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Increased foraging in organic layers

Horsted, Klaus (2006) Increased foraging in organic layers. Thesis, University of Aarhus, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences , Department of Agroecology. .

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In this thesis it was hypothesised that that hens are capable of finding and utilising a considerable amount of feed items from a forage area, and this is dependent on the type of supplementary feed and forage vegetation offered. It was found that high-producing layer strains are able to consume considerable amounts of herbage and that forage together with other feed items from the forage area can provide laying hens with important nutrients. The type of supplementary (layer feed versus whole wheat and oyster shells) and the type of forage have an influence on the feed intake from the forage area. Thus, nutrient-restricted hens had a higher intake of herbage and a different preference for other feed items compared with hens, which had their nutrient requirement covered through the layer feed. Recordings on egg quality and productivity indicate that chicory is a particular valuable forage crop in a forage-based system. Also focus on earthworms has potential. It was concluded that it is possible to lower the standards of important nutrients in the supplementary feed, provided that good forage is available and that the production system supports good welfare of the poultry. A crop rotation system was suggested.

EPrint Type:Thesis
Thesis Type:Ph.D.
Keywords:laying hens; free-range; feed intake; feed selection; nutrient requirement, productivity; nutrient balance, welfare
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Kirkegaard, Lene/LKI
ID Code:10463
Deposited On:06 Feb 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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