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  1. Mate choice, maternal investment and implications for ostrich welfare in a farming environment

    Contributor(s):: Bonato, M., Cherry, M. I., Cloete, S. W. P.

    At present, the ostrich industry is inefficient, on account of being characterised by inadequate egg production, high embryo mortality, poor chick survival and suboptimal growth rates. However, as ostrich farming commenced only in the mid 19th century in South Africa, farmed ostriches have had a...

  2. The effect of group size and stocking density on the welfare and performance of hens housed in furnished cages during summer

    Contributor(s):: Guo, Y. Y., Song, Z. G., Jiao, H. C., Song, Q. Q., Lin, H.

  3. Development with age of nest box use and gregarious nesting in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Riber, A. B.

    Use of nest boxes is an important part of the behavioural repertoire of laying hens kept under commercial conditions. A special form of nest box use is gregarious nesting, which occurs when a hen given the choice between an occupied and an unoccupied nest site chooses the occupied nest site....

  4. The impact of social factors on nesting in laying hens ( Gallus gallus domesticus )

    Contributor(s):: Lundberg, A., Keeling, L. J.

    The effects of competition and disturbances on nest-site selection were studied in commercial laying hens. Hens were housed in 16-litter floor pens (15, 30, 60 and 120 hens per group x 4 replicates) and the levels of aggression and disturbances were compared between nest boxes and pen corners....

  5. Thwarting of behaviour in different contexts and the gakel-call in the laying hen

    Contributor(s):: Zimmerman, P. H., Koene, P., Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. van

    Earlier studies have shown that thwarting of feeding behaviour in the laying hen is expressed through a specific vocalization, the gakel-call. The first aim of this study was to investigate whether the effect of deprivation per se on the occurrence of gakel-calls can be distinguished from the...

  6. The effect of early colour preference and of a colour exposing procedure on the choice of nest colours in laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Huber-Eicher, B.

    It has been observed that hens at the start of lay show a strong preference for a limited number of nests, i.e. those at the corners and at the ends of rows. This leads to overcrowded nests and, as a consequence, to more aggression and an increase in cracked and mislaid eggs. This study aims to...

  7. Floor laying by domestic hens [abstract]

    Contributor(s):: Appleby, M. C., McRae, H. E.

    The problem of floor-laying was investigated by a survey of hen behaviour in a commercial deep-litter system with 4000 broiler breeders. Two hundred females were tagged individually, and regular observations made over 3 months. Birds were apparently consistent in whether they laid in nests or on...

  8. Egg-laying behaviour and nest-site selection of domestic hens kept in small floor-pens

    Contributor(s):: Rietveld-Piepers, B., Blokhuis, H. J., Wiepkema, P. R.

    The development of egg-laying behaviour and nest-site choice is described in 7 flocks of White Leghorn hens housed in small floor-pens. Special interest was directed towards social dominance and the effect of the presence of a cock on the hen's nest-site choice. In the weeks before the hens came...

  9. Identification of key nest site stimuli for Japanese quail ( Coturnix japonica )

    Contributor(s):: Schmid, I., Wechsler, B.

    Groups of Japanese quail hens were housed in pens (2 x 1 x 0.5 m) with litter and access to a sand-filled dust bath and 4 nest boxes for 2 periods of 15 days. The type of nest boxes varied between the pens and the incidence of eggs laid outside the nest boxes was recorded. In experiment 1 (8...

  10. Influence of nest seclusion and nesting material on pre-laying behaviour of laying hens

    | Contributor(s):: Struelens, E., Nuffel, A. van, Tuyttens, F. A. M., Audoorn, L., Vranken, E., Zoons, J., Berckmans, D., Odberg, F., Dongen, S. van, Sonck, B.

    Provision of nest sites is beneficial for the welfare of laying hens in intensive production systems. The design of these nest sites has a direct effect on pre-laying behaviour. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of screening off the entrances of the nest boxes with...

  11. The influence of light intensity during early exposure to colours on the choice of nest colours by laying hens

    | Contributor(s):: Zupan, M., Kruschwitz, A., Huber-Eicher, B.

    When alternative husbandry systems to battery cages are used, a problem may arise whereby eggs are not laid in the nests provided. This leads not only to economic loss, but may also promote the outbreak of cannibalism. However, the choosing of a nest involves complex behavioural patterns and may...

  12. Nest preference of laying hens ( Gallus gallus domesticus ) and their motivation to exert themselves to gain nest access

    | Contributor(s):: Kruschwitz, A., Zupan, M., Buchwalder, T., Huber-Eicher, B.

    In connection with the development of a test method for the attractiveness and appropriateness of nests for laying hens, we carried out an investigation by using a preference test and motivation measuring with the help of push doors. Hens were offered two different nest sites either consisting of...

  13. Nests and nesting in the domestic fowl: which is the reward?

    | Contributor(s):: Kite, V. G., Duncan, I. J. H.

  14. Visual recognition of key nest site stimuli by laying hens in cages

    | Contributor(s):: Hughes, B. O., Petherick, J. C., Brown, M. F., Waddington, D.

    Laying hens (64 medium-hybrid ISA Browns), which had been kept to 50 weeks old either in pens or in battery cages, were placed in individual cages which had a tray covered with a thin layer of wood-shavings litter under part of the cage floor; these trays could be seen but not touched by the...

  15. Effects of nest quality and other cues for exploration on pre-laying behaviour

    | Contributor(s):: Freire, R., Appleby, M. C., Hughes, B. O.

    The pre-laying behaviour of 11 hens was observed in pens without or with litter and without or with an exploratory walkway. Hens with unlittered nest boxes had longer durations of pre-laying behaviour (151 vs. 110 min) and spent longer searching (32 vs. 19 min) than those with littered nest...

  16. Influence of nest-box substrate (pine shavings vs. artificial turf) on nesting behaviour and prolactin levels in turkeys hens ( Meleagris gallopavo )

    | Contributor(s):: Book, C. M., Millam, J. R.

    Because brood patch stimulation is required for the development of incubation behaviour and nesting physiology in turkey hens, the hypothesis that differences in tactility of nest box substrates might alter the normal progression of the laying cycle was tested. Nest boxes containing either pine...

  17. Nesting behaviour of hens: effects of experience on motivation

    | Contributor(s):: Cooper, J. J., Appleby, M. C.

    The motivation of domestic hens, that have been housed in conventional wire cages, to use well-defined, littered nests was compared with that of hens with prior experience of nests. The quality of nesting cues (trials with and without an enclosed nest box) was varied and the performance of and...

  18. Operant animal welfare: productive approaches and persistent difficulties

    | Contributor(s):: Patterson-Kane, E. G., Pittman, M., Pajor, E. A.

    Operant procedures occupy a prominent role within animal welfare science because they provide information about the strength of animals' preferences. It is assumed that strongly motivated choices commonly indicate conditions necessary for uncompromised welfare. A review of the literature shows...

  19. The value of environmental resources to domestic hens: a comparison of the work-rate for food and for nests as a function of time

    | Contributor(s):: Cooper, J. J., Appleby, M. C.

    This study was conducted to investigate feeding motivation and perching motivation in laying hens. The importance of a nest box during the prelaying period was compared with the importance of food following a period of deprivation. 12 Isa Brown hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) were trained to open...