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Bone health and associated problems in layer hens

Code: 9781786768803
Christina Rufener, University of California-Davis, USA; and Michael J. Toscano, University of Bern, Switzerland

Chapter synopsis: Laying hens and associated commercial egg production is one of the most universal agricultural products across the globe. Housing and management systems are variable but must allow for appropriate skeletal and cognitive development during rearing to ensure the adult hen can support normal biological functioning while producing a large number of eggs which require mobilization of resources including minerals and energy. Likely as a consequence of this mobilization and related factors, laying hens are believed to have weakened skeletal systems leading to specific problems including fractured keels and other bone injuries during removal from the barn at the end of lay. To combat these problems, multiple strategies have been undertaken including adaptations to genetics, nutrition, housing, and management. This chapter provides a summary of the basic skeletal system and its development, specific problems of bone health, and efforts to reduce the problem.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0078.16
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Bone development, growth and remodelling 3 Identified bone health problems 4 Contributory factors to poor bone health 5 Influence of poor bone health on productivity and welfare 6 Strategies for improving bone health 7 Future trends in research 8 Where to look for further information 9 References

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