Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Management and housing systems for layers – effects on welfare and production

  • R. Tauson (a1)
Abstract

Except for conventional cages, the most common housing systems for laying hens comprise deep litter, aviaries and more recently furnished cages. Layers in floor systems may also include out-door keeping. Furnished cages will be the only legal form of cages in the EU from 2012 (1999 EU-directive) but have as yet only been installed in significant numbers in Sweden and partly in Norway, Germany and Great Britain. Climate, feed, bird genotype, group size as well as the legal possibility to beak trim or to use certain medical treatments (mainly against endo- and ectoparasites) or not, are all conditions affecting results with different housing systems in different countries. Offering benefits to the bird as regards increase in behavioural repertoire as well as providing more space, all alternatives to conventional cages, require new orspecial knowledge of management. This is due to the fact that these systems often include higher potential risks in production and health of layers. This especially applies to non-cage systems (Petermann, 2003). The main issues to control in largergroup floorhousing are parasitic disorders, outbreak and spreading of cannibalistic pecking, increased feed intake, misplaced eggs, catching of spent hens and airquality (dust and ammonia levels). Many management practices to reduce some of these risks have been presented including rearing method, medication, vaccination, light intensity, genotype, feed composition, beak trimming and – for improved air quality – the use of spraying/fogging with water or oil as well as more frequent manure removal at closerintervals have been practised. Coming in a wide range of models and group sizes, the furnished cages attempt to combine the benefits and reduce the disadvantages of floorkeeping and conventional cages. The most developed models of furnished cages provide similar production results to conventional cages. However, differences still exists e.g. in egg quality traits between models. Design and location of nests, perches and litter are all important factors.

In conclusion, future trends in investments forhousing system in egg production will have to take into account several factors apart from the degree of success from technical development of each system. These will probably involve national directives regarding beak trimming, stocking densities, directives of withdrawal times of medication and occupational safety on one side and national markets and trades fordifferent categories of eggs on the other.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: ragnar.tauson@huv.slu.se
Footnotes
Hide All

From a paper first preseted at the 22nd World's Poultry Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, June 8–13, 2004

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

P. Abrahamsson , R. Tauson and M.C. Appleby (1996) Behaviour, health and integument of four hybrids of laying hens in modified and conventional cages. British Poultry Science 37: 521540.

P. Abrahamsson , R. Tauson and K. Elwinger (1996) Effects on production, health and egg quality of varying proportions of wheat and barley in diets for two hybrids of laying hens kept in different housing systems. Acta Agriculturae Scaninavica, Section A, Animal Science 46: 173182.

M.C. Appleby. and B.O. Hughes (1995) The Edinburgh Modified Cage for laying hens. British Poultry Science 36: 707718.

M.C. Appleby , A.W. Walker , C.J. Nicol , A.C. Lindberg , R. Freire , B.O. Hughes and H.A. Elson (2002) Development of furnished cages for laying hens. British Poultry Science 43: 489500.

V. Aerni , M.W.G. Brinkhof , B. Wechsler and H. Oester (2005) Productivity and mortality of laying hens in aviaries: a systematic review. World's Poultry Science Journal 61: 142.

J.R. Bareham (1976) A comparison of the behaviour and production of laying hens in experimental and conventional battery cages. Applied Animal Ethology 2: 291303.

J.R. Barnett , P.C. Glatz , E.A. Newman and G.M. Cronin (1997) Effects of modifying layer cages with solid sides on stress physiology, plumage, pecking and bone strength of hens. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture.

J.L. Barnett and P.H. Hemsworth (2003) Science and its application in assessing the welfare of laying hens in the egg industry. Australian Veterinary Journal 81(10): 615624.

M.R. Baxter (1994) The welfare problems of laying hens in battery cages. Veterinary Record 134: 614619.

J. Craig and J.C. Swanson (1994) Review. Welfare perspectives on hens kept for egg production. Poultry Science 73: 921938.

R.H. Fleming , C.C. Whitehead , D. Alvey , N.G. Gregory and L.J. Wilkins (1994) Bone structure and breaking strength in laying hens housed in different husbandry systems. British Poultry Science 35: 651662.

L.J. Freire , F. Wilkins , F. Short and C.J. Nicol (2003) Behaviour and welfare of individual laying hens in a non-cage system. British Poultry Science 44: 2229.

N.G. Gregory , L.J. Wilkins , D.M. Alvey and S.A. Tucker (1993) Effect of catching method and lighting intensity on the prevalence of broken bones and on the ease of handling of end-of-lay hens. Veterinary Record 132: 127129.

V. Guesdon and J.M. Faure (2004) Laying performance and egg quality in hens kept in standard or furnished cages. Animal Research 53: 4557.

B.O. Hughes , S. Wilson , M.C. Appleby and S.F. Smith (1993) Comparison of bone volume and strength as measures of skeletal integrity in caged laying hens with access to perches. Research in Veterinary Science 54(2): 202206.

J. Höglund , H. Nordenfors and A. Uggla (1995) Prevalence of the Poultry Red Mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, in different types of production systems for egg layers in Sweden. Poultry Science 74: 17931798.

V. Michel and D. Huonnic (2003) A comparison of welfare, health and production performance of laying hens reared in cages or in aviaries. British Poultry Science 44(5): 775776.

I.A.S. Olsson and L.J. Keeling (2000) Night-time roosting in laying hens and the effect of thwarting access to perches. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 68: 243256.

A. Peguri and C. Coon (1993) Effects of feather coverage and temperature on layer performance. Poultry Science 72: 13181329.

R. Tauson and P. Abrahamsson (1994) Foot- and skeletal disorders in laying hens. Effects of perch design, hybrid, housing system and stocking density. Acta Agriculturae Scaninavica, Section A, Animal Science 44: 110119.

R. Tauson , A. Wahlström and P. Abrahamsson (1999) Effects of two floor housing systems and cages on health, production, and fear response in layers. Applied Poultry Research 8: 152159.

P. Van Horne (1996) Production and economical results of commercial flocks with white layers in aviary systems and battery cages. British Poultry Science 37: 255261.

H. Wall and R. Tauson (2002) Egg quality in furnished cages for laying hens – Effects of crack reduction measures and hybrids. Poultry Science 81: 340348.

H. Wall , R. Tauson and K. Elwinger (2002) Effect of nest design, passages and hybrid on use of nest and production performance of layers in furnished cages. Poultry Science 81: 333339.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World's Poultry Science Journal
  • ISSN: 0043-9339
  • EISSN: 1743-4777
  • URL: /core/journals/world-s-poultry-science-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 205 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 967 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.