Journal article
Are practice recommendations for the prevention of feather pecking in laying hens
in non-cage systems in line with the results of experimental and epidemiological studies?




Publication Details
Authors:
Jung, L.; Knierim, U.
Publication year:
2018
Journal:
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Pages range:
1-12
Journal acronym:
Appl Anim Behav Sci
Volume number:
200
ISSN:
0168-1591

Abstract

Feather pecking (FP) in laying hens
is an important animal welfare problem in practice, despite extensive
research and increasing sources of advice for farmers. We aimed to give
an overview over results from experimental and epidemiological studies.
We included non-cage systems, covering the rearing and laying phase.
The investigated factors were categorised into those with either good,
contentious or no evidence regarding preventive effects on FP. Moreover,
we wanted to know to what extent recommendations for farmers are based
on this scientific evidence. We extracted 62 potential preventive
factors from 88 experimental and 21 epidemiological studies. 17 factors
during rearing, and 32 factors during the laying phase significantly
affected the risk to develop FP or plumage
damage (PD). Factors were counted as significant if other studies found
no or at most one opposite result. Seven factors during rearing and 16
factors during laying were confirmed by more than one study, with no or
at most one opposite result. Provision of dry litter on the floor and
sufficiently high perches during rearing and laying or a high use of the
free range area during the laying phase were among these influencing
factors. In the reviewed 15 practice recommendations, almost all of
these factors have been taken up, although no recommendation comprises
all factors and most miss more than the half of them. This leaves ample
room for improvement of the recommendations. On the other hand, they
altogether recommend 15 contentious as well as eight non-significant or
12 not yet investigated factors for which further scientific
investigation is necessary.



Authors/Editors

Last updated on 2020-29-04 at 13:21