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Effects of paddock management on vegetation, nutrient accumulation, and intrnal parasites in laying hens

Maurer, Veronika; Hertzberg, Hubertus; Heckendorn, Felix; Hördegen, Philipp and Koller, Martin (2013) Effects of paddock management on vegetation, nutrient accumulation, and intrnal parasites in laying hens. Journal of Applied Poultry Research, 22, pp. 334-343.

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Summary

Management of paddocks for free-range layers requires an effort from farmers to minimize the adverse effects of these systems on animal health (e.g., parasites)and environment (e.g., nutrient accumulation and leaching). In this study, we report results from 2 on-farm experiments conducted to investigate (1) the effects of rotational versus continuous use of the paddocks and(2) the effects of wood chips in the area close to the pop holes (openings to the paddock) with regard to turf quality, nutrient load in the soil, and parasite infections. Rotational use of the hen paddocks led to a lower proportion of bare soil close to the house, but not in more distant regions. Covering the area in front of the house with wood chips did not reduce bare areas. Nitrogen and phosphorous contents in soil were similar in permanently and rotationally used paddocks; they were usually higher close to the house than in distant regions. Neither nutrient accumulated over the observation period. There was no significant effect of the 2 management regimens on worm burdens (Ascaridia galli, Heterakis gallinarum, Capillaria spp.) at the end of the laying period. Fecal egg counts were significantly reduced on rotationally used paddocks and (in 3 of 4 cases) on paddocks with wood chips in the area close to the pop holes compared with unmanaged paddocks. Based on the positive effects on turf quality, manageability, and helminth egg excretion, we recommend rotational paddock management and a permanently used, small all-weather run covered with wood chips or gravel for free-range layer flocks.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:laying hen, outdoor area, nutrient accumulation, internatl parasite, Ascaridia galli, Heterakis gallinarum, Legehennen, Geflügelhaltung, Endoparasiten
Agrovoc keywords:
LanguageValueURI
Englishlaying henUNSPECIFIED
Englishoutdoor areaUNSPECIFIED
Englishnutrient accumulationUNSPECIFIED
Englishinternal parasiteUNSPECIFIED
EnglishAscaridia gallihttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_31006
EnglishHeterakis gallinarumhttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_31037
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Animal Husbandry and Breeding
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil Sciences
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Veterinary Parasitology
DOI:http://dx.doi.org/ 10.3382/japr.2012-00586
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/research/animal-sciences.html
Deposited By: Maurer, Dr. Veronika
ID Code:22895
Deposited On:24 Jul 2013 12:28
Last Modified:24 Jul 2013 12:28
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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