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...
The effect of dark brooders on feather pecking on commercial farms
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...
Are practice recommendations for the prevention of feather pecking in laying hens in non-cage systems in line with the results of experimental and epidemiological studies?
Contributor(s):: Jung, Lisa, Knierim, Ute
Feather pecking (FP) in laying hens is an important animal welfare problem in practice, despite extensive research and increasing sources of advice for farmers. We aimed to give an overview over results from experimental and epidemiological studies. We included non-cage systems, covering the...
Refinement of biomarker pentosidine methodology for use on aging birds
Contributor(s):: Cooey, C. K., Fallo, J. A., Avery, M. L., Anderson, J. T., Falkenstei, E. A., Klandorf, H.
Farmer attitudes to injurious pecking in laying hens and to potential control strategies
Contributor(s):: Palczynski, L. J., Buller, H., Lambton, S. L., Weeks, C. A.
Farmers' recognition of health and welfare problems, and their responses to related intervention programmes, such as those to reduce injurious pecking in hens, directly influence the welfare of animals in their care. Changing those responses can be achieved through a re-positioning of social...
Tree cover and injurious feather-pecking in commercial flocks of free-range laying hens: a follow up
Contributor(s):: Bright, A., Gill, R., Willings, T. H.
Injurious feather-pecking in non-cage systems is a serious economic and welfare concern for the egg-producing industry. This study presents results from data of over 1,000 flocks from producers who supplied free-range eggs to McDonald's Restaurants Ltd UK between 2008 and 2013. These producers...
Plumage damage in free-range laying hens: behavioural characteristics in the rearing period and the effects of environmental enrichment and beak-trimming
Contributor(s):: Hartcher, K. M., Tran, M. K. T. N., Wilkinson, S. J., Hemsworth, P. H., Thomson, P. C., Cronin, G. M.
Severe feather-pecking, whereby birds peck at and pull out the feathers of other birds, is one of the greatest welfare concerns and the most prevalent behavioural problem in laying hens. It can be extremely difficult to control, especially in non-cage laying flocks. Despite a multitude of studies...
A non-intrusive method of assessing plumage condition in commercial flocks of laying hens
Contributor(s):: Bright, A., Jones, T. A., Dawkins, M. S.
Strong effects of various incidence and observation angles on spectrometric assessment of plumage colouration in birds
Contributor(s):: Santos, S. I. C. O., De Neve, L., Lumeij, J. T., Förschler, M. I.
A note on chick adoption: a complementary strategy for rearing rheas
Contributor(s):: Labaque, M. C., Navarro, J. L., Martella, M. B.
Adoption of greater rhea (Rhea americana) chicks by males and the comparative survival of adopted vs. male's own chicks in a semi-captive population was investigated. Groups of marked chicks (one to 11 individuals) hatched in incubators were released at intervals near males with their own broods....
Differential effects of increased stocking density, mediated by increased flock size, on feather pecking and aggression in laying hens
Contributor(s):: Nicol, C. J., Gregory, N. G., Knowles, T. G., Parkman, I. D., Wilkins, L. J.
Six flocks of laying hens were housed in percheries at 4 stocking densities (6, 14, 22 or 30 birds m-2) from 14 to 30 weeks of age. Stocking density was manipulated by changes in flock size (72, 168, 264 or 368 birds) in percheries with the same floor and height dimensions. The pecking behaviour...
Diurnal rhythm of feather pecking behaviour and condition of integument in four strains of loose housed laying hens
Contributor(s):: Kjaer, J. B.
2400 chickens from 4 commercial strains, Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL), Norbrid 41 (NB), Lohmann Brown (LB) and ISA Brown (ISA) were reared and kept in aviary systems. Feather pecking behaviour was recorded by time sampling from video recordings at 38 weeks of age and condition of plumage, keel...
Divergent selection on feather pecking behaviour in laying hens ( Gallus gallus domesticus )
Contributor(s):: Kjaer, J. B., Sorensen, P., Su, G.
A selection experiment was initiated in 1996 in which selection for (HP line) and against (LP line) feather pecking was performed. The foundation stock was a White Leghorn layer strain established in 1970 and maintained since then as a random bred control line at the Institute. Six hatches were...
Dustbathing and feather pecking in domestic chickens reared with and without access to sand
Contributor(s):: Norgaard-Nielsen, G.
Eight groups of 10 female white Leghorn chicks were kept in wire floor cages from 1 day old. From 2 days of age four of the groups had continuous access to a wooden tray with dark dry sand, while the other groups had a wooden frame of the same size but without sand. Low intensity light (10 lux)...
Feather pecking and cannibalism in free-range laying hens as affected by genotype, dietary level of methionine+cystine, light intensity during rearing and age at first access to the range area
Contributor(s):: Kjaer, J. B., Sorensen, P.
An experimental small-scale free-range system was used in the two experiments reported here and consisted of 24 independent units. Experiment 1 was designed to test genotype and level of dietary methionine+cystine. Four genotypes were used: ISA brown (ISA), New Hampshire (NH), White Leghorn (WL)...
The effect of litter condition and depth on the suitability of wood shavings for dustbathing behaviour
Contributor(s):: Moesta, A., Knierim, U., Briese, A., Hartung, J.
Although several studies show that fresh wood shavings (FW) are not well-suited as dustbathing substrate for laying hens, little is known about the suitability of wood shavings used as litter in non-cage systems for several weeks (used wood shavings, UW) and the effect of different substrate...
The effects of operant control over food and light on the behaviour of domestic hens
Contributor(s):: Taylor, P. E., Coerse, N. C. A., Haskell, M.
In intensive farming systems, the animals have little control over important elements in their environments. For instance, food of a pre-set type is delivered at set times, and the lighting schedule is controlled by the farmer. It has been suggested that low levels of environmental control over...
The risk factors affecting the development of gentle and severe feather pecking in loose housed laying hens
Contributor(s):: Lambton, S. L., Knowles, T. G., Yorke, C., Nicol, C. J.
Injurious pecking remains one of the biggest problems challenging free range egg producers, with both economic implications for the farmer and welfare implications for the birds. The most widespread form of injurious pecking is feather pecking, the most damaging form of which is severe feather...
The social transmission of feather pecking in laying hens: effects of environment and age
Contributor(s):: McAdie, T. M., Keeling, L. J.
Abnormal behaviours, such as feather pecking, can become an even greater problem if they spread through the flock. Domestic hens are a social species and it has been suggested that feather pecking behaviour can be socially transmitted from few feather pecking individuals to many. The purpose of...
Water off a duck's back: showers and troughs match ponds for improving duck welfare
Contributor(s):: Jones, T. A., Waitt, C. D., Dawkins, M. S.
The impact of production systems on the welfare of ducks grown for meat is becoming increasingly controversial. In the UK, approximately 18 million ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) were reared for meat in 2006 (British Poultry Council, 2008; http://www.poultry.uk.com/who_ducks01.htm). Despite the...