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Managing laying hen flocks with intact beaks

Code: 9781838791018
Thea van Niekerk, Wageningen Livestock Research, The Netherlands

Chapter synopsis: Worldwide, the majority of laying hens are beak trimmed to prevent injurious pecking. However, a ban on beak treatments has come into force in some countries, while others are discussing instituting such a ban. European legislation also prohibits beak treatment of organic flocks. When beak trimming is not practiced, farmers face the challenge of preventing injurious pecking behaviour in their flocks. Many environmental factors have been identified as affecting the onset and severity of feather pecking, and good management of these factors can prevent the onset of feather pecking or help to prevent escalation once feather pecking starts. In this chapter we review types of feather pecking and consider the origins of the behaviour. We then offer detailed discussion of management techniques for the prevention of feather pecking, during both rearing and the laying period.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2016.0012.32
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Types of feather pecking 3 The origin of feather pecking behaviour 4 Prevention of feather pecking: rearing conditions 5 Prevention of feather pecking: laying period 6 Summary 7 Future trends in research 8 Where to look for further information 9 References

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