fearful? Differences in behavioral traits in relation to the phylogenetic background and productivity level in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Dudde, Anissa, Schrader, Lars, Weigend, Steffen, Matthews, Lindsay R., Krause, E. Tobias

    Different lines of laying hens have undergone a strong selection pressure for productivity traits, which has been proposed as a potential cause of undesirable side effects like behavioural disorders. One reason for such behavioral changes might be due to energy trade-offs, as high productive...

  18. Provision of a resource package reduces feather pecking and improves ranging distribution on free-range layer farms

    Contributor(s):: Pettersson, Isabelle C., Weeks, Claire A., Nicol, Christine J.

    The effect of a resource package designed to reduce inter-bird pecking and increase range use was tested on fourteen free-range farms in the UK. The package comprised two types of objects intended to attract pecking behaviour: ‘pecking pans’ containing a particulate pecking block, and wind...

  19. Effects of horizontal distance between perches on perching behaviors of Lohmann Hens

    Contributor(s):: Liu, Kai, Xin, Hongwei

    Perching is a highly-motivated natural behavior of laying hens that has been considered as one of the essential welfare requirements. The objective of the study was to evaluate perching behaviors of laying hens as affected by horizontal distance (HD) between parallel perches. A total of 48...

  20. Genetics of the Novel Object Test outcome in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Rozempolska-Rucinska, Iwona, Kibala, Lucyna, Prochniak, Tomasz, Zieba, Grzegorz, Lukaszewicz, Marek

    The purpose of the study was to answer the question whether the behavioural reactions to a novel object can serve as a criterion in selection toward lowering the fearfulness level in laying hens. Fear can be a harmful emotional state resulting from perceiving of an experience as a potential...