Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-6mkhv Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-05T22:48:02.725Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Cages modified with perches and nests for the improvement of bird welfare

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2009

M.C. Appleby
The Edinburgh School of Agriculture, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
B.O. Hughes
The Edinburgh School of Agriculture, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
Get access


Preliminary results are given from studies of cage-housed birds provided with various combinations of nest sites (of various designs), perches (placed at the front or back of the cages) and dust bath boxes. Tibial bone strength in end-of-lay hens was found to be markedly greater where perches were provided – suggesting a clear benefit from this addition. Complex nesting facilities (external nest boxes) elicited more normal pre-laying behaviour than nest sites within the cage. There appeared to be a need for two nests for group sizes of four or five birds.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1990

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Appleby, M.C. (1990) Behaviour of laying hens in cages with nest sites. British Poultry Science in pressGoogle Scholar
Appleby, M.C., Duncan, E.T. and Hughes, B.O. (1990) Effects of perches in battery cages on production and welfare of laying hens. British Poultry Science in pressGoogle Scholar
Dawkins, M.S. (1983) Battery hens name their price: consumer demand theory and the measurement of ethological ‘needs’. Animal Behaviour 31: 11951205Google Scholar
Farm Animal Welfare Council (1986) An Assessment of Egg Production Systems. FAWC, TolworthGoogle Scholar
Farm Animal Welfare Council (1988) Report on Priorities in Animal Welfare Research and Development. FAWC, TolworthGoogle Scholar
Hughes, B.O. and Appleby, M.C. (1989) Increase of bone strength of spent laying hens housed in modified cages with perches. Veterinary Record 124: 483484Google Scholar
Robertson, E.S., Appleby, M.C., Hogarth, G.S. and Hughes, B.O. (1989) Modified cages for laying hens: a pilot trial. Research and Development in Agriculture in pressGoogle Scholar
Vestergaard, K. (1980) The regulation of dustbathing and other behaviour patterns in the laying hen: a Lorenzian approach. In: Moss, R. (Ed.) The Laying Hen and its Environment. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, pp. 101113Google Scholar