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Effect of floor type and density on the integument of egg layers

Effect of floor type and density on the integument of egg layers

Poultry Science 59(10): 2202-2206

An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of floor type and density on the integumental system of White Leghorn egg-layers. The floor types were deep litter and sloping wire, respectively, and densities of 7 and 14 birds/m2 were tested on both. In the experiment 320 birds were evaluated with respect to lesions of the skin, plumage, claws and pads. In each bird 15 damage parameters were recorded and the data were analyzed by .chi.2-test with the birds confined on litter with 7 birds/m2 as a reference group. For 5 of the parameters a certain amount of damage was encountered without significant differences between the 4 groups. For the remaining 10 parameters the proportions of affected birds were significantly higher in 1 or both wire groups as compared to the reference group. For 8 of these 10 parameters the wire floor birds at high density showed from 1.1-fold to more than a 10-fold higher prevalence as compared to the wire birds at low density. Neck feather affections and denudation of dorsum were significantly more frequent in all experimental groups as compared to the reference group. The prevalence increased in the 3 experimental groups; the lowest was among the litter birds with 14 birds/m2 and the highest among birds confined on wire at high density. In general, integumental affection was more pronounced in the wire floor system as compared to the deep litter system. For some of the parameters more damage was encountered among high density birds as compared to low density birds, especially on birds housed in the wire floor systems.

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Accession: 005239434

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