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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 27, No. 4, 2006, pp. 433-440
Bioline Code: zr06063
Full paper language: Chinese
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2006, pp. 433-440

 en The Influence of Density and a Partially Shadowed Layer on the Behaviour and Welfare of Broiler Breeders in Battery Cages During Laying
ZHAO Yang, ZHAO Ya-jun, LI Bao-ming, SHI Zheng-xiang


This study compared the behavioural differences of broiler breeders reared under two different densities (Singly-caged: 1 600 cm2 per hen; Paired: 800 cm2 per hen), and in shadowed cages with a half-covering layer on their tops versus controls in order to evaluate the laying preferences of the species in dark versus light regions. The results showed that singly-caged broiler breeders displayed turn-around and head-scratch behaviours more than paired breeders, while singly-caged breeders presented wing-flap behaviours less than paired breeders. Single and paired breeders spent both more time eating in cages which were partially covered than those in control cages. Singly-caged breeders were more likely to lay in the dark region in shadowed cages than paired breeders. These results suggested that broiler breeders exhibited normal behaviours more often when raised in a larger living space and in shadowed cages. Although stocking density has more impact on behaviour and welfare for broiler layers than light environment, being shadowed can reduce overcrowding effect and may alleviate the worse welfare appearance for caged broiler breeders.

Broiler breeder; Battery cage; Stocking density; Shadowed layer; Environmental enrichment; Animal behaviour and welfare

© Copyright 2006 Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
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