Welfare assessment of laying hens in furnished cages and non-cage systems: an on-farm comparison
Contributor(s):: Rodenburg, T. B., Tuyttens, F. A. M., Reu, K. de, Herman, L., Zoons, J., Sonck, B.
From 2012 onwards, all laying hens in Europe will need to be housed either in furnished cages or non-cage systems (aviaries or floor-housing systems). In terms of animal welfare, furnished cages and non-cage systems both have advantages and disadvantages. Data on direct comparisons between the...
Welfare assessment of laying hens in furnished cages and non-cage systems: assimilating expert opinion
It is extremely difficult to carry out an assessment of welfare in an entirely objective manner. The choice of welfare indicators, as well as the assignment of relative weightings to these indicators, both involve a certain degree of subjectivity. The aim of this study was to create a possible...
Welfare assessment: indices from clinical observation
Contributor(s):: Webster, A. J. F., Main, D. C. J., Whay, H. R.
It is not enough to study animal welfare; our responsibility is to promote it. To this end, we need to step out of our laboratories and develop robust protocols for assessing welfare in groups of animals on farms or in the laboratory. While these protocols must incorporate principles derived from...
Welfare implications of nipple drinkers for broiler chickens
Contributor(s):: Houldcroft, E., Smith, C., Mrowicki, R., Headland, L., Grieveson, S., Jones, T. A., Dawkins, M. S.
Commercially reared broiler chickens are commonly supplied with drinking water through lines of nipple drinkers that are positioned above the birds' heads to avoid water leaking and spoiling the litter underfoot. This means that the birds have to peck upwards to obtain water, an action that is...
Welfare of male and female broiler chickens in relation to stocking density, as indicated by performance, health and behaviour
Contributor(s):: McLean, J. A., Savory, C. J., Sparks, N. H. C.
The purpose of this experiment was to provide information relevant to the current debate concerning the optimization of terminal stocking density for commercial broiler production. In a modern, controlled-environment house with 24 floor pens (each 11.4 m2), 4020 day-old broilers (Ross 308) were...
What causes crowding? Effects of space, facilities and group size on behaviour, with particular reference to furnished cages for hens
Contributor(s):: Appleby, M. C.
Theoretical models are presented of the effects of space, facilities and group size on the behaviour of chickens at high stocking densities, with relevance for all animals. The appropriateness of each model is supported by published data, although such data are scant for some important variables....
Fear of humans and its relationships with productivity in laying hens at commercial farms
Contributor(s):: Barnett, J. L., Hemsworth, P. H., Newman, E. A.
Results from observations in 16 commercial sheds from 14 farms, showed that a number of behaviour variables were moderately to highly correlated with production variables; for example, the proportion of birds that moved away from an approaching experimenter in an unfamiliar environment ('shute...
Human factors affecting the behaviour and productivity of commercial broiler chickens
Contributor(s):: Cransberg, P. H., Hemsworth, P. H., Coleman, G. J.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between stockperson attitude and behaviour, bird behaviour and productivity in the chicken meat industry. The study was carried out during April to September on 24 commercial farms in Southern Victoria, Australia. Each farm had a capacity...
Human handling and presentation of a novel object evoke independent dimensions of fear in Japanese quail
Contributor(s):: Richard, S., Land, N., Saint-Dizier, H., Leterrier, C., Faure, J. M.
Behavioural and physiological responses of laying hens to humans
Contributor(s):: Edwards, L. E., Botheras, N. A., Coleman, G. J., Hemsworth, P. H.
Human interactions, particularly negative ones, affect the behaviour and physiology of laying hens, with possible implications for bird productivity and welfare. The present experiment investigated the effects of handling on the behaviour and plasma corticosterone concentrations of laying hens. A...
Human contact and fear responses in laying hens
Contributor(s):: Edwards, L. E., Hemsworth, P. H., Coleman, G. J.
Human-animal interactions were studied at nine Australian farms and nine US farms. Measures of hen fear of humans, human activity in the laying shed, productivity records and shed parameters were collected at each shed. Significant differences between countries were found for shed parameters,...
Pet chicken medicine and surgery
Contributor(s):: Speer, B. L.
In this author's practice, pet chickens represent an increasing number of avian patients presented per year, as well as a growing percentage of the overall pet bird species seen and treated each year. In 2006, pet chickens represented 1.6% of overall patient accessions in this authors...
Contributor(s):: Hemsworth, P. H.