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Use of the range area in commercial egg production systems: effect of climatic factors, flock size, age and artificial cover

Hegelund, L.; Sørensen, J.T.; Kjær, J. and Kristensen, I.S. (2005) Use of the range area in commercial egg production systems: effect of climatic factors, flock size, age and artificial cover. British Poultry Science, February 2005, 46 (1), pp. 1-8.

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Summary

To evaluate the effect of climate, flock size, age and artificial cover on the use of range area, a study was conducted in 1994 to 1998, involving 5 farms with a total of 37 flocks of layers kept in commercial, free-range, organic systems. Flocks were visited regularly during the production period to record the number and distribution of hens on the range. 2. On average 9% of the flock used the range area, but with large variations both within and between flocks, and this was partly influenced by climatic factors. Range use was affected by temperature, wind, precipitation, season and age, and there was a tendency for reduced numbers of hens on the range with the time of day and increasing flock size. 3. Eight flocks (including houses and range areas) were divided into 8 paired units, and the range area of one unit in each of the flocks was provided with artificial cover. There were more hens on the range when artificial cover was present and the presence of cover attracted more hens away from the area immediately outside the hen house.


EPrint Type:Newspaper or magazine article
Keywords:Range area, organic egg production systems, climatic factors, flock size, age and artificial cover
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Kaspersen, Marion Evy Dyhrberg
ID Code:5722
Deposited On:02 Oct 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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