Individual Ranging Behaviour Patterns in Commercial Free-Range Layers as Observed through RFID Tracking.

Larsen, Hannah; Cronin, Greg M; Gebhardt, Sabine; Smith, Carolynn L; Hemsworth, Paul H; Rault, Jean-Loup (2017). Individual Ranging Behaviour Patterns in Commercial Free-Range Layers as Observed through RFID Tracking. Animals, 7(3) MDPI 10.3390/ani7030021

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In this exploratory study, we tracked free-range laying hens on two commercial flocks with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with the aim to examine individual hen variation in range use. Three distinct outdoor zones were identified at increasing distances from the shed; the veranda [0-2.4 m], close range [2.4-11.4 m], and far range [>11.4 m]. Hens' movements between these areas were tracked using radio frequency identification technology. Most of the hens in both flocks (68.6% in Flock A, and 82.2% in Flock B) accessed the range every day during the study. Of the hens that accessed the range, most hens accessed all three zones (73.7% in Flock A, and 84.5% in Flock B). Hens spent half of their time outdoors in the veranda area. Within-individual consistency of range use (daily duration and frequency) varied considerably, and hens which were more consistent in their daily range use spent more time on the range overall (< 0.001). Understanding variation within and between individuals in ranging behaviour may help elucidate the implications of ranging for laying hens.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Gebhardt, Sabine

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

2076-2615

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeremy Davidson Bailoo

Date Deposited:

22 May 2018 16:57

Last Modified:

22 May 2018 16:57

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/ani7030021

PubMed ID:

28282909

Uncontrolled Keywords:

eggs free range individual pasture poultry radio frequency identification time budget variation

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.113677

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/113677

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