Journal article
Bedeutung der Aufzucht der Legehennen für alternative Haltungsformen

Publication Details
Staack, M.; Gruber, B.; Keppler, C.; Zaludik, K.; Niebuhr, K.; Knierim, U.
Publication year:
Deutsche Tierärztliche Wochenschrift
Pages range:
Volume number:
Issue number:

Feather pecking and cannibalism are still major problems in alternative systems for laying hens. Literature and practical experience indicate that unfavourable rearing conditions might be important risk factors for the occurrence of these behavioural disturbances during the laying period. Typical rearing conditions of laying hens from 50 rearing units in Germany and Austria are presented. Obvious risk factors during rearing for feather pecking and cannibalism during the laying period were found. Most flocks were kept under high stocking density (mean: 15 pullets per m' useable area) and some flocks had access to litter only after the second week of life or access to raised perches after the fourth week of life. Plumage condition of pullets and laying hens varied widely in non-beak-trimmed as well as in beak-trimmed flocks. The percentage of pullets with damaged plumage was higher in beak-trimmed than in non-beak-trimmed flocks (medians: 53 % versus 30 %, p = 0,022). In laying hens there was a higher percentage of hens with plumage damage in non-beak-trimmed flocks compared to beak-trimmed flocks (medians: 23 % versus 50 %, p = 0,007). Data analysis will be continued, especially with regard to particular risk factors.

Last updated on 2018-18-10 at 09:35