Document Detail

Effects of plastic anti-pecking devices on food intake and behaviour of laying hens fed on pellets or mash.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9158884     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. This study investigated effects of plastic anti-pecking devices on food intake and behaviour to assess their applicability in commercial layer flocks. 2. In experiment 1, 72 individually caged ISA Brown pullets were fitted at 16 weeks of age (point of lay) with either 'ring' or 'bumper' beak devices or no device (control), half being fed on pellets and half on mash. The devices were held in place by lugs inserted in the nares. 3. There was evidence of discomfort immediately after fitting the devices, but not thereafter. In the first week, the devices reduced food intake, and were removed from 7 (15%) birds that lost weight consistently. Between 16 and 21 weeks, however, there were no significant effects of beak treatment or food form on either total food intake or egg production with the 65 remaining birds. 4. Beak treatment did not affect feeding efficiency (food intake per minute of feeding). The only behaviour affected was pecking at birds in adjacent cages, which was reduced with the ring device. 5. At 21 weeks, the birds were placed together in groups of 4 to 6 in 12 pens, each group consisting of birds from one of the 6 original treatments, and their behaviour was observed in experiment 2 between 21 and 23 weeks. 6. The only effects of beak treatment on behaviour were that pecking at pen walls was increased with the ring device, while pulling and eating feathers from group mates was seen mainly with control birds fed on pellets. Two birds were cannibalised in a control group on pellets. 7. Devices came off 3 (7%) birds in experiment 1 and were replaced, and rings slipped over lower mandibles of 2 (5%) birds in experiment 2 and were corrected. 8. At 23 weeks, beak lengths were increased with ring and bumper treatments, and pecking damage scores were low with all treatments. 9. It is concluded that these devices are not applicable commercially, but further trials would be justified with new improved designs.
C J Savory; J D Hetherington
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British poultry science     Volume:  38     ISSN:  0007-1668     ISO Abbreviation:  Br. Poult. Sci.     Publication Date:  1997 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-08-14     Completed Date:  1997-08-14     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  15740290R     Medline TA:  Br Poult Sci     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  125-31     Citation Subset:  IM    
Roslin Institute (Edinburgh), Scotland.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Feed
Animal Husbandry / instrumentation*
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Body Weight / physiology
Chickens / physiology*
Diet / veterinary*
Eating / physiology*
Equipment Design
Oviposition / physiology
Social Behavior
Weight Loss / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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