alexa Laying hens in large flocks in a perchery system: influence of stocking density on location, use of resources and behaviour.
Veterinary Sciences

Veterinary Sciences

Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology

Author(s): Carmichael NL, Walker AW, Hughes BO

Abstract Share this page

Abstract 1. ISA Brown laying hens (3000) were housed in a perchery in 10 pens, each with 300 birds. The pens varied in size to produce 4 different stocking densities: 9.9 birds/m2 (n = 3), 13.5/m2 (n = 2), 16.0/m2 (n = 2) and 19.0/m2 (n = 3). Observations began at 20 weeks of age and continued until 69 weeks to establish the spatial distribution of the birds, usage of the different resources and the expression of behaviour. 2. Overall, birds spent most time on the perch frame (47\%), litter area (23\%), slatted floor (17\%) and nestbox area (9\%). 3. There was no effect of density on the proportion of birds observed on the slatted floor or on the elevated perches but as density increased the proportion on the littered area decreased. 4. Space usage was determined vertically, horizontally and longitudinally. Individual birds were seen to use about 80\% of the pen volume available to them. This value was similar for all densities and showed that individuals did not have separate home ranges. 5. Fewer vertical movements were made within the main perch frame at the upper than at the lower levels but movements between the perches of the main frame and the nestbox rails were relatively frequent. This may help birds move up and down through the main frame. 6. Behaviours which decreased in incidence with crowding included moving, foraging and dust-bathing. Behaviours which increased with crowding included standing. Behaviours which were unaffected included resting, preening, prelaying behaviour, comfort behaviour and the minor behaviours. 7. The proportion of birds engaged in feeding and drinking was unaffected by density, except each time the chain feeders (which operated intermittently) ran more hens were seen feeding at the lower densities. This suggests that food delivery stimulated feeding behaviour; there may have been some restriction at the higher densities on birds feeding when and where they wanted. 8. Stocking density had no effect on the frequency of agonistic interactions: threats, lunges, comb/head pecks, chases and fights. 9. The incidence of damaging pecking was low and not density dependent. 10. Increasing density within the range investigated inhibited the expression of a number of behaviours and limited the use of specific resources: bird welfare at 19 birds/m2 may have been very slightly impaired. This article was published in Br Poult Sci and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

Peer Reviewed Journals
 
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
 
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri, Food, Aqua and Veterinary Science Journals

Dr. Krish

agrifoodaquavet@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Clinical and Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

clinical_biochem@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals

Ronald

business@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

chemicaleng_chemistry@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Earth & Environmental Sciences

Katie Wilson

environmentalsci@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

engineering@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science and Health care Journals

Andrea Jason

generalsci_healthcare@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics and Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

genetics_molbio@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

immuno_microbio@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Informatics Journals

Stephanie Skinner

omics@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Material Sciences Journals

Rachle Green

materialsci@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Mathematics and Physics Journals

Jim Willison

mathematics_physics@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

medical@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

neuro_psychology@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

John Behannon

pharma@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

social_politicalsci@omicsonline.com

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

 
© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version