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Management Systems for Organic Egg Production - Aiming to Improve Animal Health and Welfare

Hegelund, Lene (2007) Management Systems for Organic Egg Production - Aiming to Improve Animal Health and Welfare. Thesis, University of Aarhus, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences , Dept. of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition. DJF Animal Science, no. 80. .

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Animal health and welfare is an important part of the organic husbandry, both in terms of the organic principles and because of consumer interest. But problems in the organic egg production resulting in diseases, feather pecking and cannibalism, have led to the need of management tools in order to secure animal health and welfare.
The aim of this project is to develop management tools for the organic egg production, aimed to secure animal health and welfare in the flocks.
In the first part of the project a welfare assessment system for organic egg production was developed and tested on five farms, having a total of ten flocks. The ten flocks were monitored regularly for a number of production and welfare parameters in order to evaluate the practical applicability of the welfare assessment system. A welfare assessment report was created and presented for each pro¬ducer, and the welfare assessment system was evaluated with respect to its function as a decision support tool. In addition two welfare indicators were studied separately to evaluate variability and interpretation. Adjustments for the welfare assessment system were suggested, in order to improve collected data, presentation and the practical applicability of the system.
In the second part of the project the first part of a HACCP system was developed, using an expert panel analysis. Eighteen experts received a series of questionnaires, where the construction of each questionnaire was based upon the answers of the former. By quantifying the experts’ opinions, ten health and welfare problems were selected, and associated risk factors and control points identified. A generic HACCP system was described together with the possibilities of evaluating the system and possibilities of a practical application.
The two management tools have very different approaches to improving animal health and welfare, and subsequently different methods, cost and advantages. This makes them relevant for different purposes and by different producers and interested parties.
The thesis includes four papers describing the development of the welfare assessment system (pa¬per I), and evaluation of two welfare indicators included in the welfare indicator protocol (paper II and II). Finally the development of the HACCP-like system is described in paper IV:
paper I: Hegelund, L., Sørensen, J.T. & Johansen, N.F. (2003) Developing a welfare assess¬ment system for use in commercial organic egg production. Animal Welfare 12(4), 649-654.
paper II: Hegelund, L. & Sørensen, J.T. (2007) Measuring fearfulness of hens in commercial organic egg production. Animal Welfare 16, 167-171.
paper III: Hegelund, L., Sørensen, J.T. Hegelund, L., Sørensen, J.T., Kjær, J.B. and Kristensen, I.S. (2005) Use of the range area in commercial egg production systems: Effect of cli¬matic factors, flock size, age and artificial cover. British Poultry Science 46(1): 1-8.
paper IV: Hegelund, L. & Sørensen, J.T. (in press) Developing a HACCP-like system for improving animal health and welfare in organic egg production - based on an expert panel analysis. Animal.

EPrint Type:Thesis
Thesis Type:Ph.D.
Keywords:Welfare assessment HACCP Management systems Egg Production
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > KU - University of Copenhagen > KU-LIFE - Faculty of Life Sciences
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Denmark > SOAR - Research School for Organic Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited By: Holme, Ms. Mette
ID Code:12592
Deposited On:28 Nov 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:36
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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