+ Translate

Behavioural development in groups of pen-housed pullets in relation to genetic strain, age and food form

, : Behavioural development in groups of pen-housed pullets in relation to genetic strain, age and food form. British Poultry Science 38(1): 38-47

1. Behavioural development in groups of 8 pullets kept in pens with litter floors, and fed on either mash or pellets, was studied from 0 to 10 weeks in a White Leghorn times broiler (F2) hybrid line (experiment 1) and from 0 to 24 weeks in Hisex, White Leghorn and Brown Leghorn strains (experiment 2). The aim was to identify precursors of feather pecking and cannibalism. 2. Rates of body weight gain were consistently greater with pellets than with mash in both experiments. In experiment 2, the onset of lay was at 17 weeks of age in Hisex, 21 weeks in White Leghorns and 23 weeks in Brown Leghorns. 3. Persistent feather pecking, which was not seen in experiment 1, developed in 2 of 12 groups one Hisex and one White Leghorn, both fed on pellets) in experiment 2, and was studied in detail at 23 and 24 weeks. The more damaging pecking in the Hisex group was followed by cannibalism in the same group. 4. Based on the (often inconsistent) effects of genetic strain, age and food form on behaviour that were observed, a working hypothesis was constructed to account for the aetiology of feather pecking and cannibalism in situations where there is floor litter. 5. An age-related decline in one or more foraging activities may coincide with increases in preening and non-damaging pecking at other birds. Consumption of litter particles and moulted feathers may be reinforcing. Dustbathing may enhance the stimulus value of litter particles when they are contrasted against background plumage colour. This may direct pecking towards the backs of birds, where feathers as well as litter particles may be removed and eaten. Regular pecking and feather removal may lead eventually, after the onset of lay to vent pecking and cannibalism. This sequence of events may be more likely in groups where activity levels are high.

Accession: 002763677

PMID: 9088611

DOI: 10.1080/00071669708417938

Download PDF Full Text: Behavioural development in groups of pen-housed pullets in relation to genetic strain, age and food form

Submit PDF Full Text

No spam - Every submission is manually reviewed

Due to poor quality, we do not accept files from Researchgate

Submitted PDF Full Texts will always be free for everyone
(We only charge for PDFs that we need to acquire)

Select a PDF file:

Related references

Tripathi, D.C.; Sathe, B.S.; Khan, A.G., 1977: Studies on inter-strain variation in the performance of White Leghorn pullets housed on deep litter and in individual battery cages. At 8 mth of age, 150 White Leghorn pullets from each of 5 strains were housed on deep litter, allowing 3 ft2 per bird, and 150 birds of each strain were housed in individual cages measuring 18 X 16 X 10 in. For birds on deep litter, body weight at...

Kessel, A.; Brent, L., 1997: Behavioural effects of transferring singly housed baboons to outdoor social groups. Unknown

Andersen, I.; Boe, K.; Hove, K., 2000: Behavioural and physiological thermoregulation in groups of pregnant sows housed in a kennel system at low temperatures. The behavioural and physiological responses of pregnant sows to cold exposure in a kennel system were investigated. Ten groups, each of six pregnant sows, were housed over winter in a non-insulated building containing kennels. Lying posture, socia...

Andersen,; Boe,; Hove, K., 2000: Behavioural and (i.e. physiological) physiolgical thermoregulation in groups of pregnant sows housed in a kennel system at low temperatures. Canadian Journal of Animal Science 80(1): 8

Batchelor, Gr, 1996: The behavioural development of group housed New Zealand White laboratory rabbits. Proceedings of the 30th International Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology: 14-17 August 1996 Guelph Ontario Canada

Batchelor, Gr, 1996: The behavioural individuality of laboratory group housed half lop rabbits. I. A behavioural class synopsis. An in depth behavioural and activity assessment of the laboratory rabbit as an individual is presented through three consecutive papers which demonstrate through the recording of 24 hour time patterns, not only the variable nature of each animal c...

Bartos, L.B.ain, P.; Donat, P., 1994: Comparisons of individually housed male mice with those kept in small groups in a food competition situation. Animal technology: journal of the Institute of Animal Technicians 45(2): 101-110

Craig, J.V., 1992: Beak trimming benefits vary among egg-strain pullets of different genetic stocks. The current study examined the effects of three beak treatments and three genetic stocks of White Leghorn pullets on part-year egg production and losses from cannibalistic pecking. Special attention was directed towards the consistency of beak tre...

Johnson, R.J.; Cumming, R.B.; Farrell, D.J., 1985: Influence of food restriction during rearing on the body composition of layer-strain pullets and hens. The influence of two methods of food restriction during rearing on the body and liver composition of layer-type birds was investigated during and after restriction. In each of two experiments groups of birds were reared on one of three treatments:...

Jackson, D.A.; Forbes, J.M.; Johnson, C.L., 1987: An automated system of recording food intake by individual animals housed in groups and fed silage ad libitum. Rationing systems for cattle and genetic selection criteria cannot be made more precise until there is a more complete understanding of the factors which control forage intake. A system in which cattle are identified from transponders carried on c...