Effect of nutrient density, NSP source, coarseness of NSP and feed form on performance and behaviour of hens at early lay.

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

Abstract

Feather pecking in layers is a multi factorial problem, which can be caused by environmental, genetic or nutritional factors. From the literature it has been shown that nutritional factors may positively or negatively affect feather pecking behaviour in laying hens. Nutritional factors seem to reduce feather pecking behaviour in laying hens if these factors increase the time spent on feeding behaviour, by affecting foraging and feed intake. Laying hens may spend more time on these feeding behaviours when they are fed 1) mash diets in stead of crumbles or pellets, 2) low energy diets, 3) high (in-)soluble fibre diets or 4) roughages. However, such feeding strategies may not reduce egg performance of the hens, which can be the case when hens are not able to fully compensate for the dilution. Especially hens at early lay can have problems with consuming sufficient feed for maintenance and egg production. Therefore, by order of the Product Board Animal Feed and the Product Board Poultry & Eggs an experiment was conducted to measure the effect of energy dilution and feed structure on performance and behaviour of hens at the beginning of the laying period.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherAnimal Sciences Group
Number of pages62
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameReport / Animal Sciences Group, Wageningen UR
PublisherAnimal Sciences Group
No.09

Keywords

  • hens
  • poultry
  • feeds
  • hen feeding
  • animal nutrition
  • laying performance
  • animal behaviour
  • feeding behaviour
  • feather pecking

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