Managing laying hen flocks with intact beaks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAchieving sustainable production of eggs
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2: Animal welfare and sustainability
EditorsJuliet R. Roberts
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherBurleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited
ISBN (Electronic)9781786760807
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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