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Effects of Management Strategies on Non-Beak-Trimmed Laying Hens in Furnished Cages that Were Reared in a Non-Cage System

Abstract : Simple Summary The practice of beak trimming in laying hens limits the negative consequences of injurious pecking, but could be prohibited by future regulations. We addressed in this study the question of how to prevent or minimize injurious pecking and its consequences, especially when beak trimming is not carried out. We found that a combination of different management strategies applied from rearing to laying stages improved to some extent the welfare of non-beak trimmed birds (lower mortality and fear of a novel object, better feather cover up to 61 weeks of age). Fiber supplementation in the feed did not provide any benefit on pecking-related problems. We suggest practical solutions to limit the consequences of injurious pecking where non-beak-trimmed animals are reared in barn system and transferred to furnished cages, while preserving good welfare, health and productivity. Abstract Beak trimming in laying hens limits the negative consequences of injurious pecking, but could be prohibited by future regulations. This study assessed a combination of management strategies during the rearing period (objects, perches, music, human presence) and laying period (scratching mats, objects, feed fiber supplementation) to raise non-beak-trimmed animals. The welfare and laying performances of beak-trimmed (T) and non-beak-trimmed (NT) ISA Brown birds were compared between groups with (E) or without (NE) these strategies, with or without fiber supplementation in the diet during laying period. Fiber supplementation did not provide any benefit on pecking-related problems. In comparison with NT-NE birds, NT-E birds had lower mortality, were less fearful of a novel object, and had a better feather cover, without a negative impact on productivity (same laying rate and egg quality). Although this study showed advantages of beak trimming (T birds had higher body weights, laying rates and lower hen mortality than NT birds), it highlighted related problems (increasing pullet mortality, decreasing early weights and increasing beak defects). This study proposes practical solutions to limit the consequences of injurious pecking in non-beak-trimmed animals.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02929035
Déposant : Christopher Lallemant <>
Soumis le : jeudi 3 septembre 2020 - 10:18:51
Dernière modification le : vendredi 4 septembre 2020 - 03:21:28

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Maryse Guinebretière, Amandine Mika, Virginie Michel, Loïc Balaine, Rodolphe Thomas, et al.. Effects of Management Strategies on Non-Beak-Trimmed Laying Hens in Furnished Cages that Were Reared in a Non-Cage System. Animals, MDPI, 2020, 10 (3), pp.399. ⟨10.3390/ani10030399⟩. ⟨hal-02929035⟩

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