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WELFARE, PRODUCTIVITY AND QUALITATIVE TRAITS OF EGG IN LAYING HENS REARED UNDER DIFFERENT REARING SYSTEMS

CASTELLINI, prof C; PERELLA, dr F; MUGNAI, dr C and DAL BOSCO, dr A (2006) WELFARE, PRODUCTIVITY AND QUALITATIVE TRAITS OF EGG IN LAYING HENS REARED UNDER DIFFERENT REARING SYSTEMS. Poster at: XII European Poultry Conference, Verona, 10-14 September.

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Summary

The welfare, production performance and some qualitative characteristics of eggs obtained under three different rearing systems (conventional, organic and organic-plus) were compared. Three homogeneous groups, each of 120 White Leghorn hens, fed the same diets, were assigned to different rearing systems and data were recorded for 1 year. The welfare indicators were the following: first impact, behavioural patterns, tonic immobility and plumage status. Productive performance was recorded (% deposition; egg weight) and some qualitative traits (Haugh index, yolk colour, yolk, albumen and egg shell weight) were evaluated. Well-being was greatly affected by rearing system. The best welfare status was observed in hens of the organic-plus group, whereas the worst was in the conventional group (caged hens). Caged hens showed little interest or fear of observers, at times they had high tonic immobility and some aggressive pecking; the status of their plumage was very poor. On the contrary, caged hens produced more eggs, even if their qualitative traits (Haugh index and yolk colour) were worse than the organicplus eggs. The intense motor activity of organic hens and the concurrent intake of grass reduced their productive level; further egg deposition seemed more affected by seasonal variation.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:egg characteristics, welfare, hen
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Italy > Univ. Perugia
Deposited By: Castellini, Prof. C.
ID Code:9331
Deposited On:03 Oct 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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