Nest use is influenced by the positions of nests and drinkers in aviaries.

Lentfer, T. L.; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G.; Fröhlich, E. K. F.; von Borell, E. (2013). Nest use is influenced by the positions of nests and drinkers in aviaries. Poultry Science, 92(6), pp. 1433-1442. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps.2012-02718

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The influence of the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers on nest use by laying hens in a commercial aviary was assessed. Twenty pens in a laying hen house were equipped with the same commercial aviary system, but the pens differed in the nest location and the placement of nipple drinkers. Nests were placed along the walls in 10 pens, and nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. The other 10 pens were equipped with nests placed on a tier within the aviary (integrated nests). Nipple drinkers were installed in front of the nests in 5 of these pens. A total of 225 Lohmann Selected Leghorns were housed per pen. The hens were offered 4 nests per pen: 2 facing the service corridor of the laying hen house and 2 facing the outdoor area. The numbers of nest eggs and mislaid eggs were counted daily per pen. At 25, 36, and 43 wk of age, the nest platforms were videotaped and the behavior of laying hens in front of the nests was analyzed. The nest location affected the stationary and locomotive behaviors in front of the nests. Hens in front of the integrated nests and the nests with drinkers displayed more stationary behaviors than hens in front of wall-placed nests or nests without drinkers. No difference in the number of nest eggs could be detected, but the integration of the nests inside the aviary led to a more even distribution of hens while nest searching. In the pens with wall-placed nests, significantly more hens laid eggs in the nests at the wall near the service corridor than at the wall near the outdoor area. Due to this imbalance, crowding in front of the preferred nests occurred and pushing and agonistic interactions on the nest platforms were significantly more frequent. Placement of nipple drinkers in front of nests had no effect on the number of eggs laid in those nests.

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

UniBE Contributor:

Gebhardt, Sabine

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0032-5791

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2014 14:21

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2019 10:51

Publisher DOI:

10.3382/ps.2012-02718

PubMed ID:

23687137

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.44931

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/44931

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