Journal article

The effects of environmental enrichment and beak-trimming during the rearing period on subsequent feather damage due to feather-pecking in laying hens

KM Hartcher, KTN Tran, SJ Wilkinson, PH Hemsworth, PC Thomson, GM Cronin

POULTRY SCIENCE | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2015

Abstract

This experiment investigated effects of environmental enrichment and beak-trimming during the rearing period on behavior in rearing and plumage damage later in life. Treatments were applied in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Half of the birds were beak-trimmed at 1 d of age using an infra-red laser. A follow-up light-trim was performed at 11 wk of age with a hot blade. Environmental enrichment consisted of pecking strings, whole oats in the litter, and greater litter depth. Sixteen pens of 50 ISA Brown laying hens were used. Four pullets were selected from each pen as focal birds and observed in their home pens between 3 and 14 wk of age. Plumage damage was scored at the end of the experiment..

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University of Melbourne Researchers