Document Detail

Keeping laying hens in furnished cages and an aviary housing system enhances their bone stability.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16359105     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. Tibia and humerus breaking strength of Lohmann Silver hybrids kept in conventional cages, furnished cages and an aviary with outdoor run were examined in two production cycles. Each trial lasted a full laying period; feeding, management and healthcare were identical for all hens. In both trials bone strength was investigated at the end of laying months 6, 9 and 14. 2. The objective was to determine if bone strength increases when hens are kept in alternative housing systems, especially in furnished cages, and whether hen age affects bone stability. 3. The results indicated that housing system influenced bone breaking strength, which was consistently higher for hens in the aviary compared to hens in conventional and furnished cages. Furthermore, humerus breaking strength was higher for hens in furnished cages compared to conventional cages. No significant difference regarding tibia breaking strength was found between conventional and furnished cages. 4. Our results showed that lack of exercise contributed to the problem of weak bones more than did calcium depletion from eggshell formation. 5. Tibia breaking strength increased during the last third of the production cycle, whereas humerus breaking strength remained unaffected by hen age. 6. Genetic group affected only tibial bone breaking strength, which was lower overall in genetic group A than in group B, which in turn was lower than group C. 7. The increased bone strength in the aviary and in the furnished cages probably reduced the incidence of recently broken bones in these systems compared to the conventional cages. This increase in bone strength can be regarded as an improvement in welfare. Furnished cages, like the aviary system, might be considered an alternative housing system for laying hens, because both resulted in enhanced bone strength.
M Leyendecker; H Hamann; J Hartung; J Kamphues; U Neumann; C Sürie; O Distl
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British poultry science     Volume:  46     ISSN:  0007-1668     ISO Abbreviation:  Br. Poult. Sci.     Publication Date:  2005 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-12-19     Completed Date:  2006-01-25     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  15740290R     Medline TA:  Br Poult Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  536-44     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Bone and Bones / physiology*
Chickens / physiology*
Housing, Animal*
Osteoporosis / prevention & control,  veterinary
Oviposition / physiology
Ovum / physiology
Poultry Diseases / prevention & control

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