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Sample records for adult laying hens

  1. Effects of maternal care and selection for low mortality on tyrosine hydroxylase concentrations and cell soma size in hippocampus and nidopallium caudolaterale in adult laying hen.

    PubMed

    Nordquist, R E; Zeinstra, E C; Rodenburg, T B; van der Staay, F J

    2013-01-01

    Feather pecking and cannibalism in farm-kept laying hens are damaging behaviors both in terms of animal welfare and economic loss, and a major challenge in modern poultry farming. Both rearing with a foster hen and genetic selection have been demonstrated to reduce feather pecking in laying hens. We examined the effects of rearing with a foster hen, genetic selection for low mortality from cannibalism, and interactions between both, using cellular morphology and levels of the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine production, tyrosine hydroxylase, in the hippocampus and nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) as a potential measure for laying hen welfare. Hens from the second generation of a sib-selection scheme line derived from a pure-bred White Leghorn line, selected for low mortality and for production characteristics, or their control line (CL) selected only for production characteristics, were housed with or without a foster Silky hen for the first 7 wk of life. Aside from the presence or absence of a foster Silky hen during the first 7 wk of life, housing conditions were identical for all hens. The hens were then sacrificed and brains were removed at 52 wk of age. Brains were sectioned and stained using a Nissl staining to reveal cell soma morphology, or using immunocytochemistry for tyrosine hydroxlase. A greater degree of lateralization in the hippocampus was observed in hens reared without a foster hen, as measured by absolute difference in cell soma size between hemispheres (P<0.05). The low mortality line showed decreased concentrations of tyrosine hydroxylase in the NCL compared with the CL (P<0.005). Our results indicate that morphological changes in brain induced in very early life can be detected in adult hens, and that genetic selection against mortality due to cannibalism impacts tyrosine hydroxylase in the NCL of laying hens. These observations strengthen the notion that brain measures may be useful as potential readouts for animal welfare. PMID:23048145

  2. Laying hens learn to avoid feathers.

    PubMed

    Harlander-Matauschek, A; Wassermann, F; Zentek, J; Bessei, W

    2008-09-01

    Previous work demonstrated an association between feather pecking and feather eating in laying hens. This raised the question if digestive feedback affects feather eating or feather pecking in laying hens. We hypothesized that feathers enriched with sugar form a positive feedback and feathers enriched with quinine sulfate form a negative feedback. Forty-eight laying hens were kept in individual cages and fed a pelleted diet ad libitum. Twenty-four birds were offered feathers on a daily basis; 12 of these birds were offered feathers soaked in 4% quinine sulfate solution (Q), and the other 12 were offered feathers soaked in 4% sucrose solution (S). The other 24 birds were kept as a control (C) without access to feathers. After a 10-d feather feeding period, 3 groups of 4 S and 4 C birds each and 3 groups of 4 Q and 4 C birds each were assembled. Feather-pecking behavior was recorded over a period of 8 d. The number of Q feathers eaten was significantly lower than the number of S feathers. Birds that were offered Q feathers in the feather feeding phase showed significantly less severe feather pecking than S and C birds. The results clearly show that Q as an unpalatable substance was the signal the animal used to avoid damaging the feather cover in laying hens. PMID:18753438

  3. Effects of clofibrate treatment in laying hens.

    PubMed

    König, B; Kluge, H; Haase, K; Brandsch, C; Stangl, G I; Eder, K

    2007-06-01

    Expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARalpha) has been shown in liver of chicks, but effects of its activation have not yet been investigated. In this study, laying hens were treated with clofibrate, a synthetic PPARalpha agonist, to investigate the effects of PPARalpha activation on liver lipid metabolism. Hens receiving a diet containing 5 g of clofibrate/kg had a lower food intake and higher liver mRNA concentrations of typical PPARalpha target genes (carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A, acyl-coenzyme A oxidase, bifunctional enzyme, lipoprotein lipase) involved in hepatic mitochondrial and peroxisomal beta-oxidation and plasma triglyceride clearance than control hens that received the same diet without clofibrate (P<0.05). Hens treated with clofibrate also had lower mRNA concentrations of fatty acid synthase, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, and low-density lipoprotein receptor, proteins involved in fatty acid biosynthesis and cholesterol biosynthesis and uptake, than hens fed the control diet (P<0.05). These changes in clofibrate-treated hens were accompanied by reduced liver triglyceride concentrations, strongly diminished very low density triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations (P<0.05), a disturbed maturation of egg follicles, a complete stop of egg production, and a markedly reduced plasma 17-beta-estradiol concentration (P<0.05). In conclusion, it is shown that clofibrate has complex effects on hepatic lipid metabolism in laying hens that mimic PPARalpha activation in mammals, affect maturation of egg follicles, and lead to a stop of egg production. Because clofibrate treatment strongly reduced food intake in the hens, some of these effects (i.e., egg production) may have been due to a low energy and nutrient intake. PMID:17495091

  4. Cestodosis in battery-housed laying hens.

    PubMed

    Abrams, L

    1976-09-01

    Cestodosis in battery-housed laying hens severely reduced egg production particularly at the time of peak production. Hens were able to consume large numbers of Musca domestica, the intermediate host of Choanotaenia infundibulum following the use of an aerosol insecticide to control flies. A considerable discharge of cestodes followed the use of "Lintex" in the feed resulting in a marked improvement in egg production. The use of an insect growth regulator in the feed showed promise in controlling the breeding of flies. PMID:994133

  5. Perch use by laying hens in a commercial aviary.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Makagon, M M; Swanson, J C; Siegford, J M

    2016-08-01

    Non-cage housing systems, such as the aviary, are being implemented by the laying hen industry, including in North America, in an attempt to improve the welfare of hens. Perches are a resource that is consistently included in aviaries. Hens are strongly motivated to perch, and perching can improve leg bone strength. However, hens may prefer elevated perches, particularly at night, and thus simply providing perches is not enough to improve welfare; they must be provided in a way that allows all hens to access them. Observations of laying hens using perches and ledges (flat, solid metal shelves to assist hens' movement between tiers) in a commercial aviary revealed variation in where hens roosted within the tiered aviary enclosure across the flock cycle (peak, mid and end of lay; P < 0.001 for all age points). Hens most often preferred roosting in the highest enclosure levels, leading to crowding on upper perches and ledges while perch space remained available on lower levels. Restricted access to preferable perches may cause frustration in hens, leading to welfare issues. Hens roosted more on perches at peak lay than mid and end lay (P < 0.001) but roosted less on ledges at peak lay than mid and end lay (P < 0.001). Additionally, more hens roosted on both perches and ledges in the 'dark' observation period compared with the number of hens roosting during the 'light' observation period (P < 0.001). Further research should look at all structural elements within the system that are used by hens for roosting, such as edges of tiers and upper wire floors, to evaluate how changes in perching preferences across the lay cycle may correlate with system design and bird-based parameters. PMID:26994206

  6. Perch use by laying hens in a commercial aviary1

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, D. L. M.; Makagon, M. M.; Swanson, J. C.; Siegford, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Non-cage housing systems, such as the aviary, are being implemented by the laying hen industry, including in North America, in an attempt to improve the welfare of hens. Perches are a resource that is consistently included in aviaries. Hens are strongly motivated to perch, and perching can improve leg bone strength. However, hens may prefer elevated perches, particularly at night, and thus simply providing perches is not enough to improve welfare; they must be provided in a way that allows all hens to access them. Observations of laying hens using perches and ledges (flat, solid metal shelves to assist hens’ movement between tiers) in a commercial aviary revealed variation in where hens roosted within the tiered aviary enclosure across the flock cycle (peak, mid and end of lay; P < 0.001 for all age points). Hens most often preferred roosting in the highest enclosure levels, leading to crowding on upper perches and ledges while perch space remained available on lower levels. Restricted access to preferable perches may cause frustration in hens, leading to welfare issues. Hens roosted more on perches at peak lay than mid and end lay (P < 0.001) but roosted less on ledges at peak lay than mid and end lay (P < 0.001). Additionally, more hens roosted on both perches and ledges in the ‘dark’ observation period compared with the number of hens roosting during the ‘light’ observation period (P < 0.001). Further research should look at all structural elements within the system that are used by hens for roosting, such as edges of tiers and upper wire floors, to evaluate how changes in perching preferences across the lay cycle may correlate with system design and bird-based parameters. PMID:26994206

  7. The dopaminergic system and aggression in laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aggression and pecking behavior in laying hens is a serious concern to the production and well-being of the hens. Current breeding programs attempt to reduce aggression in hens without altering production have had limited success. Improved understanding of the neural mediation of aggression, will be...

  8. Mechanisms of uterine contractility in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Kupittayanant, S; Kupittayanant, P; Suwannachat, C

    2009-10-01

    The physiological basis of uterine contractility in laying hens is not well understood, but a better understanding is important for understanding the mechanisms governing egg laying. The characteristics of uterine contractility arising spontaneously or by prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)) stimulation were therefore examined and the underlying mechanisms investigated. Uterine strips were isolated from laying hens 4h before oviposition and force measured. These strips remained healthy in vitro and produced regular spontaneous contractions. The contractions were phasic and could be recorded for several hours. Exposure to nifedipine, the specific L-type Ca channel blocker, led to the abolition of force. The contraction amplitude and frequency were significantly increased when Bay K8644, an agonist of L-type Ca channels, was applied or when the concentration of extracellular Ca was elevated. Spontaneous contractions were also significantly inhibited by wortmannin, the specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK). When 1 microM PGF(2alpha) was applied to spontaneously contracting uterus, it significantly increased their amplitude and frequency of the contractions. As with spontaneous contractions, PGF(2alpha)-induced force production was abolished by nifedipine and wortmannin. In the absence of extracellular Ca, a small but tonic force was generated upon application of PGF(2alpha) which was not affected by wortmannin. Thus, extracellular Ca entry and MLCK phosphorylation are essential for uterine force production occurring spontaneously or by PGF(2alpha) stimulation. Our data supports the conclusion that the pathway dependent on extracellular Ca entry and MLCK phosphorylation predominates during PGF(2alpha) stimulation but suggests some involvement of an alternative force-producing pathway, presumably Ca-sensitization. PMID:19081211

  9. [Behaviour of laying hens in aviaries--review. Part 1: Social and resting behaviour of hens].

    PubMed

    Moesta, A; Knierim, U; Briese, A; Hartung, J

    2007-12-01

    This literature review gives information about important behaviour categories of laying hens kept in aviary systems. Based on current knowledge, the differences in behaviour of hens in aviaries compared to the behaviour of hens living under "close to natural" conditions are assessed quantitatively and qualitatively. The focus of this first review is put on resting and particularly on social behaviour. So far "optimal" group size for laying hens and consequences of oversized groups for the well-being of laying hens are unknown, thus, rendering further research necessary. Referring to the resting and social behaviour of laying hens, proposals for the design of the housing system aviary are given. A second part will deal with feeding, reproductive and dustbathing behaviour. PMID:18181358

  10. Onion consumption and bone density in laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Onion and its flavonoid component, quercetin, are associated with increased bone density in humans, rabbits, and rodents. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a similar effect of onion on laying hens. Thirty-two Hy-line W36 White Leghorn hens at 30 weeks of age were randomly d...

  11. Response of laying hens to supplemental niacin.

    PubMed

    Leeson, S; Caston, L J; Summers, J D

    1991-05-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of supplemental niacin on laying hen performance and liver fat and egg cholesterol content. In Experiment 1, 16 replicate groups of four adjacently caged birds were fed corn and soybean meal diets calculated to contain 22, 44, 66, or 132 mg supplemental niacin/kg (23.2, 38.7, 57.0, and 143 mg/kg niacin by analysis). Egg production, egg weight, feed intake, and eggshell quality were assessed each 28 days through a 364-day trial period. After 280 days, cholesterol content on three eggs per replicate was measured. At the end of the study, one bird per replicate was killed for subjective scoring of liver fat content. In Experiment 2, 24 birds from the control treatment (22 mg/kg supplemental niacin) of Experiment 1 were retained and fed for a subsequent 28-day period. Over this time, eight birds were each fed diets containing 22, 522, or 1,022 mg/kg supplemental niacin. Egg cholesterol content was measured in eggs collected on the last 3 days of the study. In Experiment 1, birds fed 66 or 132 mg/kg supplemental niacin/kg produced more eggs (P less than .05) than birds fed 22mg/kg. Niacin supplementation affected shell quality (P less than .05). Dietary niacin level had no effect on egg cholesterol content of liver lipid evaluation. In Experiment 2, supplementary niacin levels up to 1,022 mg/kg, which more closely stimulates therapeutic levels used for humans, again failed to affect egg cholesterol content. PMID:1852695

  12. Behavioral responses of laying hens to different alfalfa-layer ration combinations fed during molting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several dietary alternatives to feed withdrawal have been proposed to induce a molt in laying hens. This study compared the behavior of laying hens on an alfalfa crumble diet (ALC) to hens which were either full-fed (FF) or hens which had feed withdrawn (FW) during a 9 day trial. Each treatment co...

  13. Eggshell color in brown-egg laying hens - a review.

    PubMed

    Samiullah, S; Roberts, J R; Chousalkar, K

    2015-10-01

    The major pigment in eggshells of brown-egg laying hens is protoporphyrin IX, but traces of biliverdin and its zinc chelates are also present. The pigment appears to be synthesized in the shell gland. The protoporphyrin IX synthetic pathway is well defined, but precisely where and how it is synthesized in the shell gland of the brown-egg laying hen is still ambiguous. The pigment is deposited onto all shell layers including the shell membranes, but most of it is concentrated in the outermost layer of the calcareous shell and in the cuticle. Recently, the genes that are involved in pigment synthesis have been identified, but the genetic control of synthesis and deposition of brown pigment in the commercial laying hen is not fully understood. The brown coloration of the shell is an important shell quality parameter and has a positive influence on consumer preference. The extent of pigment deposition is influenced by the housing system, hen age, hen strain, diet, stressors, and certain diseases such as infectious bronchitis. In this article, the physiological and biochemical characteristics of the brown pigment in commercial brown-egg layers are reviewed in relation to its various functions in the poultry industry. PMID:26240390

  14. Thy hydrolysis of phytate phosphorus by chicks and laying hens.

    PubMed

    Nelson, T S

    1976-11-01

    The chromic oxide balance method was used to determine the amount of natural phytate phosphorus hydrolyzed by chicks and laying hens. Broiler chicks 4 and 9 weeks old and Single Comb White Leghorn hens were fed diets containing corn as the only grain source or diets in which wheat replaced one half of the corn. Feces were collected twice daily during the 7-day test period. The phytate phosphorus recovered in the feces of the 4 and 9 week old chicks and the laying hens fed the diet containing corn was 100, 98, and 92%. When wheat replaced one half of the corn the recovery was 92, 87 and 87%. The phytase activity in wheat was minimal in vivo; whereas, in vitro tests indicated enzyme activity. PMID:1019083

  15. Metabolizable energy value of crude glycerin for laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An experiment with laying hens was conducted to determine the apparent metabolizable energy-nitrogen corrected (AMEn) value of crude glycerin, a coproduct of biodiesel production. Crude glycerin (86.95% glycerol, 9.22% water, 0.03% methanol, 1.26% sodium, 3625 kcal/kg gross energy) was obtained from...

  16. Determination of space use by laying hens using kinematic analysis.

    PubMed

    Mench, Joy A; Blatchford, Richard A

    2014-04-01

    Two states in the United States now have legislation requiring that laying hens be provided with sufficient space to perform particular behaviors. To provide a framework for translating these performance standards into a space requirement, kinematic analysis was used to measure the amount of space needed for White Leghorn hens to stand, turn around 180°, lie down, and wing flap. Hyline W-36 hens (n = 9) were marked on the tops of their heads and the tips of both wings and 3 toes with black livestock marker. Each hen was then placed in a floor pen (91.4 × 91.4 cm) and filmed using 2 high-speed cameras. The resulting images were processed using a software program that generated 3-dimensional space use for each behavior. Because none of the hens lay down in the test pen, the 2-dimensional space required for lying was determined by superimposing a grid over videos of the hens lying down in their home cages. On average, hens required a mean area of 563 (± 8) cm(2) to stand, 1,316 (± 23) cm(2) to turn around, 318 (± 6) cm(2) to lie down, and 1,693 (± 136) cm(2) to wing flap. The mean heights used were 34.8 (± 1.3) cm for standing, 38.6 (± 2.3) cm for turning, and 49.5 (± 1.8) cm for wing flapping. However, space requirements for hens housed in multiple-hen groups in cage or noncage systems cannot be based simply on information about the space required for local movement by a single hen. It must also incorporate consideration of the tendency of hens in a flock to synchronize their behaviors. In addition, it must include not just local movement space but also the space that hens may need to use for longer-distance movements to access resources such as food, water, perches, and nest boxes. PMID:24706955

  17. Review of rearing-related factors affecting the welfare of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Janczak, Andrew M; Riber, Anja B

    2015-07-01

    Laying hens may face a number of welfare problems including: acute and chronic pain caused by beak trimming; exaggerated fearfulness that may cause stress and suffocation; difficulties in locating resources, resulting potentially in emaciation and dehydration; frustration and boredom, caused by an environment that is barren; feather pecking; cannibalism; foot lesions; and bone fractures. In Europe, a greater proportion of laying hens are housed in non-cage systems compared to the rest of the world. The extent of the different welfare problems may therefore vary between countries as the type of housing system influences the risk of suffering. More generally, many of these welfare problems are influenced by the rearing environment of the pullets. This article therefore focuses on welfare problems in laying hens that can be traced back to rearing. Factors that have been studied in relation to their effects on bird welfare include beak trimming, housing type, furnishing, enrichment, feeding, stocking density, flock size, sound and light levels, concentration of gasses, age at transfer from rearing to production facilities, similarity between rearing and production facilities, competence of staff, and interactions between bird strain and environment. The present review aims to summarize rearing-related risk factors of poor welfare in adult laying hens housed according to European Union legislation. It aims to identify gaps in current knowledge, and suggests strategies for improving bird welfare by improving rearing conditions. Two main conclusions of this work are that attempts should be made to use appropriate genetic material and that beak trimming should be limited where possible. In addition to this, the rearing system should provide constant access to appropriate substrates, perches, and mashed feed, and should be as similar as possible to the housing system used for the adult birds. Finally, young birds (pullets) should be moved to the production facilities before

  18. Review of rearing-related factors affecting the welfare of laying hens

    PubMed Central

    Janczak, Andrew M.; Riber, Anja B.

    2015-01-01

    Laying hens may face a number of welfare problems including: acute and chronic pain caused by beak trimming; exaggerated fearfulness that may cause stress and suffocation; difficulties in locating resources, resulting potentially in emaciation and dehydration; frustration and boredom, caused by an environment that is barren; feather pecking; cannibalism; foot lesions; and bone fractures. In Europe, a greater proportion of laying hens are housed in non-cage systems compared to the rest of the world. The extent of the different welfare problems may therefore vary between countries as the type of housing system influences the risk of suffering. More generally, many of these welfare problems are influenced by the rearing environment of the pullets. This article therefore focuses on welfare problems in laying hens that can be traced back to rearing. Factors that have been studied in relation to their effects on bird welfare include beak trimming, housing type, furnishing, enrichment, feeding, stocking density, flock size, sound and light levels, concentration of gasses, age at transfer from rearing to production facilities, similarity between rearing and production facilities, competence of staff, and interactions between bird strain and environment. The present review aims to summarize rearing-related risk factors of poor welfare in adult laying hens housed according to European Union legislation. It aims to identify gaps in current knowledge, and suggests strategies for improving bird welfare by improving rearing conditions. Two main conclusions of this work are that attempts should be made to use appropriate genetic material and that beak trimming should be limited where possible. In addition to this, the rearing system should provide constant access to appropriate substrates, perches, and mashed feed, and should be as similar as possible to the housing system used for the adult birds. Finally, young birds (pullets) should be moved to the production facilities before

  19. Health and Welfare in Dutch Organic Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Bestman, Monique; Wagenaar, Jan-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Simple Summary Data on animal health and welfare and farm management during rearing and laying periods were collected from 49 flocks of organic laying hens in the Netherlands to establish how farms performed in terms of animal health and welfare and which factors affected health and welfare. Abstract From 2007–2008, data on animal health and welfare and farm management during rearing and laying periods were collected from 49 flocks of organic laying hens in the Netherlands. Our aim was to investigate how organic egg farms performed in terms of animal health and welfare and which farm factors affected this performance. The flocks in our study were kept on farms with 34 to 25,000 hens (average 9,300 hens). Seventy-one percent of the flocks consisted of ‘silver hybrids’: white hens that lay brown eggs. Fifty-five percent of the flocks were kept in floor-based housing and 45% of the flocks in aviaries. No relation was found between the amount of time spent outdoors during the laying period and mortality at 60 weeks. Flocks that used their outdoor run more intensively had better feather scores. In 40% of the flocks there was mortality caused by predators. The average feed intake was 129 g/day at 30 weeks and 133 g/day at 60 weeks of age. The average percentage of mislaid eggs decreased from three at 30 weeks to two at 60 weeks. The average mortality was 7.8% at 60 weeks. Twenty-five percent of the flocks were not treated for worms in their first 50 weeks. Flubenol© was applied to the flocks that were treated. Ten percent of the flocks followed Flubenol© instructions for use and were wormed five or more times. The other 65% percent were treated irregularly between one and four times. Sixty-eight percent of the flocks showed little or no feather damage, 24% showed moderate damage and 8% showed severe damage. The feather score was better if the hens used the free-range area more intensely, the laying percentage at 60 weeks was higher, and if they were allowed to go

  20. AIR QUALITY AND HEN HEALTH STATUS IN THREE TYPES OF COMMERCIAL LAYING HEN HOUSES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this field observational study, three types of laying-hen houses, i.e., high-rise (HR), manure-belt (MB), and cage-free floor-raised (FR), were monitored for environmental temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2), and atmospheric ammonia (NH3) during winter and summer conditions in Io...

  1. [Food value of spiruline algae for the laying hen].

    PubMed

    Blum, J C; Guillaumin, S; Calet, C

    1975-01-01

    The three diets (composition in table I) were isonitrogenous (16,4 p. 100 crude protein), similar in their content of lysine and sulfur amino acids, but with different levels of spiruline algae : 0 (control); 7.5 or 15 p. 100. Each diet was used for the feeding of 48 hybrid pullets of medium size during a 24-week test period (32 to 56 weeks). Egg production (table II) was slightly better (47.1 g/hen/day) with 7.5 p. 100 of spirulines, compared to the control (45.3 g/hen/day), the difference being significant (P less than 0.01). With 15 p. 100 of spirulines egg production was similar to that observed in the control, but the average egg weight was reduced (58.5 vs 60.5 g) as a result of a lower albumen content. The colour of the egg yolk (table IV) was very light in the controls, but was a deep orange (above the maximum in the Roch scale) with 7.5 or 15 p. 100 of spirulines in the laying hen diet. The diet consumption, feed conversion and live weight variations (table III) show that the energy level is no higher in laying hens (about 2 500 kcal M.E./kg spirulines) than in the broiler. PMID:825006

  2. Comparison of shell bacteria from unwashed and washed table eggs harvested from caged laying hens and cage-free floor-housed laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated the bacteriology of non-washed and washed eggs from caged and cage-free laying hens housed on all wire slats or all shavings floor systems using Hy-Line W-37 white and Hy-Line brown laying hens. On sampling days for Experiment 1, 2, and 3, twenty eggs were collected from each p...

  3. Antibody and inflammatory responses in laying hens with experimental primary infections of Ascaridia galli.

    PubMed

    Marcos-Atxutegi, C; Gandolfi, B; Arangüena, T; Sepúlveda, R; Arévalo, M; Simón, F

    2009-04-01

    Ascaridia galli, an intestinal nematode that affects hens and other domestic and wild birds, causes economic losses in avian exploitations. The present work shows that A. galli stimulates a strong antibody response as well as an intense inflammatory reaction, in the intestinal mucous of experimentally infected Lohmann Brown laying hens. IgG antibodies against soluble extracts of A. galli embrionated eggs and adult worms, were detected in both blood and yolks eggs from infected hens during a period of 105 days after the infection. This indicates that hens transfer to their offspring a part of the IgG antibodies produced when they become infected. The antigens responsible for the stimulation of specific IgG were molecules of 30-34, 44-54 and 58-90 kDa, while in the yolk eggs of infected hens a reactivity directed against antigens of molecular weight (M(w)) lower than 50 kDa was detected. Histology revealed traumatic lesions with leukocyte infiltration, and inflammation of the intestinal wall of the infected hens after 105 days of initial infection. The possible influence of the immune and inflammatory response on the population dynamics of the parasite is discussed. PMID:19167166

  4. Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Chielo, Leonard Ikenna; Pike, Tom; Cooper, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Commercial free-range production has become a significant sector of the fresh egg market due to legislation banning conventional cages and consumer preference for products perceived as welfare friendly, as access to outdoor range can lead to welfare benefits such as greater freedom of movement and enhanced behavioural opportunities. This study investigated dispersal patterns, feather condition and activity of laying hens in three distinct zones of the range area; the apron area near shed; enriched zone 10–50 m from shed; and outer range beyond 50 m, in six flocks of laying hens under commercial free-range conditions varying in size between 4000 and 24,000 hens. Each flock was visited for four days to record number of hens in each zone, their behaviour, feather condition and nearest neighbour distances (NND), as well as record temperature and relative humidity during the visit. Temperature and relative humidity varied across the study period in line with seasonal variations and influenced the use of range with fewer hens out of shed as temperature fell or relative humidity rose. On average, 12.5% of the hens were observed on the range and most of these hens were recorded in the apron zone as hen density decreased rapidly with increasing distance from the shed. Larger flocks appeared to have a lower proportion of hens on range. The hens used the range more in the early morning followed by a progressive decrease through to early afternoon. The NND was greatest in the outer range and decreased towards the shed. Feather condition was generally good and hens observed in the outer range had the best overall feather condition. Standing, pecking, walking and foraging were the most commonly recorded behaviours and of these, standing occurred most in the apron whereas walking and foraging behaviours were recorded most in the outer range. This study supported the findings of previous studies that reported few hens in the range and greater use of areas closer

  5. Dried distillers grains with solubles in laying hen diets.

    PubMed

    Masa'deh, M K; Purdum, S E; Hanford, K J

    2011-09-01

    A study was conducted to test the inclusion rate of corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in laying hen diets on egg production (EP) responses for a full production cycle. A total of 288 Bovan Single Comb White Leghorn laying hens were fed diets containing 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25% DDGS from 24 to 46 wk (phase 1) and 47 to 76 wk (phase 2) of age. The diets were formulated to be isocaloric at 2,775 and 2,816 kcal/kg of ME and isonitrogenous at 16.5 and 16.0% CP for phases 1 and 2, respectively. Nutrient retention of both N and P were determined by the indicator methods during phase 2. Diets were replicated with 8 pens/treatment and 6 hens/pen in an unbalanced randomized complete block design. Average daily feed intake, EP, and overall weight gain were similar (P = 0.08 to 0.1) among treatments during the study. Egg weight was affected (P = 0.064) by DDGS treatment during phase 1. Hens fed 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25% DDGS had an average egg weight of 60.6, 60.4, 60.8, 60.0, 59.0, and 59.0 g, respectively; however, no differences were detected in egg weight during phase 2. During phase 1, diets were formulated based on TSAA, allowing Met to decrease as DDGS increased, but during phase 2, diets were formulated to keep Met equal across DDGS treatments, allowing TSAA to increase as a result of high Cys in DDGS. Yolk color increased with increasing DDGS level; the highest Roche score (P = 0.001) was 7.2 for hens fed 25% DDGS. Nitrogen and P retention was greater (P = 0.003) in hens fed 25% DDGS. Also, N and P excretion decreased (P = 0.007) linearly as DDGS increased. In summary, feeding DDGS up to 25% during EP cycles had no negative effects on feed intake, EP, Haugh units, or specific gravity, and improved yolk color at the highest levels. Increasing DDGS level beyond 15% caused a reduction in egg weight during phase 1 of egg production, though no differences were observed in egg weight during phase 2. Nitrogen and P excretion were lower at higher inclusion rate

  6. Do laying hens with keel bone fractures experience pain?

    PubMed

    Nasr, Mohammed A F; Nicol, Christine J; Murrell, Joanna C

    2012-01-01

    The European ban on battery cages has forced a change towards the use of non-cage or furnished cage systems, but unexpectedly this has been associated with an increased prevalence of keel bone fractures in laying hens. Bone fractures are acutely painful in mammals, but the effect of fractures on bird welfare is unclear. We recently reported that keel bone fractures have an effect on bird mobility. One possible explanation for this is that flying becomes mechanically impaired. However it is also possible that if birds have a capacity to feel pain, then ongoing pain resulting from the fracture could contribute to decreased mobility. The aim was to provide proof of concept that administration of appropriate analgesic drugs improves mobility in birds with keel fracture; thereby contributing to the debate about the capacity of birds to experience pain and whether fractures are associated with pain in laying hens. In hens with keel fractures, butorphanol decreased the latency to land from perches compared with latencies recorded for these hens following saline (mean (SEM) landing time (seconds) birds with keel fractures treated with butorphanol and saline from the 50, 100 and 150 cm perch heights respectively 1.7 (0.3), 2.2 (0.3), p = 0.05, 50 cm; 12.5 (6.6), 16.9 (6.7), p = 0.03, 100 cm; 20.6 (7.4), 26.3 (7.6), p = 0.02 150 cm). Mobility indices were largely unchanged in birds without keel fractures following butorphanol. Critically, butorphanol can be considered analgesic in our study because it improved the ability of birds to perform a complex behaviour that requires both motivation and higher cognitive processing. This is the first study to provide a solid evidential base that birds with keel fractures experience pain, a finding that has significant implications for the welfare of laying hens that are housed in non-cage or furnished caged systems. PMID:22927930

  7. Do Laying Hens with Keel Bone Fractures Experience Pain?

    PubMed Central

    Nasr, Mohammed A. F.; Nicol, Christine J.; Murrell, Joanna C.

    2012-01-01

    The European ban on battery cages has forced a change towards the use of non-cage or furnished cage systems, but unexpectedly this has been associated with an increased prevalence of keel bone fractures in laying hens. Bone fractures are acutely painful in mammals, but the effect of fractures on bird welfare is unclear. We recently reported that keel bone fractures have an effect on bird mobility. One possible explanation for this is that flying becomes mechanically impaired. However it is also possible that if birds have a capacity to feel pain, then ongoing pain resulting from the fracture could contribute to decreased mobility. The aim was to provide proof of concept that administration of appropriate analgesic drugs improves mobility in birds with keel fracture; thereby contributing to the debate about the capacity of birds to experience pain and whether fractures are associated with pain in laying hens. In hens with keel fractures, butorphanol decreased the latency to land from perches compared with latencies recorded for these hens following saline (mean (SEM) landing time (seconds) birds with keel fractures treated with butorphanol and saline from the 50, 100 and 150 cm perch heights respectively 1.7 (0.3), 2.2 (0.3), p = 0.05, 50 cm; 12.5 (6.6), 16.9 (6.7), p = 0.03, 100 cm; 20.6 (7.4), 26.3 (7.6), p = 0.02 150 cm). Mobility indices were largely unchanged in birds without keel fractures following butorphanol. Critically, butorphanol can be considered analgesic in our study because it improved the ability of birds to perform a complex behaviour that requires both motivation and higher cognitive processing. This is the first study to provide a solid evidential base that birds with keel fractures experience pain, a finding that has significant implications for the welfare of laying hens that are housed in non-cage or furnished caged systems. PMID:22927930

  8. Population genetic structure of Ascaridia galli re-emerging in non-caged laying hens

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The poultry roundworm Ascaridia galli has reappeared in hens kept for egg production in Sweden after having been almost absent a decade ago. Today this is a frequent intestinal nematode parasite in non-caged laying hens. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic diversity (Fst) in A. galli collected from different poultry production sites in southern Sweden, to identify possible common routes of colonization. Methods Adult parasites (n = 153) from 10 farms, including both broiler breeder parents and laying hens, were investigated by amplified restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (AFLP). Worms from a Danish laying hen farm were also included for comparison. Most of the farms were represented by worms from a single host, but on two farms multiple samples from different hosts were assessed in order to study flock variation. Results A total of 97 fragments (loci) were amplified among which 81% were variable alleles. The average genetic diversity was 0.13 (range = 0.09-0.38), which is comparable to other AFLP studies on nematodes of human and veterinary importance. Within-farm variation showed that worms harboured by a single hen in a flock covered most of the A. galli genetic variation within the same flock (Fst = 0.01 and 0.03 for two farms). Between-farm analysis showed a moderate population genetic structure (Fst = 0.13), along with a low mutational rate but high gene flow between different farms, and absence of strong genetic selection. Network analysis showed repeated genetic patterns among the farms, with most worms on each farm clustering together as supported by high re-allocation rates. Conclusions The investigated A. galli populations were not strongly differentiated, indicating that they have undergone a genetic bottlenecking and subsequent drift. This supports the view that the investigated farms have been recently colonized, and that new flocks are reinfected upon arrival with a stationary infection. PMID

  9. Effects of dietary L-isoleucine on laying performance and immunomodulation of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Dong, X Y; Azzam, M M M; Zou, X T

    2016-10-01

    Isoleucine may be a limiting amino acid for laying hens fed diets with a lowered protein level. An experiment was conducted to examine laying performance and the immune function of laying hens provided diets varying in digestible isoleucine levels during the peak production period. A total number of 400 Lohmann Brown laying hens, 28 wk of age, were allocated to 5 dietary treatment groups, each of which included 5 replicates of 16 hens per replicate (4 cages / replicate; 80 hens / treatment). L-isoleucine was added to the experimental diet (14% CP) containing synthetic amino (methionine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) by zero, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 g/kg, corresponding to 0.54%, 0.64%, 0.74%, 0.84, and 0.94% digestible isoleucine, respectively. At the end of the experiment (wk 40), dietary isoleucine did not affect laying performance or egg quality. Serum albumin concentration increased quadratically (P < 0.05) in response to digestible dietary isoleucine at 0.74%. Serum free isoleucine and lysine increased (P < 0.05) in response to digestible dietary isoleucine at 0.74%. Digestible dietary isoleucine levels did not affect the serum concentrations of total antioxidative capability (T-AOC), total superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and CuZn-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD). There was no significant (P > 0.05) response of excess digestible isoleucine level on the serum level of IgG, IgA, or IgM. In addition, dietary isoleucine levels did not affect the concentrations of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), or interleukin (IL-2 and IL-6) in the ileum. Also, expressions of ileal MUC2 mRNA, sIgA mRNA, and IL-1β mRNA were not changed (P > 0.05) by excess digestible isoleucine level. Furthermore, excess digestible isoleucine level did not change mRNA expression of ileal tight junction protein (claudin-1 and occludin). No effect occurred when isoleucine was supplemented, suggesting that it is

  10. Horizontal transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter among caged and cage-free laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In each of five trials, laying hens (56-72 wk-of-age) were challenged orally, intracolonally, and intravaginally with Salmonella and Campylobacter. One wk post inoculation, challenged hens (n=3) were commingled with non-challenged hens (n=12) in conventional wire cages, on all wire slats, or on all...

  11. Influence of commercial laying hen housing systems on the incidence and identification of Salmonella and Campylobacter

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The housing of laying hens is important for social, industrial, and regulatory aspects. Many studies have compared hen housing systems on the research farm, but few have fully examined commercial housing systems and management strategies. The current study compared hens housed in commercial cage-f...

  12. Differentially expressed genes for aggressive pecking behaviour in laying hens

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Aggressive behaviour is an important aspect in the daily lives of animals living in groups. Aggressive animals have advantages, such as better access to food or territories, and they produce more offspring than low ranking animals. The social hierarchy in chickens is measured using the 'pecking order' concept, which counts the number of aggressive pecks given and received. To date, little is known about the underlying genetics of the 'pecking order'. Results A total of 60 hens from a high feather pecking selection line were divided into three groups: only receivers (R), only peckers (P) and mixed peckers and receivers (P&R). In comparing the R and P groups, we observed that there were 40 differentially expressed genes [false discovery rate (FDR) P < 0.10]. It was not fully clear how the 40 genes regulated aggressive behaviour; however, gene set analysis detected a number of GO identifiers, which were potentially involved in aggressive behavioural processes. These genes code for synaptosomes (GO:0019797), and proteins involved in the regulation of the excitatory postsynaptic membrane potential (GO:0060079), the regulation of the membrane potential (GO:0042391), and glutamate receptor binding (GO:0035254). Conclusion In conclusion, our study provides new insights into which genes are involved in aggressive behaviours in chickens. Pecking and receiving hens exhibited different gene expression profiles in their brains. Following confirmation, the identification of differentially expressed genes may elucidate how the pecking order forms in laying hens at a molecular level. PMID:19925670

  13. Effects of repeated oral corticosterone administration on performance and stress parameters of laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of repeated stress during rearing on performance and physiology of laying hens was studied using a corticosterone (Cort) model. 240 Hisex laying hens were reared in environmentally controlled battery cages. At 7, 11, and 15 wk of age they were exposed for 1 wk to the following treatments...

  14. Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Chielo, Leonard Ikenna; Pike, Tom; Cooper, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the range use and behaviour of laying hens in commercial free-range flocks was explored. Six flocks were each visited on four separate days and data collected from their outdoor area (divided into zones based on distance from shed and available resources). These were: apron (0-10 m from shed normally without cover or other enrichments); enriched belt (10-50 m from shed where resources such as manmade cover, saplings and dust baths were provided); and outer range (beyond 50 m from shed with no cover and mainly grass pasture). Data collection consisted of counting the number of hens in each zone and recording behaviour, feather condition and nearest neighbour distance (NND) of 20 birds per zone on each visit day. In addition, we used techniques derived from ecological surveys to establish four transects perpendicular to the shed, running through the apron, enriched belt and outer range. Number of hens in each 10 m × 10 m quadrat was recorded four times per day as was the temperature and relative humidity of the outer range. On average, 12.5% of hens were found outside. Of these, 5.4% were found in the apron; 4.3% in the enriched zone; and 2.8% were in the outer range. This pattern was supported by data from quadrats, where the density of hens sharply dropped with increasing distance from shed. Consequently, NND was greatest in the outer range, least in the apron and intermediate in the enriched belt. Hens sampled in outer range and enriched belts had better feather condition than those from the apron. Standing, ground pecking, walking and foraging were the most commonly recorded activities with standing and pecking most likely to occur in the apron, and walking and foraging more common in the outer range. Use of the outer range declined with lower temperatures and increasing relative humidity, though use of apron and enriched belt was not affected by variation in these measures. These data support previous findings that outer range areas tend to be

  15. Litter use by laying hens in a commercial aviary: dust bathing and piling.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Makagon, M M; Swanson, J C; Siegford, J M

    2016-01-01

    The laying hen industry, including in the United States, is responding to social concerns about hen welfare by implementing alternative housing systems such as the aviary, to provide more space and resources to large groups of hens. Data detailing the behavior of hens in commercial aviaries is needed to determine hens' use of the resources in order to understand their impact on hen welfare. The open litter area of aviaries provides additional space for hens during the day. Litter is also a substrate for dust bathing which is a strongly motivated natural behavior. Hens are often synchronous in their performance of dust bathing, which may lead to overcrowding in the litter area. Additionally, the open litter area can facilitate expression of unusual behavior such as flock piling (defined as the occurrence of densely grouped clusters of hens, resulting from no obvious cause and occurring randomly throughout the day and flock cycle) which may be a welfare concern. Therefore, we conducted observations of hen occupancy of the open litter area and the performance of dust bathing and flock piling across 3 production points (peak lay, mid lay and end of lay) for two flocks of Lohmann White laying hens housed in a commercial aviary. All areas of the open litter area were occupied to the same degree. Hens performed dust bathing throughout the day but showed peak dust bathing activity in the afternoon for Flock 1 (all P < 0.001) and in the late morning for Flock 2 (all P < 0.001). Overall, 174 incidents of piling behavior were observed between the 2 flocks, with piles varying in size, duration, and time of occurrence; however, no smothering was detected. Crowding on the open litter area sometimes occurred during peak periods of synchronous dust bathing and when hens piled. Further research is needed to understand the welfare implications of individual hen use of the open litter area and the causes and welfare implications of hen piling. PMID:26354762

  16. Evaluation of dietary multiple enzyme preparation (natuzyme) in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lee, K W; Choi, Y I; Moon, E J; Oh, S T; Lee, H H; Kang, C W; An, B K

    2014-12-01

    The current experiment was designed to evaluate the efficacy of adding the multi-enzyme mixture (Natuzyme) into layers' diets with different levels of energy and available phosphorus in relation to laying performance, egg qualities, blood cholesterol level, microflora and intestinal viscosity. Two hundred and fifty 43-wk-old Hy-Line commercial layers were divided into five groups with five replicates per group (10 birds per replicate) and fed one of five experimental diets. A corn and soybean meal-based control diet was formulated and used as a control diet. Two experimental control diets were formulated to reduce energy and crude protein contents (rE) or energy, crude protein and phosphorus contents (rEP). In addition, Natuzyme was added into either rE (rE-Natu500) or rEP (rEP-Natu500) diet to reach a concentration of 500 mg per kg of diet. The experiment lasted 8 weeks. There were no significant differences in feed intake, egg production, egg weight, egg qualities such as eggshell color or Haugh unit, total cholesterol, relative organ weights and cecal microflora profiles between any dietary treatments. Natu500 supplementation into the rE diet, but not rEP diet significantly increased egg mass and eggshell qualities such as strength and thickness, but it decreased cecal ammonia concentration and intestinal viscosity in laying hens. In conclusion, the present study shows that adding multiple enzyme preparation could improve performance of laying hens fed energy and protein restricted diets. PMID:25358369

  17. Evaluation of Dietary Multiple Enzyme Preparation (Natuzyme) in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Lee, K. W.; Choi, Y. I.; Moon, E. J.; Oh, S. T.; Lee, H. H.; Kang, C. W.; An, B. K.

    2014-01-01

    The current experiment was designed to evaluate the efficacy of adding the multi-enzyme mixture (Natuzyme) into layers’ diets with different levels of energy and available phosphorus in relation to laying performance, egg qualities, blood cholesterol level, microflora and intestinal viscosity. Two hundred and fifty 43-wk-old Hy-Line commercial layers were divided into five groups with five replicates per group (10 birds per replicate) and fed one of five experimental diets. A corn and soybean meal-based control diet was formulated and used as a control diet. Two experimental control diets were formulated to reduce energy and crude protein contents (rE) or energy, crude protein and phosphorus contents (rEP). In addition, Natuzyme was added into either rE (rE-Natu500) or rEP (rEP-Natu500) diet to reach a concentration of 500 mg per kg of diet. The experiment lasted 8 weeks. There were no significant differences in feed intake, egg production, egg weight, egg qualities such as eggshell color or Haugh unit, total cholesterol, relative organ weights and cecal microflora profiles between any dietary treatments. Natu500 supplementation into the rE diet, but not rEP diet significantly increased egg mass and eggshell qualities such as strength and thickness, but it decreased cecal ammonia concentration and intestinal viscosity in laying hens. In conclusion, the present study shows that adding multiple enzyme preparation could improve performance of laying hens fed energy and protein restricted diets. PMID:25358369

  18. Tocopherol and annatto tocotrienols distribution in laying-hen body.

    PubMed

    Hansen, H; Wang, T; Dolde, David; Xin, Hongwei

    2015-10-01

    The impact of supplementing laying-hen feed with annatto tocotrienols (T3s) and alpha-tocopherol on the distribution of various forms of vitamin E and cholesterol throughout the hen's body was evaluated. A total of 18 organs or tissues (skin, fat pad, liver and gall bladder, heart, oviduct, forming yolk, laid yolk, lungs, spleen, kidney, pancreas, gizzard, digestive tract, brain, thigh, breast, manure, and blood) were collected after 7 wk of feeding on diets enriched with various levels of alpha-tocopherol and annatto extract that contained gamma-T3 and delta-T3. Tissue weights, contents of lipid, alpha-tocopherol, gamma-T3, delta-T3, cholesterol, and fatty acid composition of extracted lipids from the collected organs and tissues were determined. Tissue weight and lipid content did not change significantly with feed supplementation treatments, except that the liver became heavier with increased levels of supplementation. Overall, the main organs that accumulated the supplemented vitamin E were fat pad, liver and gall bladder, oviduct, forming yolks, laid yolks, kidney, brain, thigh, and breast. Much of annatto gamma-T3 and delta-T3 (> 90%) was found in the manure, indicating poor uptake. In some tissues (brain and oviduct,) a significant increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids was seen with increased supplementation. Alpha-tocopherol impacted the transfer of gamma-T3 to forming and laid yolks, but did not impact delta-T3 transfer. No significant differences were found in most of the tissues in cholesterol, except a reduction in heart, based on tissue as-is. Blood samples showed large variations in individual hens with no significant differences in total and HDL cholesterol, or total triacylglycerols. Supplementing feed with annatto T3s and alpha-tocopherol showed that the vitamin E profile and distribution of the laying-hen body can be altered, but to different extents depending on tissue. The result of this research has significance in enhancing meat nutrient

  19. A pecking device as an environmental enrichment for caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Moroki, Yuko; Tanaka, Toshio

    2016-08-01

    To improve the welfare of caged laying hens, a pecking device made of stones was introduced on the cage floor. Twenty-four White Leghorn hens aged 15 months were divided into four groups: single-housed hens with device, single-housed control hens, pair-housed hens with device and pair-housed control hens. Hens housed with the device pecked at various pecking objects less often than control hens. Agonistic behavior was also lower in hens with the device than in hens without the device, implied a possibility of improvement in quality of pecking stimuli with the device. Not only time spent pecking, but also quality of pecking might be important to fill their need for stimulation. Both single- and pair-housed hens more often pecked at the device in the evening. Response to various pecking objects also showed that pecking behaviors were most frequently expressed in the evening. Increased foraging at dusk is a well-known habit; therefore, the increase in pecking behavior in the evening might reflect the hens' general circadian rhythm. These results indicate that the device made of stones could promote some instinctive behavior. Enhancement of behavioral repertories and reduced agonistic behavior with the pecking device might improve the welfare of caged laying hens. PMID:27436770

  20. Study of Salmonella Typhimurium Infection in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Pande, Vivek V; Devon, Rebecca L; Sharma, Pardeep; McWhorter, Andrea R; Chousalkar, Kapil K

    2016-01-01

    compared to previously published studies. The findings of current study demonstrated intermittent but persistent fecal shedding of Salmonella after oral infection for up to 15 weeks p.i. Further, egg shell contamination, with lack of internal egg content contamination and the low frequency of reproductive organ infection suggested that horizontal infection through contaminated feces is the main route of egg contamination with S. Typhimurium in laying hens. PMID:26941727

  1. Study of Salmonella Typhimurium Infection in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Pande, Vivek V.; Devon, Rebecca L.; Sharma, Pardeep; McWhorter, Andrea R.; Chousalkar, Kapil K.

    2016-01-01

    compared to previously published studies. The findings of current study demonstrated intermittent but persistent fecal shedding of Salmonella after oral infection for up to 15 weeks p.i. Further, egg shell contamination, with lack of internal egg content contamination and the low frequency of reproductive organ infection suggested that horizontal infection through contaminated feces is the main route of egg contamination with S. Typhimurium in laying hens. PMID:26941727

  2. Effects of early prenatal exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on postnatal reproduction in the laying hen (Gallus gallus).

    PubMed

    Bruggeman, Veerle; Onagbesan, Okanlawon; Dumez, Linn; De Ketelaere, Bart; Decuypere, Eddy

    2005-08-01

    This study demonstrates the long-term effects of very early embryonic exposure to a single dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (0, 10 and 20 ng/egg), administered before the beginning of embryonic development, on growth and reproductive performance in laying hens. Hatchability and body weight gain from 11 weeks onwards were significantly depressed in 20 ng treated hens. All hens started laying egg at around the same age and the laying performance of TCDD-treated hens was normal. No disturbances in the age-related pattern and concentrations of oestradiol, LH or FSH in plasma could be found but mean progesterone concentrations were significantly lower in 20 ng treated hens. Moreover, follicular distribution was changed with less small white follicles and smaller yellow follicles, which probably resulted in the lower egg weight of the 20 ng treated hens. At 43 weeks of age, hens treated in ovo with TCDD showed a retained right oviduct, mostly filled with clear fluid. From these results, it seems that in ovo exposure to TCDD interferes in the right oviduct regression during embryonic development and induces some changes in follicular distribution but without impairment of reproductive performance in the adult laying hen. PMID:16154808

  3. Failed landings after laying hen flight in a commercial aviary over two flock cycles.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Goodwin, S L; Makagon, M M; Swanson, J C; Siegford, J M

    2016-01-01

    Many egg producers are adopting alternative housing systems such as aviaries that provide hens a tiered cage and a litter-covered open floor area. This larger, more complex environment permits expression of behaviors not seen in space-limited cages, such as flight. Flight is an exercise important for strengthening bones; but domestic hens might display imperfect flight landings due to poor flight control. To assess the potential implications of open space, we evaluated the landing success of Lohmann white laying hens in a commercial aviary. Video recordings of hens were taken from 4 aviary sections at peak lay, mid lay and end lay across two flock cycles. Observations were made in each focal section of all flights throughout the day noting flight origin and landing location (outer perch or litter) and landing success or failure. In Flock 1, 9.1% of all flights failed and 21% failed in Flock 2. The number of flights decreased across the laying cycle for both flocks. Proportionally more failed landings were observed in the double row sections in Flock 2. Collisions with other hens were more common than slipping on the ground or colliding with aviary structures across sections and flocks. More hens slipped on the ground and collided with physical structures at peak lay for Flock 2 than at other time points. More collisions with other hens were seen at mid and end lay than at peak lay for Flock 2. Landings ending on perches failed more often than landings on litter. These results indicate potential for flight-related hen injuries in aviary systems resulting from failed landings, which may have implications for hen welfare and optimal system design and management. PMID:26527703

  4. Horizontal transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter among caged and cage-free laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hannah, J F; Wilson, J L; Cox, N A; Richardson, L J; Cason, J A; Bourassa, D V; Buhr, R J

    2011-12-01

    In each of five sequential trials, laying hens (56-72 wk of age) were challenged with Salmonella and Campylobacter, and 1 wk postinoculation, the challenged hens (n = 3) were commingled with nonchallenged hens (n = 12) in conventional wire cages, on all-wire slats, or on all-shavings floor housing systems. After 12 days, challenged and nonchallenged hens were euthanatized for sample collection. Ceca were aseptically collected from all hens, and the spleen, liver/gallbladder (LGB), lower (LRT) and upper (URT) reproductive tracts, and ovarian follicles (mature and immature) were collected from only the challenged hens after commingling. Samples were divided equally and cultured separately for Salmonella and Campylobacter. Differences in the horizontal transmission of the challenge Salmonella to nonchallenged hens housed in cages (12%), on slats (15%), and on shavings (14%) were not significantly different (P > 0.05) from the challenged pen-mate hens over the five trials. However, with the inclusion of residual environmental Salmonella, the recovery of Salmonella from nonchallenged hens housed in cages was lowest at 15%, intermediate for hens on slats at 20%, and highest for hens on shavings at 38%. Among challenged hens housed in cages, Salmonella was recovered from only 27% of the cecum and LRT samples. From challenged hens housed on slats, Salmonella was recovered from 38% of the cecum, 12% of the spleen, 19% of the LGB, 44% of the LRT, and 19% of the URT samples. From challenged hens housed on shavings, Salmonella was recovered from 31% of the cecum; 15% of the spleen, LGB, and URT; and 31% of the LRT samples. Horizontal transmission of Campylobacter among nonchallenged pen-mate hens was significantly lower for hens housed in cages at 28% than for hens on shavings at 47%, with hens on slats being intermediate at 36%. For challenged hens housed in cages, Campylobacter was recovered from 27% of the cecum, 13% of the LRT, 7% of the URT, and 17% of the follicle

  5. Causes of mortality in laying hens in different housing systems in 2001 to 2004

    PubMed Central

    Fossum, Oddvar; Jansson, Désirée S; Etterlin, Pernille Engelsen; Vågsholm, Ivar

    2009-01-01

    Background The husbandry systems for laying hens were changed in Sweden during the years 2001 – 2004, and an increase in the number of submissions for necropsy from laying hen farms was noted. Hence, this study was initiated to compare causes of mortality in different housing systems for commercial laying hens during this change. Methods Based on results from routine necropsies of 914 laying hens performed at the National Veterinary Institute (SVA) in Uppsala, Sweden between 2001 and 2004, a retrospective study on the occurrence of diseases and cannibalism, i.e., pecking leading to mortality, in different housing systems was carried out. Using the number of disease outbreaks in caged flocks as the baseline, the expected number of flocks with a certain category of disease in the other housing systems was estimated having regard to the total number of birds in the population. Whether the actual number of flocks significantly exceeded the expected number was determined using a Poisson distribution for the variance of the baseline number, a continuity correction and the exact value for the Poisson distribution function in Excel 2000. Results Common causes of mortality in necropsied laying hens included colibacillosis, erysipelas, coccidiosis, red mite infestation, lymphoid leukosis and cannibalism. Less common diagnoses were Newcastle Disease, pasteurellosis and botulism. Considering the size of the populations in the different housing systems, a larger proportion of laying hens than expected was submitted for necropsy from litter-based systems and free range production compared to hens in cages (P < 0.001). The study showed a significantly higher occurrence of bacterial and parasitic diseases and cannibalism in laying hens kept in litter-based housing systems and free-range systems than in hens kept in cages (P < 0.001). The occurrence of viral diseases was significantly higher in indoor litter-based housing systems than in cages (P < 0.001). Conclusion The results

  6. Welfare indicators in laying hens in relation to nest exclusion.

    PubMed

    Alm, M; Tauson, R; Holm, L; Wichman, A; Kalliokoski, O; Wall, H

    2016-06-01

    Consumer concerns about the welfare of laying hens are increasing, leading to increased interest in identifying reliable ways to assess welfare. The present study evaluated invasive and non-invasive welfare indicators in relation to a stressful challenge. The study included 126 Lohmann Selected Leghorn hens housed in furnished cages. Welfare indicators were measured between 61 and 70 wk of age in birds excluded from their nests for 5 consecutive d and control birds that had continuous access to nests. Baseline recordings were carried out in both groups prior to and post exclusion period. The assessed indicators were: corticosterone metabolites in droppings (FCM), corticosterone concentration in yolk, corticosterone concentration in plasma, irregularities of eggshells, heterophil to lymphocyte (H:L) ratio, tonic immobility duration, and feather cover. Behavioral observations showed that the birds had a clear preference for using the secluded nest sites, confirming that they were likely to perceive nest exclusion as an undesirable experience. Further, elevated levels of FCM in droppings, yolk corticosterone concentrations, H:L ratios and irregular eggshells were detected in both nest deprived and control birds during the exclusion. This suggests that these indicators were able to detect an increased stress response arising from nest deprivation, and it is hypothesized that the stress spread to birds in adjacent cages with access to nests. There was a positive and consistent correlation between FCM in droppings and eggshell irregularities, also supporting the use of eggshell irregularities as a potential non-invasive welfare indicator. However, the pattern of the stress response varied between indicators and correlations were generally few and inconsistent, highlighting the complexity of the relationship among welfare indicators. PMID:26994207

  7. Validation of an automated mite counter for Dermanyssus gallinae in experimental laying hen cages.

    PubMed

    Mul, Monique F; van Riel, Johan W; Meerburg, Bastiaan G; Dicke, Marcel; George, David R; Groot Koerkamp, Peter W G

    2015-08-01

    For integrated pest management (IPM) programs to be maximally effective, monitoring of the growth and decline of the pest populations is essential. Here, we present the validation results of a new automated monitoring device for the poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae), a serious pest in laying hen facilities world-wide. This monitoring device (called an "automated mite counter") was validated in experimental laying hen cages with live birds and a growing population of D. gallinae. This validation study resulted in 17 data points of 'number of mites counted' by the automated mite counter and the 'number of mites present' in the experimental laying hen cages. The study demonstrated that the automated mite counter was able to track the D. gallinae population effectively. A wider evaluation showed that this automated mite counter can become a useful tool in IPM of D. gallinae in laying hen facilities. PMID:26002308

  8. Laying hen performance and well-being over two flock cycles on different litter substrates in an aviary housing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The momentum to move toward aviary housing has continued to increase in the past eight months. The pressure to find consistent bedding sources for meat birds may impact litter substrate for the laying hen industry as the number of cage-free hens increases in the next nine years. Molting laying hens ...

  9. Effects of dietary fiber and low crude protein on ammonia emission from laying-hen manure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ammonia emission is a major concern for the poultry industry. The objectives of this research were to determine if inclusion of dietary fiber and a lowered dietary crude protein content would decrease ammonia emission from laying-hen manure. A total of 256 Hy-Line W-36 hens were fed diets with 2 con...

  10. Strain variations in behavioral traits under heat stress in laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Heat stress is a problem for welfare of animals including laying hens. This study examined whether hens’ responses and adaptation to heat stress are affected by their genetic strain. Ninety 28-week-old White Leghorns from two strains were used: DeKalb XL (DXL), a line of hens individually selected ...

  11. Enantioselective Characteristics and Montmorillonite-Mediated Removal Effects of α-Hexachlorocyclohexane in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xueke; Shen, Zhigang; Wang, Peng; Liu, Chang; Yao, Guojun; Zhou, Zhiqiang; Liu, Donghui

    2016-06-01

    α-Hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH) is a chiral organochlorine pesticide that is often ubiquitously detected in various environmental matrices and may be absorbed by the human body via food consumption, with serious detriments to human health. In this study, enantioselective degradation kinetics and residues of α-HCH in laying hens were investigated after a single dose of exposure to the pesticide, whereas enantioselectivity and residues of α-HCH in eggs, droppings, and various tissues were investigated after long-term exposure. Meanwhile, montmorillonite (MMT), a feed additive with high capacity of adsorption, was investigated for its ability to remove α-HCH from laying hens. Most non-brain tissues enantioselectively accumulated (-)-α-HCH, while (+)-α-HCH was preferentially accumulated in the brain. The enantiomer fractions (EFs) in most tissues gradually decreased, implying continuous depletion of (+)-α-HCH in laying hens. After 30 days of exposure and 31 days of elimination, the concentration of α-HCH in eggs and tissues of laying hens with MMT-containing feed was lower than that with MMT-free feed, indicating the removal effects of MMT for α-HCH in laying hens. The findings presented herein suggest that modified MMT may potentially be useful in reducing the enrichment of α-HCH in laying hens and eggs, thus lowering the risk of human intake of α-HCH. PMID:27163366

  12. Stress Detection and Classification of Laying Hens by Sound Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jonguk; Noh, Byeongjoon; Jang, Suin; Park, Daihee; Chung, Yongwha; Chang, Hong-Hee

    2015-01-01

    Stress adversely affects the wellbeing of commercial chickens, and comes with an economic cost to the industry that cannot be ignored. In this paper, we first develop an inexpensive and non-invasive, automatic online-monitoring prototype that uses sound data to notify producers of a stressful situation in a commercial poultry facility. The proposed system is structured hierarchically with three binary-classifier support vector machines. First, it selects an optimal acoustic feature subset from the sound emitted by the laying hens. The detection and classification module detects the stress from changes in the sound and classifies it into subsidiary sound types, such as physical stress from changes in temperature, and mental stress from fear. Finally, an experimental evaluation was performed using real sound data from an audio-surveillance system. The accuracy in detecting stress approached 96.2%, and the classification model was validated, confirming that the average classification accuracy was 96.7%, and that its recall and precision measures were satisfactory. PMID:25656176

  13. Binding profile of spiramycin to oviducal proteins of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Furusawa, N

    2000-12-01

    In vitro protein binding of spiramycin (SP) in the plasma and oviducts of laying hens was studied. The data for SP were compared with those for oxytetracycline (OTC), sulphadimidine (SDD), sulphamonomethoxine (SMM) and sulphaquinoxaline (SQ). The two oviduct segments, magnum (M) and isthmus plus shell gland (IS), were collected. The soluble (cell sap) fractions from the magnum (M-S9) and the isthmus plus shell gland (IS-S9) were used as samples. Plasma protein binding was highest for SQ (81.4%) (P < 0.01), and lowest for SDD (30.9%) (P < 0.01). No M-S9 protein binding of OTC was found. The IS-S9 protein binding of SP (60.4%) was very much higher than those of OTC (0.8%), SDD (4.1%), SMM (4.0%) and SQ (12.3%) (P < 0.01). Biological half-lives of these drugs in egg albumen were directly correlated to the extent of their binding to IS proteins. Of plasma, M-S9 and IS-S9, variation in SP concentration in the ranges from 1 to 20 micrograms/ml did not alter the binding properties of the drug. PMID:11199206

  14. Exogenous estradiol improves shell strength in laying hens at the end of the laying period

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cracked shells, due to age related reduction of shell quality, are a costly problem for the industry. Parallel to reduced shell quality the skeleton becomes brittle resulting in bone fractures. Calcium, a main prerequisite for both eggshell and bone, is regulated by estrogen in a complex manner. The effects of estrogen, given in a low continuous dose, were studied regarding factors involved in age related changes in shell quality and bone strength of laying hens. A pellet containing 0.385 mg estradiol 3-benzoate (21-day-release) or placebo was inserted subcutaneously in 20 birds each of Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) and Lohmann Brown (LB) at 70 weeks of age. Eggs were collected before and during the experiment for shell quality measurements. Blood samples for analysis of total calcium were taken three days after the insertion and at sacrifice (72 weeks). Right femur was used for bone strength measurements and tissue samples from duodenum and shell gland were processed for morphology, immunohistochemical localization of estrogen receptors (ERα, ERβ), plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) and histochemical localization of carbonic anhydrase (CA). Results Estrogen treatment increased shell thickness of both hybrids. In addition, shell weight and shell deformation improved in eggs from the brown hybrids. The more pronounced effect on eggs from the brown hybrid may be due to a change in sensitivity to estrogen, especially in surface epithelial cells of the shell gland, shown as an altered ratio between ERα and ERβ. A regulatory effect of estrogen on CA activity, but not PMCA, was seen in both duodenum and shell gland, and a possible connection to shell quality is discussed. Bone strength was unaffected by treatment, but femur was stronger in LSL birds suggesting that the hybrids differ in calcium allocation between shell and bone at the end of the laying period. Plasma calcium concentrations and egg production were unaffected. Conclusions A low

  15. Comparison between anthelmintic treatment strategies against Ascaridia galli in commercial laying hens.

    PubMed

    Tarbiat, B; Jansson, D S; Tydén, E; Höglund, J

    2016-08-15

    The efficacy of a sustainable deworming strategy based on targeted treatments (TT) against Ascaridia galli was investigated for the first time in laying hen flocks on a Swedish commercial farm. Three experimental protocols with different levels of treatment, e.g. targeted treatment (TT), conventional treatment (CT) and untreated (UT), were tested in randomly allocated flocks of two different bird hybrids. Every second week faecal egg counts (FECs) were determined from pooled faecal materials collected on trays (20×27cm) placed for a maximum of 12h on the litter belts. In the TT, anthelmintic administration (fenbendazole, 1mg/kg body weight for 5days) started at 22 weeks post placement (wpp) and was repeated twice when the pooled FECs surpassed the assigned threshold of 200 egg per gram faeces (EPG). The CT flocks were treated once at 27wpp using the same anthelmintic. Hens in the UT were not dewormed and served as controls. Additionally, FECs on cloacal contents, worm fecundity and worm burdens were determined at 19, 35 and 45wpp. None of the flocks became infected until after 16wpp. The cumulative pooled FECs at the end of the study were significantly (p<0.01) lower in the TT compared to both CT and UT. Although repeated treatment in the TT protocol did not affect the fecundity, a worm density-dependent increase in fecundity was observed. Cloacal FECs and the number of adult A. galli in TT at 35 and 45wpp were significantly lower compared to other flocks. This study provides evidence that the TT strategy is better in terms of lower worm burden and decreased cumulative environmental parasite egg numbers compared to CT strategy. The TT strategy should be considered as an alternative to the CT strategy with regard to A. galli control in commercial laying hens. PMID:27514895

  16. Performance comparison of dwarf laying hens segregating for the naked neck gene in temperate and subtropical environments.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chih-Feng; Gourichon, David; Huang, Nein-Zu; Lee, Yen-Pai; Bordas, André; Tixier-Boichard, Michèle

    2009-01-01

    This study compares laying performances between two environments of dwarf laying hen lines segregating for the naked neck mutation (NA locus), a selected dwarf line of brown-egg layers and its control line. Layers with one of the three genotypes at the NA locus were produced from 11 sires from the control line and 12 sires from the selected line. Two hatches produced 216 adult hens in Taiwan and 297 hens in France. Genetic parameters for laying traits were estimated in each environment and the ranking of sire breeding values was compared between environments. Laying performance was lower, and mortality was higher in Taiwan than in France. The line by environment interaction was highly significant for body weight at 16 weeks, clutch length and egg number, with or without Box-Cox transformation. The selected line was more sensitive to environmental change but in Taiwan it could maintain a higher egg number than the control line. Estimated heritability values in the selected line were higher in France than in Taiwan, but not for all the traits in the control line. The rank correlations between sire breeding values were low within the selected line and slightly higher in the control line. A few sire families showed a good ranking in both environments, suggesting that some families may adapt better to environmental change. PMID:19284708

  17. Biochemical and haematological profile of pheasant hens during the laying period.

    PubMed

    Schumann, J; Bedanova, I; Voslarova, E; Hrabcakova, P; Chloupek, J; Pistekova, V

    2014-01-01

    The present paper provides new experimental data on the biochemical and haematological profile of blood in pheasant hens, and points out the changes in both biochemical and haematological parameters that occur during the laying period. Significant effects of egg laying on both the biochemical and the haematological blood parameters of pheasant hens were found. Biochemical analyses revealed a significant increase in the metabolites cholesterol, uric acid, lactate, the enzyme aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and the minerals calcium and phosphorous, as well as a significant decrease in total protein, albumin and glucose in the course of the laying period. Haematological analyses revealed a significant increase in the count of leukocytes, lymphocytes, eosinophils, basophils and monocytes due to egg laying. In addition, the erythrocyte count and haemoglobin content significantly decreased in the middle of the laying period and then rebounded at the end of the laying period. The haematocrit content gradually decreased till the end of the laying period. All together, the results of this study underline the impact of the reproduction status of pheasant hens on basic blood parameters. The biochemical and haematological values presented in this study may be of help in assessing disease conditions in laying pheasant hens. PMID:24724469

  18. Performance, behavior, plasma corticosterone, and economic returns of laying hens in several management alternatives.

    PubMed

    Koelkebeck, K W; Cain, J R

    1984-11-01

    Production, physiological, and behavioral data were collected simultaneously on commercial hens housed for 10 months of lay in housing alternatives of cages, deep litter floor pens, and outside range pens. Treatments consisted of housing 1, 2, or 3 hens in small cages 3, 4, 5, or 6 hens in large cages, floor pens housing 51 hens each at three densities, and range pens with 50 hens at .74 m2 (8 ft2) per hen. Egg production rates were greater for all caged hen treatments than for any floor or range groups. Egg numbers favored 2 hens per cage, but economic benefits favored 5 hens per cage. Viability was highest for 1 hen per cage and range pen groups. Feed efficiency was poorer in floor and range groups; however, body weight was generally greater for caged hens. Plasma corticosterone levels did not differ among any cage or range groups, but floor pen hens had significantly elevated levels. Behavioral data for walking and object pecking showed clear differences between cage and floor management alternatives. Preening, standing, and drinking activities were different between some treatments but not clearly different between management alternatives. Feeding activity did not differ among any groups. Although correlations between stress and well-being have not been well elucidated, the sum of the stressors of cage confinement appeared to be less than those from floor pens. Therefore, it was concluded that the well-being of hens in cages was equal to or better than that for free ranging hens or those in floor pens. PMID:6514660

  19. Effects induced by feeding organochlorine-contaminated carp from Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, to laying White Leghorn hens. I. Effects on health of adult hens, egg production, and fertility.

    PubMed

    Summer, C L; Giesy, J P; Bursian, S J; Render, J A; Kubiak, T J; Jones, P D; Verbrugge, D A; Aulerich, R J

    1996-11-01

    This study was conducted to determine the effects of consumption of halogenated hydrocarbon compounds, primarily polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), contained in Great Lakes fish by the domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus). In this article we report the results of feeding White Leghorn hens for a period of 8 wk diets that contained 31-35% ocean fish and/or carp (Cyprinus carpio) from Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron, MI, which provided 0.3 (control), 0.8 (low-dose group), or 6.6 (high-dose group) mg PCB/kg, wet weight (ww). These concentrations were analogous to 3.3, 26, or 59 pg 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) equivalents (TEQs)/g diet, ww, respectively. There were no significant effects on feed consumption among the groups. An unexpectedly high incidence of fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome (FLHS) was observed in hens from the control (78% FLHS) and low-dose (75% FLHS) groups when compared to the high-dose group (15% FLHS). Birds in the control and low-dose groups had a significant increase in liver and body weights. Significant decreases in egg production, weight, and fertility were immediate in all dose groups, with the effect being permanent in the control and low-dose groups. Although the incidence of FLHS was an unexpected complication, the fact that there were no significant effects on egg production, egg weights, or fertility in the high-dose group suggests that the no-observable-adverse-effect concentration (NOAEC) for these parameters is in excess of 26 mg total weathered PCBs/kg egg, ww. This value was the average concentration of PCBs in the high-dose group eggs during the last week of the study. PMID:8931740

  20. Housing system and laying hen strain impacts on egg microbiology.

    PubMed

    Jones, D R; Anderson, K E

    2013-08-01

    Alternative hen housing is becoming more commonplace in the egg market. However, a complete understanding of the implications for alternative housing systems on egg safety has not been achieved. The current study examines the impact of housing Hy-Line Brown, Hy-Line Silver Brown, and Barred Plymouth Rock hens in conventional cage, cage-free, and free range egg production systems on shell microbiology. Eggs were collected at 4 sampling periods. Egg shell emulsion pools were formed and enumerated for total aerobic organisms, Enterobacteriaceae, and yeast and mold counts. Hy-Line Brown and Hy-Line Silver Brown hens produced eggs with significantly (P < 0.05 and 0.001, respectively) different levels of aerobic organisms dependent on housing system. Eggs from conventional cages had significantly different (P < 0.05) levels of aerobic contamination in relation to hen strain with Hy-Line Silver Brown having the greatest (4.57 log cfu/mL). Hy-Line Brown and Barred Plymouth Rock hens produced eggs with significantly different (P < 0.01) levels of Enterobacteriaceae among housing systems with conventional caged eggs having the lowest level of contamination for the hen strains. There were no differences within each strain among housing systems for yeast and mold contamination. The study shows that hen strain has an effect on egg microbial levels for various housing systems, and egg safety should be considered when making hen strain selections for each housing system. PMID:23873573

  1. Microbiological impact of three commercial laying hen housing systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hen housing for commercial egg production continues to be a societal and regulatory concern. Controlled studies have examined various aspects of egg safety but a comprehensive assessment of commercial hen housing systems in the US has not been conducted. The current study is part of a holistic, mu...

  2. Effects of amino acids on egg number and egg mass of brown (heavy breed) and white (light breed) laying hens.

    PubMed

    Bonekamp, R P R T; Lemme, A; Wijtten, P J A; Sparla, J K W M

    2010-03-01

    Different types (light to heavy) of laying hens are used in practice. There are questions about the optimum level of balanced protein (BP) supply in feed for different types of hens. Therefore, a broad range of amino acids intake levels [550 to 800 mg of true fecal digestible (TFD) Lys/hen per d] was tested on heavy (Lohmann Brown Classic) and light (Lohmann LSL Classic) laying hens from 24 to 60 wk of age. The other indispensable amino acids were fed in fixed ratios to TFD Lys in all treatments. A total of 282 Lohmann Brown Classic and 282 Lohmann LSL Classic hens (24 wk of age) were divided into 12 experimental groups (individually housed) based on daily egg mass production and BW. Replicates of the heavy strain started with a similar average daily egg mass production (51.1 g/hen per d), laying percentage (95.9%), and hen weight (1,860 g). Replicates of the light strain started with a similar average daily egg mass production (52.0 g/hen per d), laying percentage (97.3%), and hen weight (1,478 g). Diets were fed restrictively with an aimed feed intake of 110 g/hen per day [308 kcal/hen per d of AME(n (layers))] and 100 g/hen per day [280 kcal/hen per d of AME(n (layers))] for heavy and light hens, respectively, to achieve the required BP intake levels. For light hens, a BP intake with 600 mg of TFD Lys was sufficient for optimal laying percentage, whereas maximum laying percentage was not achieved with the highest TFD Lys in heavy hens. For egg weight, daily egg mass production as well as feed conversion regression analysis revealed that asymptotes were not achieved with the highest amino acid levels in both layer strains. PMID:20181869

  3. Housing conditions alter properties of the tibia and humerus during the laying phase in Lohmann white Leghorn hens.

    PubMed

    Regmi, P; Smith, N; Nelson, N; Haut, R C; Orth, M W; Karcher, D M

    2016-01-01

    Osteoporosis in caged hens is one driving factor for the United States egg industry to explore options regarding alternative housing systems for laying hens. The aim of our research was to study the influence of housing systems on tibiae and humeri of 77-week-old Lohmann White hens. Pullets raised in an aviary system were either continued in aviary hen systems (AV) or conventional cages (AC) whereas pullets reared in conventional cages continued in conventional hen cages (CC) or enriched colony cages (EN) at 19 weeks. From each group, 120 hens were randomly euthanized and right and left tibae and humeri were excised for structural and mechanical analysis. Volumetric density of the cortical bone was measured using quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Aviary (AV) hens had greater cortical thickness and density but similar outer dimensions to AC hens (P < 0.05). Hens in EN system had humeri with similar cortical thickness and density but wider outer dimensions than the humeri of CC hens (P < 0.05). Cortical geometry of the tibiae was the same for the EN and CC hens, whereas EN hens had denser tibial cortex than CC hens (P < 0.05). Geometrical changes in the humeri suggest that hens in the AV system were better able to protect their structure from endosteal resorption during the laying phase. Humeri of AV and EN hens had increased second moment of area compared to the AC and CC hens; however, the changes were not observed in tibiae. Mechanical property differences were observed, with bones of AV hens having greater failure moment and stiffness than AC hens and the same difference was observed between the EN and CC hens, (P < 0.05). These findings indicate that movement limitation causes loss of bone mass and density whereas provision of moderate movement increases certain bone quality parameters during adulthood in laying hens. PMID:26467011

  4. Assessment of lighting needs by W-36 laying hens via preference test.

    PubMed

    Ma, H; Xin, H; Zhao, Y; Li, B; Shepherd, T A; Alvarez, I

    2016-04-01

    Light intensity, spectrum and pattern may affect laying hen behaviors and production performance. However, requirements of these lighting parameters from the hens' standpoint are not fully understood. This study was conducted to investigate hens' needs for light intensity and circadian rhythm using a light tunnel with five identical compartments each at a different fluorescent light intensity of <1, 5, 15, 30 or 100 lux. The hens were able to move freely among the respective compartments. A group of four W-36 laying hens (23 to 30 weeks of age) were tested each time, and six groups or replicates were conducted. Behaviors of the hens were continuously recorded, yielding data on daily time spent, daily feed intake, daily feeding time, and eggs laid under each light intensity and daily inter-compartment movement. The results show that the hens generally spent more time in lower light intensities. Specifically, the hens spent 6.4 h (45.4%) at 5 lux, 3.0 h (22.1%) at 15 lux, 3.1 h (22.2%) at 30 lux and 1.5 h (10.3%) at 100 lux under light condition; and an accumulation of 10.0 h in darkness (<1 lux) per day. The 10-h dark period was distributed intermittently throughout the day, averaging 25.0±0.4 min per hour. This hourly light-dark rhythm differs from the typical commercial practice of providing continuous dark period for certain part of the day (e.g. 8 h at night). Distributions of daily feed intake (87.3 g/hen) among the different light conditions mirrored the trend of time spent in the respective light intensity, that is, highest at 5 lux (28.4 g/hen, 32.5% daily total) and lowest at 100 lux (5.8 g/hen, 6.7%). Hen-day egg production rate was 96.0%. Most of the eggs were laid in <1 lux (61.9% of total) which was significantly higher than under other light intensities (P<0.05). Findings from this study offer insights into preference of fluorescent light intensity by the laying hens. Further studies to assess or verify welfare and performance responses of the hens to

  5. Effects of dietary oxidized oil on laying performance, lipid metabolism, and apolipoprotein gene expression in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yue, H Y; Wang, J; Qi, X L; Ji, F; Liu, M F; Wu, S G; Zhang, H J; Qi, G H

    2011-08-01

    We studied the effects of dietary oxidized oils on serum lipid metabolic indices, estradiol level, and the gene expression of apolipoprotein B-100 and apolipoprotein VLDL-II in laying hens. Hy-Line Grey hens (280 ± 10 d old; average egg production, 90.0 ± 2.5%) were allotted to 1 of 4 dietary treatments, which were supplemented with 0 (control group), 1% (low oxidized group), 2% (moderately oxidized group), or 4% (highly oxidized group) thermally oxidized soybean oil. Each treatment contained 6 replicates, with 12 birds each. The feeding trial lasted for 30 d. Laying performance data were recorded weekly. Other indices were measured on d 0, 2, 6, 14, and 30 of the feeding trial. Hens in the moderately and highly oxidized groups had significantly lowered feed conversion ratios (P < 0.05). Those in the highly oxidized group also had decreased concentrations of serum very low density lipoprotein cholesterol on d 30 (P < 0.05) compared with the very low density lipoprotein cholesterol of hens in the moderately oxidized group. Hens in the moderately oxidized group had significantly increased expression of apolipoprotein B-100 (P < 0.05) from d 6 to 30. Consequently, hepatic triglyceride increased in this group on d 30 (P < 0.05). Serum triglyceride decreased in the moderately oxidized group on d 30 (P < 0.05), which may have been caused by the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor α. Serum estradiol levels were not significantly affected by oxidized oils at any time of measurement, but were significantly different between d 0 and 30 within the moderately oxidized group. This fact indicated that the effect of oxidized oils on apolipoprotein B-100 might partially be a cumulative result of the increasing secretion of estradiol. The results suggested that oxidized oil may affect the performance of laying hens through the regulation of apolipoproteins and estradiol. PMID:21753210

  6. Reduced productivity among confined laying hens infested by Allopsoroptoides galli (Mironov, 2013).

    PubMed

    Soares, N M; Tucci, E C; Freitas, E R; Fernandes, D P B

    2016-04-01

    The mite Allopsoroptoides galli has recently been identified parasitizing commercial chickens, São Paulo State/Brasil, causing severe dermatitis on all parts of the animal's body and a significant decline in productivity, particularly in egg production. The aim of the present study in A. galli infestation was to investigate the impact on laying hens' performance and egg quality. A total of 100 56-week-old Hy-line white laying hens were used. The birds were divided into 2 groups, with 10 replicates of 5 birds in each group. The experimental groups consisted of a non-infested group (hens free of theA. galli) and an infested group (hens presenting A. galli). The infestation with A. galli did not significantly influence feed intake but caused a significant reduction in the body weight of the hens and caused a decrease in egg production, therefore promoting worse feed conversion. The egg weight was reduced; however, the infestation did not significantly affect the internal quality of the eggs, which was measured according to the yolk color, albumen height, and Haugh units, or the quality of the shell, based on its percentage, thickness, and strength. It can be concluded that anA. galli infestation promotes a reduction in body weight, egg production, and egg weight in laying hens, therefore worsening feed conversion. PMID:26787920

  7. Risk Factors Associated With Salmonella in Laying Hen Farms: Systematic Review of Observational Studies.

    PubMed

    Denagamage, Thomas; Jayarao, Bhushan; Patterson, Paul; Wallner-Pendleton, Eva; Kariyawasam, Subhashinie

    2015-06-01

    Salmonella contamination of laying hen flocks and shell eggs is associated with various management and environmental factors. Foodborne outbreaks of human salmonellosis have been traced back to consumption of Salmonella-contaminated shell eggs. In the present study, a systematic literature review was conducted to identify and provide an evidence-based overview of potential risk factors of Salmonella contamination of laying hens, layer premises, and shell eggs. This systematic literature search was conducted using AGRICOLA, CAB Abstracts, and PubMed databases. Observational studies that identified risk factors for Salmonella contamination of layer flocks and shell eggs were selected, and best evidence was synthesized to summarize the results. Altogether, 13 cross-sectional studies and four longitudinal studies published in English were included in the review. Evidence scores were assigned based on the study design and quality of the study to grade the evidence level. The strength of association of a risk factor was determined according to the odds ratios. In this systematic review, the presence of previous Salmonella infection, absence of cleaning and disinfection, presence of rodents, induced molting, larger flock size (>30,000 hens), multiage management, cage housing systems, in-line egg processing, rearing pullets on the floor, pests with access to feed prior to movement to the feed trough, visitors allowed in the layer houses, and trucks near farms and air inlets were identified as the risk factors associated with Salmonella contamination of laying hen premises, whereas high level of manure contamination, middle and late phase of production, high degree of egg-handling equipment contamination, flock size of >30,000, and egg production rate of >96% were identified as the risk factors associated with Salmonella contamination of shell eggs. These risk factors demonstrated strong to moderate evidence of association with Salmonella contamination of laying hens and

  8. Physiological responses of laying hens during whole-house killing with carbon dioxide.

    PubMed

    McKeegan, D E F; Sparks, N H C; Sandilands, V; Demmers, T G M; Boulcott, P; Wathes, C M

    2011-12-01

    1. Poultry on farms are sometimes required to be killed in an emergency, such as during a disease epidemic, yet none of the available methods are ideal. Whole-house carbon dioxide (CO(2)) administration has practical advantages, but gives rise to welfare concerns. 2. The study measured the body temperature, respiration, cardiac and brain activity (EEG) responses of 10 adult hens placed in tiered cages in a deep pit house while the entire flock (28,000 end-of-lay hens) was killed with CO(2). Video and thermographic images were also recorded. Liquid CO(2) was injected into the building producing a gaseous concentration of 45% within 19 min. 3. Those hens nearest the gas delivery site showed delayed respiratory, cardiac and EEG responses compared with those at more distant locations. Although sub-zero temperatures were recorded in the immediate vicinity of some birds, body temperatures indicated that they did not die of hypothermia. 4. EEG characteristics strongly associated with unconsciousness were used to determine an unequivocal time to loss of consciousness; this ranged from 6·0 to 10·5 (average 7·8) min after onset of gas injection. Distinctive cardiac and respiratory responses were seen following gas exposure; in particular, birds responded to inhalation of CO(2) by deep breathing. 5. The primary welfare concern is the duration of unpleasant respiratory effects, such as deep breathing, while the birds were substantively conscious. However, the concentration of CO(2) to which the birds were exposed while conscious would not have stimulated nasal and oral nociceptors. Time to death varied between 12·0 and 22·1 min after gas delivery. PMID:22221230

  9. Changes of blood parameters associated with bone remodeling following experimentally induced fatty liver disorder in laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies have demonstrated that obesity and osteoporosis are two linked disorders in humans. This study examined if excessive lipid consumption affects bone metabolism in laying hens. One hundred 63-week-old laying hens were randomly divided into two treatments, i.e., fed with a regular diet (control...

  10. In vitro fermentation response of laying hen cecal bacteria to combinations of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) prebiotic with alfalfa and layer ration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this in vitro study was to evaluate the effects of combining a prebiotic with an alfalfa molting diet on fermentation by laying hen cecal bacteria. Cecal contents from laying hens were diluted to a 1:3000 concentration with an anaerobic dilution solution and added to serum tubes fi...

  11. Effects of Furnished Cage Type on Behavior and Welfare of Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Chen, Donghua; Li, Jianhong; Bao, Jun

    2016-06-01

    This study was conducted to compare the effects of layout of furniture (a perch, nest, and sandbox) in cages on behavior and welfare of hens. Two hundred and sixteen Hyline Brown laying hens were divided into five groups (treatments) with four replicates per group: small furnished cages (SFC), medium furnished cages type I (MFC-I), medium furnished cages type II (MFC-II), and medium furnished cages type III (MFC-III) and conventional cages (CC). The experiment started at 18 week of age and finished at 52 week of age. Hens' behaviors were filmed during the following periods: 8:00 to 10:00; 13:00 to 14:00; 16:00 to 17:00 on three separate days and two hens from each cage were measured for welfare parameters at 50 wk of age. The results showed that feeding and laying of all hens showed no effect by cage type (p>0.05), and the hens in the furnished cages had significantly lower standing and higher walking than CC hens (p<0.05). The birds in MFC-III had significant higher preening, scratching and feather-pecking behavior than in the other cages (p<0.05). No difference in nesting behavior was found in the hens between the furnished cages (p>0.05). The hens in MFC-I, -II, and -III showed a significant higher socializing behavior than SFC and CC (p<0.05). The lowest perching was for the hens in SFC and the highest perching found for the hens in MFC-III. Overall, the hens in CC showed poorer welfare conditions than the furnished cages, in which the feather condition score, gait score and tonic immobility duration of the hens in CC was significantly higher than SFC, MFC-I, MFC-II, and MFC-III (p<0.05). In conclusion, the furnished cage design affected both behavior and welfare states of hens. Overall, MFC-III cage design was better than SFC, MFC-I, and MFC-II cage designs. PMID:26954171

  12. Effect of corticosterone on gene expression of feed intake regulatory peptides in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lei; Song, Zhigang; Sheikhahmadi, Ardashir; Jiao, Hongchao; Lin, Hai

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to explore the effects of corticosterone (CORT) on the regulation of appetite-associated genes in laying hens. Forty eight laying hens were randomly divided into two groups: one received subcutaneous injection of CORT (2mg/kg body weight, CORT-exposed) and the other received sham-treatment (Control). Treatment of hens with CORT stimulated an increase (P<0.05) in plasma CORT, glucose, uric acid (UA), insulin, cholesterol (Chol) and triiodothyronine (T(3)), but the concentrations of plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and triacylglycerol (TG) were decreased (P<0.05). CORT treatment had no significant effect (P>0.05) on the mRNA levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), melanocortin receptor 4 and 5 (MCR-4 and MCR-5) and cholecystokinin (CCK) in the hypothalamus when compared with control hens. However, the expression of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), agouti-related protein (AgRP) and melanocortin recepter 1 (MCR-1) were significantly (P<0.05) suppressed while the mRNA levels of ghrelin and cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) were significantly upregulated (P<0.05) in CORT-treated hens. Treatment of laying hens with CORT had no significant (P>0.05) effect on the mRNA levels of CCK in the glandular stomach and the duodenum, and those of ghrelin in the glandular stomach, the duodenum and the jejunum. However, the mRNA levels of CCK in the jejunum and the ileum, and those of ghrelin in the ileum were significantly (P<0.05) suppressed by CORT treatment. In conclusion, these results suggest that CORT plays a unique role in some special neuropeptides (e.g., ghrelin, CART, POMC, CCK and MCRs) and a dynamic balance between these appetite-associated peptides in the hypothalamus and the gastrointestinal tract defines the feeding status of CORT-exposed laying hens. PMID:22554475

  13. Beak condition and cage density determine abundance and spatial distribution of northern fowl mites, Ornithonyssus sylviarum, and chicken body lice, Menacanthus stramineus, on caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Mullens, B A; Chen, B L; Owen, J P

    2010-12-01

    Adult White Leghorn hens (Hy-Line strain W-36) were inoculated with either northern fowl mites or chicken body lice, and the ectoparasite populations were monitored over periods of 9 to 16 wk. Two beak conditions (beak trimmed or beak intact) and 2 housing densities (1 or 2 hens per 25 × 31 cm suspended wire cage) were tested. Populations of both ectoparasites were at least 10 times lower on beak-intact hens compared with populations on beak-trimmed hens. Cage density did not influence mite numbers, but higher numbers of lice (2 to 3 times) developed on hens held at the higher cage density. Louse distribution on the body and louse population age structure were also influenced by host beak condition. Beak-intact hens had a higher proportion of lice under the wings, whereas beak-trimmed hens had the majority of lice on the lower abdomen. Louse populations on beak-trimmed hens also comprised relatively more immature stages than populations found on beak-intact hens. The effects are likely related to decreased grooming efficiency by beak-trimmed hens and, in the case of lice, the higher host density. The high mite and louse populations on most commercial caged laying hens are probably a direct result of beak trimming. However, selection of more docile breeds that can be held without trimming may allow the hens themselves to reduce ectoparasites below economically damaging levels. This could benefit producers, animal welfare advocates, and human health by reducing 1) costs of beak trimming, 2) pesticide treatment costs (including human and bird chemical exposure concerns), and 3) objections to beak trimming from the animal welfare community. PMID:21076093

  14. Microbiological impact of three commercial laying hen housing systems.

    PubMed

    Jones, D R; Cox, N A; Guard, J; Fedorka-Cray, P J; Buhr, R J; Gast, R K; Abdo, Z; Rigsby, L L; Plumblee, J R; Karcher, D M; Robison, C I; Blatchford, R A; Makagon, M M

    2015-03-01

    Hen housing for commercial egg production continues to be a societal and regulatory concern. Controlled studies have examined various aspects of egg safety, but a comprehensive assessment of commercial hen housing systems in the US has not been conducted. The current study is part of a holistic, multidisciplinary comparison of the diverse aspects of commercial conventional cage, enriched colony cage, and cage-free aviary housing systems and focuses on environmental and egg microbiology. Environmental swabs and eggshell pools were collected from all housing systems during 4 production periods. Total aerobes and coliforms were enumerated, and the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. was determined. Environmental aerobic and coliform counts were highest for aviary drag swabs (7.5 and 4.0 log cfu/mL, respectively) and enriched colony cage scratch pad swabs (6.8 and 3.8 log cfu/mL, respectively). Aviary floor and system wire shell pools had the greatest levels of aerobic contamination for all eggshell pools (4.9 and 4.1 log cfu/mL, respectively). Hens from all housing systems were shedding Salmonella spp. (89-100% of manure belt scraper blade swabs). The dry belt litter removal processes for all housing systems appear to affect Campylobacter spp. detection (0-41% of manure belt scraper blade swabs) considering detection of Campylobacter spp. was much higher for other environmental samples. Aviary forage area drag swabs were 100% contaminated with Campylobacter spp., whereas enriched colony cage scratch pads had a 93% positive rate. There were no differences in pathogen detection in the shell pools from the 3 housing systems. Results indicate egg safety is enhanced when hens in alternative housing systems use nest boxes. Additionally, current outcomes indicate the use of scratch pads in hen housing systems needs to be more thoroughly investigated for effects on hen health and egg safety. PMID:25480737

  15. Microbiological impact of three commercial laying hen housing systems1

    PubMed Central

    Jones, D. R.; Cox, N. A.; Guard, J.; Fedorka-Cray, P. J.; Buhr, R. J.; Gast, R. K.; Abdo, Z.; Rigsby, L. L.; Plumblee, J. R.; Karcher, D. M.; Robison, C. I.; Blatchford, R. A.; Makagon, M. M.

    2014-01-01

    Hen housing for commercial egg production continues to be a societal and regulatory concern. Controlled studies have examined various aspects of egg safety, but a comprehensive assessment of commercial hen housing systems in the US has not been conducted. The current study is part of a holistic, multidisciplinary comparison of the diverse aspects of commercial conventional cage, enriched colony cage, and cage-free aviary housing systems and focuses on environmental and egg microbiology. Environmental swabs and eggshell pools were collected from all housing systems during 4 production periods. Total aerobes and coliforms were enumerated, and the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. was determined. Environmental aerobic and coliform counts were highest for aviary drag swabs (7.5 and 4.0 log cfu/mL, respectively) and enriched colony cage scratch pad swabs (6.8 and 3.8 log cfu/mL, respectively). Aviary floor and system wire shell pools had the greatest levels of aerobic contamination for all eggshell pools (4.9 and 4.1 log cfu/mL, respectively). Hens from all housing systems were shedding Salmonella spp. (89–100% of manure belt scraper blade swabs). The dry belt litter removal processes for all housing systems appear to affect Campylobacter spp. detection (0–41% of manure belt scraper blade swabs) considering detection of Campylobacter spp. was much higher for other environmental samples. Aviary forage area drag swabs were 100% contaminated with Campylobacter spp., whereas enriched colony cage scratch pads had a 93% positive rate. There were no differences in pathogen detection in the shell pools from the 3 housing systems. Results indicate egg safety is enhanced when hens in alternative housing systems use nest boxes. Additionally, current outcomes indicate the use of scratch pads in hen housing systems needs to be more thoroughly investigated for effects on hen health and egg safety. PMID:25480737

  16. Effects of Furnished Cage Type on Behavior and Welfare of Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Chen, Donghua; Li, Jianhong; Bao, Jun

    2016-01-01

    This study was conducted to compare the effects of layout of furniture (a perch, nest, and sandbox) in cages on behavior and welfare of hens. Two hundred and sixteen Hyline Brown laying hens were divided into five groups (treatments) with four replicates per group: small furnished cages (SFC), medium furnished cages type I (MFC-I), medium furnished cages type II (MFC-II), and medium furnished cages type III (MFC-III) and conventional cages (CC). The experiment started at 18 week of age and finished at 52 week of age. Hens’ behaviors were filmed during the following periods: 8:00 to 10:00; 13:00 to 14:00; 16:00 to 17:00 on three separate days and two hens from each cage were measured for welfare parameters at 50 wk of age. The results showed that feeding and laying of all hens showed no effect by cage type (p>0.05), and the hens in the furnished cages had significantly lower standing and higher walking than CC hens (p<0.05). The birds in MFC-III had significant higher preening, scratching and feather-pecking behavior than in the other cages (p<0.05). No difference in nesting behavior was found in the hens between the furnished cages (p>0.05). The hens in MFC-I, −II, and −III showed a significant higher socializing behavior than SFC and CC (p<0.05). The lowest perching was for the hens in SFC and the highest perching found for the hens in MFC-III. Overall, the hens in CC showed poorer welfare conditions than the furnished cages, in which the feather condition score, gait score and tonic immobility duration of the hens in CC was significantly higher than SFC, MFC-I, MFC-II, and MFC-III (p<0.05). In conclusion, the furnished cage design affected both behavior and welfare states of hens. Overall, MFC-III cage design was better than SFC, MFC-I, and MFC-II cage designs. PMID:26954171

  17. Liver lipid content of twenty varieties of laying hens from three confinement systems.

    PubMed

    Garlich, J D; Olson, J D; Huff, W E; Hamilton, P B

    1975-05-01

    Average liver lipid values were determined for 20 varieties of 71-week old laying hens managed in 3 confinement systems of the 1972-73 North Carolina Random Sample Laying Test. There were highly significant differences in liver lipid atrributable to variety, to confinement system, and a significant variety X system interaction. Four varieties had consistently high and five had consistently low liver lipid values in all 3 confinement systems. Varietymeans ranged from 25.8 to 49.0% liver lipid on a dry weight basis. Hens confined 2/cage had slight but significantly higher liver lipid than hens 7/cage or in floor pens. Liver lipid was positively correlated with body weight in hens 2/cage and in floor pens. There were no significant correlations of liver lipid with egg production or mortality. A frequency distribution of individual liver lipid values revealed a continuous distribution from 15.4 to 65.4with a pronounced skew to the right of the mean of 38.2%. Neither a fatty liver syndrome nor liver hemorrhage syndrome was reported for any of the flocks during the laying year. The normal range of liver lipid values for hens 71 weeks of age appears to be between 25 and 49 g. of lipid per 100 g. of dry liver weight. PMID:1153379

  18. Behavior of laying hens on alfalfa crumble molt diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Induced molting by feed withdrawal has been a common practice in the commercial layer industry and usually involves the removal of feed for a period of up to 14 days. However, this is a practice that is believed to adversely influence the welfare of the hens and there is a need to examine behavoria...

  19. Housing system and laying hen strain impacts on egg microbiology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alternative hen housing is becoming more commonplace in the egg market. However, a complete understanding of the implication of alternative housing systems on egg safety has not been achieved. The current study examines the impact of housing Hy-Line Brown, Hy-Line Silver Brown, and Barred Plymouth...

  20. Campylobacter species occurrence within internal organs and tissues of commercial caged Leghorn laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Campylobacter spp. are frequently present in the intestinal tract and internal tissues of broiler breeder and broiler chickens. Campylobacter spp. ecology in commercial Leghorn laying hens has not been extensively studied. The objectives of the current study were to determine 1) Campylobacter spp. ...

  1. Microbiological differences between laying hen strains housed in various production systems.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sister flocks of three strains of laying hens were housed in conventional cage, free range, and cage free production systems. All flocks were located on a single, commercial-style research facility and provided the same dietary and lighting regimens. Once a season, a sample of shell eggs was asept...

  2. Effect of passage through laying hens on organ invasiveness and phenotypic heterogeneity of Salmonella enteritidis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Horizontal transmission within and between flocks is an important aspect of the epidemiology of Salmonella enteritidis (SE) in poultry. Previously, a series of passages through infected laying hens increased the frequency at which an SE isolate was deposited inside eggs. The present study evaluated ...

  3. Nitrogen-Corrected Apparent Metabolizable Energy Value of Crude Glycerol for Laying Hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An experiment was conducted with laying hens to determine the AMEn value of crude glycerol, a co-product of biodiesel production. Crude glycerol (87% glycerol, 9% water, 0.03% methanol, 1.26% Na, and 3,625 kcal/kg gross energy) was obtained from a commercial biodiesel production facility (Ag Process...

  4. Prevalence and magnitude of helminth infections in organic laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) across Europe.

    PubMed

    Thapa, Sundar; Hinrichsen, Lena K; Brenninkmeyer, Christine; Gunnarsson, Stefan; Heerkens, Jasper L T; Verwer, Cynthia; Niebuhr, Knut; Willett, Alice; Grilli, Guido; Thamsborg, Stig M; Sørensen, Jan T; Mejer, Helena

    2015-11-30

    Helminths are associated with health- and welfare problems in organic laying hens. The present observational cross-sectional study therefore aimed to estimate the prevalence and worm burdens of intestinal helminths in organic flocks of laying hens in 8 European countries, and to identify management factors that might be associated with helminth infections, with emphasis on Ascaridia galli. Data on flock-level management factors (e.g. nutritional factors, litter quality, housing system, opening- and closing hours of popholes, pasture rotation and provision of occupational materials) were collected during a farm visit when the hens were on average 62 weeks old. Worm counts were performed for 892 hens from 55 flocks and the number of ascarid (presumably primarily A. galli) eggs per g faeces (EPG) for 881 hens from 54 flocks. The association between parasitological parameters (prevalence, worm burden and EPG) and the management factors were analysed by multivariate models. Results showed that A. galli was highly prevalent across Europe with an overall mean prevalence of 69.5% and mean worm burden of 10 worms per hen. The overall mean prevalence and worm burden for Heterakis spp. were 29.0% and 16 worms per hen, respectively, with a large variation between countries. On average, the hens excreted 576 ascarid EPG. The mean prevalence of Raillietina spp. was 13.6%. A positive correlation was found between mean A. galli worm burden and ascarid EPG. Of the analysed management factors, only pasture access time had a significant negative association with A. galli worm burden which was in contrast to the general belief that outdoor access may increase the risk of helminth infections in production animals. In conclusion, the complexity of on-farm transmission dynamics is thus a challenge when evaluating the relative importance of management factors in relation to helminth infections. PMID:26518645

  5. Effect of Dietary Phytase Transgenic Corn on Physiological Characteristics and the Fate of Recombinant Plant DNA in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chunqi; Ma, Qiugang; Zhao, Lihong; Zhang, Jianyun; Ji, Cheng

    2014-01-01

    The study aimed to evaluate the potential effects of feeding with phytase transgenic corn (PTC) on organ weight, serum biochemical parameters and nutrient digestibility, and to determine the fate of the transgenic DNA in laying hens. A total of 144 50-week-old laying hens were grouped randomly into 2 treatments, with 8 replicates per treatment and 9 hens per replicate. Each treatment group of hens was fed with diets containing 62.4% non-transgenic conventional corn (CC) or PTC for 16 weeks. The phytase activity for CC was 37 FTU/kg of DM, whereas the phytase activity for PTC was 8,980 FTU/kg of DM. We observed that feeding PTC to laying hens had no adverse effect on organ weight or serum biochemical parameters (p>0.05). A fragment of a poultry-specific ovalbumin gene (ov) was amplified from all tissues of hens showing that the DNA preparations were amenable to PCR amplification. Neither the corn-specific invertase gene (ivr) nor the transgenic phyA2 gene was detected in the breast muscle, leg muscle, ovary, oviduct and eggs. The digestibility data revealed no significant differences between the hens that received the CC- and PTC-based diets in the digestibility of DM, energy, nitrogen and calcium (p>0.05). Phosphorus digestibility of hens fed the PTC-based diet was greater than that of hens fed the CC-based diet (58.03% vs 47.42%, p<0.01). Based on these results, it was concluded that the PTC had no deleterious effects on the organ weight or serum biochemical parameters of the laying hens. No recombinant phyA2 gene was detected in muscle tissues and reproductive organs of laying hens. The novel plant phytase was efficacious in improving the phosphorus digestibility of laying hens. PMID:25049929

  6. Effect of dietary Rhodobacter capsulatus on egg-yolk cholesterol and laying hen performance.

    PubMed

    Salma, U; Miah, A G; Tareq, K M A; Maki, T; Tsujii, H

    2007-04-01

    The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Rhodobacter capsulatus on the laying hen. A total of forty 23-wk-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens were randomly assigned into 4 treatment groups (10 laying hens/group) and fed diets supplemented with 0 (control), 0.01, 0.02, and 0.04% R. capsulatus during the 60-d feeding period. Dietary supplementation of R. capsulatus (0.04%) reduced (P < 0.05) cholesterol and triglycerides concentration in serum (15 and 11%), as well as in egg-yolk (13 and 16%) over a 60-d feeding period. Cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations in serum as well as egg-yolk were changed linearly in accordance with increasing levels of dietary R. capsulatus. Supplementation of R. capsulatus in diets increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level and decreased (P < 0.05) atherogenic index in serum. Yolk color was improved (P < 0.05) in the group fed the 0.04% R. capsulatus supplemented diet compared with the control group. Hepatic cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced (P < 0.05) by 0.04% R. capsulatus. Moreover, the supplementation of R. capsulatus in layer diets did not appear to cause any adverse effects on egg production, shell weight, shell thickness, Haugh unit, yolk index, and feed conversion efficiency compared with the same parameters for the control laying hens. It is postulated that known and unknown factors are present in R. capsulatus presumably responsible for the hypocholesterolemic effect on laying hens. Therefore, the dietary supplementation of R. capsulatus may lead to the development of low-cholesterol chicken eggs as demanded by health-conscious consumers. PMID:17369543

  7. Behavioral Differences of Laying Hens with Fractured Keel Bones within Furnished Cages

    PubMed Central

    Casey-Trott, Teresa M.; Widowski, Tina M.

    2016-01-01

    High prevalence of keel bone fractures in laying hens is reported in all housing systems. Keel fractures have been associated with pain and restricted mobility in hens in loose housing. The objective was to determine whether keel fractures were associated with activity of hens in furnished cages. Thirty-six pairs of LSL-Lite hens (72 weeks) were enrolled in the study. One hen with a fractured keel and one hen without were identified by palpation in each of 36 groups of hens housed in either 30- or 60-bird cages stocked at 750 cm2/hen. Behavioral activity of each hen was recorded by four observers blind to keel status using focal animal sampling for 10 min within a 2-h period in the morning (08:00–10:00), afternoon (12:00–14:00), and evening (17:00–19:00). All hens were observed during each of the three sample periods for 3 days totaling 90 min, and individual hen data were summed for analysis. Hens were euthanized 48 h after final observations, dissected, and classified by keel status: F0 (no fracture, N = 24), F1 (single fracture, N = 17), and F2 (multiple fractures, N = 31). The percentages of time hens performed each behavior were analyzed using a mixed procedure in SAS with fracture severity, body weight, cage size, rearing environment, and tier in the model. Fracture severity affected the duration of perching (P = 0.04) and standing (P = 0.001), bout length of standing (P < 0.0001), and location (floor vs. perch) of resting behaviors (P = 0.01). F2 hens perched longer than F0 hens, 20.0 ± 2.9 and 11.6 ± 3.2%. F2 hens spent less time standing, 15.2 ± 1.5%, than F0 and F1 hens, 20.7 ± 1.6 and 21.6 ± 1.8%. F2 hens had shorter standing bouts (22.0 ± 4.2 s) than both F0 and F1 hens, 33.1 ± 4.3 and 27.4 ± 4.4 s. Non-fractured hens spent 80.0 ± 6.9% of total resting time on the floor, whereas F1 and F2 hens spent 56.9 ± 12.4 and 51.5 ± 7.7% resting on the floor

  8. Behavioral Differences of Laying Hens with Fractured Keel Bones within Furnished Cages.

    PubMed

    Casey-Trott, Teresa M; Widowski, Tina M

    2016-01-01

    High prevalence of keel bone fractures in laying hens is reported in all housing systems. Keel fractures have been associated with pain and restricted mobility in hens in loose housing. The objective was to determine whether keel fractures were associated with activity of hens in furnished cages. Thirty-six pairs of LSL-Lite hens (72 weeks) were enrolled in the study. One hen with a fractured keel and one hen without were identified by palpation in each of 36 groups of hens housed in either 30- or 60-bird cages stocked at 750 cm(2)/hen. Behavioral activity of each hen was recorded by four observers blind to keel status using focal animal sampling for 10 min within a 2-h period in the morning (08:00-10:00), afternoon (12:00-14:00), and evening (17:00-19:00). All hens were observed during each of the three sample periods for 3 days totaling 90 min, and individual hen data were summed for analysis. Hens were euthanized 48 h after final observations, dissected, and classified by keel status: F 0 (no fracture, N = 24), F 1 (single fracture, N = 17), and F 2 (multiple fractures, N = 31). The percentages of time hens performed each behavior were analyzed using a mixed procedure in SAS with fracture severity, body weight, cage size, rearing environment, and tier in the model. Fracture severity affected the duration of perching (P = 0.04) and standing (P = 0.001), bout length of standing (P < 0.0001), and location (floor vs. perch) of resting behaviors (P = 0.01). F 2 hens perched longer than F 0 hens, 20.0 ± 2.9 and 11.6 ± 3.2%. F 2 hens spent less time standing, 15.2 ± 1.5%, than F 0 and F 1 hens, 20.7 ± 1.6 and 21.6 ± 1.8%. F 2 hens had shorter standing bouts (22.0 ± 4.2 s) than both F 0 and F 1 hens, 33.1 ± 4.3 and 27.4 ± 4.4 s. Non-fractured hens spent 80.0 ± 6.9% of total resting time on the floor, whereas F 1 and F 2 hens spent 56.9 ± 12.4 and 51.5 ± 7.7% resting on the

  9. Comparison of shell bacteria from unwashed and washed table eggs harvested from caged laying hens and cage-free floor-housed laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hannah, J F; Wilson, J L; Cox, N A; Cason, J A; Bourassa, D V; Musgrove, M T; Richardson, L J; Rigsby, L L; Buhr, R J

    2011-07-01

    These studies evaluated the bacterial level of unwashed and washed shell eggs from caged and cage-free laying hens. Hy-Line W-36 White and Hy-Line Brown laying hens were housed on all wire slats or all shavings floor systems. On the sampling days for experiments 1, 2, and 3, 20 eggs were collected from each pen for bacterial analyses. Ten of the eggs collected from each pen were washed for 1 min with a commercial egg-washing solution, whereas the remaining 10 eggs were unwashed before sampling the eggshell and shell membranes for aerobic bacteria and coliforms (experiment 1 only). In experiment 1, the aerobic plate counts (APC) of unwashed eggs produced in the shavings, slats, and caged-housing systems were 4.0, 3.6, and 3.1 log(10) cfu/mL of rinsate, respectively. Washing eggs significantly (P < 0.05) reduced APC by 1.6 log(10) cfu/mL and reduced the prevalence of coliforms by 12%. In experiment 2, unwashed eggs produced by hens in triple-deck cages from 57 to 62 wk (previously housed on shavings, slats, and cages) did not differ, with APC ranging from 0.6 to 0.8 log(10) cfu/mL. Washing eggs continued to significantly reduce APC to below 0.2 log(10) cfu/mL. In experiment 3, the APC for unwashed eggs were within 0.4 log below the APC attained for unwashed eggs in experiment 1, although hen density was 28% of that used in experiment 1. Washing eggs further lowered the APC to 0.4 to 0.7 log(10) cfu/mL, a 2.7-log reduction. These results indicate that shell bacterial levels are similar after washing for eggs from hens housed in these caged and cage-free environments. However, housing hens in cages with manure removal belts resulted in lower APC for both unwashed and washed eggs (compared with eggs from hens housed in a room with shavings, slats, and cages). PMID:21673176

  10. Determination of residues of sulphonamide in eggs and laying hens.

    PubMed

    Tabassum, Shazia; Ahmad, H B; Nawaz, R

    2007-07-01

    Eggs were collected from different areas of Faisalabad city. The quantity of sulphonamides was determined in yolk, white and whole egg and compared with the permissible limit 1 microg/ml for sulphadimethoxine available in literature. In another experiment, a group of hens were kept at a poultry farm after medicating them with darvisal liquid to see if the residues of sulphonamide pass into the eggs of poultry. The period of existence of residues was noted. PMID:17545104

  11. Influence of commercial laying hen housing systems on the incidence and identification of Salmonella and Campylobacter.

    PubMed

    Jones, D R; Guard, J; Gast, R K; Buhr, R J; Fedorka-Cray, P J; Abdo, Z; Plumblee, J R; Bourassa, D V; Cox, N A; Rigsby, L L; Robison, C I; Regmi, P; Karcher, D M

    2016-05-01

    The housing of laying hens is important for social, industrial, and regulatory aspects. Many studies have compared hen housing systems on the research farm, but few have fully examined commercial housing systems and management strategies. The current study compared hens housed in commercial cage-free aviary, conventional cage, and enriched colony cage systems. Environmental and eggshell pool samples were collected from selected cages/segments of the housing systems throughout the production cycle and monitored for Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence. At 77 wk of age, 120 hens per housing system were examined for Salmonella and Campylobacter colonization in the: adrenal glands, spleen, ceca, follicles, and upper reproductive tract. All isolates detected from environmental swabs, eggshell pools, and tissues were identified for serotype. Two predominant Salmonella were detected in all samples:S.Braenderup andS.Kentucky.Campylobacter coli and C. jejuni were the only Campylobacter detected in the flocks. Across all housing systems, approximately 7% of hens were colonized with Salmonella, whereas >90% were colonized with Campylobacter Salmonella Braenderup was the isolate most frequently detected in environmental swabs (P<0.0001) and housing system impacted Salmonella spp. shedding (P<0.0001).Campylobacter jejuni was the isolate most frequently found in environmental swabs (P<0.01), while housing system impacted the prevalence of C. coli and jejuniin ceca (P<0.0001). The results of this study provide a greater understanding of the impact of hen housing systems on hen health and product safety. Additionally, producers and academia can utilize the findings to make informed decisions on hen housing and management strategies to enhance hen health and food safety. PMID:26976901

  12. The relationship of several genes suppressing plumage colour with body weight, food intake and feather loss of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Merat, P; Bordas, A; Coquerelle, G

    1979-11-01

    1. Growth rate, egg number, egg and adult body weight, plumage condition, food intake and efficiency of laying hens were compared in birds differing in plumage colour genotype at five loci (C, I, S, Ig, B). 2. Laying rates of the different genotypes were not different. 3. Growth rate and adult body weight of females were significantly less in loci C and I white females as compared with the corresponding coloured females; there was a similar tendency in adult weight for the other loci, and in egg weight. Differences in body weight were more marked in birds kept in cages than in those kept on the floor. 4. For all loci the genotype suppressing colour was associated with less plumage deterioration, this being highly significant for loci C and S. 5. Food intake, adjusted for body weight and egg production, was less in locus I white hens, in agreement with previous data concerning the C locus. 6. Pleiotropic effects associated with colour were suggested and their consequences on efficiency of egg production are discussed. PMID:543974

  13. Preliminary evaluation of a nest usage sensor to detect double nest occupations of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Zaninelli, Mauro; Costa, Annamaria; Tangorra, Francesco Maria; Rossi, Luciana; Agazzi, Alessandro; Savoini, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    Conventional cage systems will be replaced by housing systems that allow hens to move freely. These systems may improve hens' welfare, but they lead to some disadvantages: disease, bone fractures, cannibalism, piling and lower egg production. New selection criteria for existing commercial strains should be identified considering individual data about laying performance and the behavior of hens. Many recording systems have been developed to collect these data. However, the management of double nest occupations remains critical for the correct egg-to-hen assignment. To limit such events, most systems adopt specific trap devices and additional mechanical components. Others, instead, only prevent these occurrences by narrowing the nest, without any detection and management. The aim of this study was to develop and test a nest usage "sensor", based on imaging analysis, that is able to automatically detect a double nest occupation. Results showed that the developed sensor correctly identified the double nest occupation occurrences. Therefore, the imaging analysis resulted in being a useful solution that could simplify the nest construction for this type of recording system, allowing the collection of more precise and accurate data, since double nest occupations would be managed and the normal laying behavior of hens would not be discouraged by the presence of the trap devices. PMID:25629704

  14. Preliminary Evaluation of a Nest Usage Sensor to Detect Double Nest Occupations of Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Zaninelli, Mauro; Costa, Annamaria; Tangorra, Francesco Maria; Rossi, Luciana; Agazzi, Alessandro; Savoini, Giovanni

    2015-01-01

    Conventional cage systems will be replaced by housing systems that allow hens to move freely. These systems may improve hens' welfare, but they lead to some disadvantages: disease, bone fractures, cannibalism, piling and lower egg production. New selection criteria for existing commercial strains should be identified considering individual data about laying performance and the behavior of hens. Many recording systems have been developed to collect these data. However, the management of double nest occupations remains critical for the correct egg-to-hen assignment. To limit such events, most systems adopt specific trap devices and additional mechanical components. Others, instead, only prevent these occurrences by narrowing the nest, without any detection and management. The aim of this study was to develop and test a nest usage “sensor”, based on imaging analysis, that is able to automatically detect a double nest occupation. Results showed that the developed sensor correctly identified the double nest occupation occurrences. Therefore, the imaging analysis resulted in being a useful solution that could simplify the nest construction for this type of recording system, allowing the collection of more precise and accurate data, since double nest occupations would be managed and the normal laying behavior of hens would not be discouraged by the presence of the trap devices. PMID:25629704

  15. The residue levels of narasin in eggs of laying hens fed with unmedicated and medicated feed.

    PubMed

    Rokka, Mervi; Eerola, Susanna; Perttilä, Ulla; Rossow, Laila; Venäläinen, Eija; Valkonen, Eija; Valaja, Jarmo; Peltonen, Kimmo

    2005-01-01

    Laying hens were fed contaminated feed containing narasin 2.5 mg/kg for 21 days followed by a 7 day withdrawal period, hens in the control group were fed unmedicated feed. Eggs were collected during trial days 0, 3, 7, 14, 21 and after the withdrawal period of 7 days. The concentration of narasin in yolks and egg whites was analyzed by a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Narasin was found to accumulate in yolks, where the narasin concentration increased during the treatment. The concentration of narasin varied from 5.9 to 13.8 microg/kg (mean 10.6 microg/kg) in yolks after 21 day feeding periods. The concentrations of narasin ranged from < 0.9 to 1.4 microg/kg after the withdrawal period. Narasin residues were not found in egg whites of the laying hens fed contaminated feed nor in either yolks or egg whites of the laying hens fed unmedicated feed. The effect of cooking was also tested on the amount of narasin residues in eggs. Cooking for 10 min did not significantly influence the narasin residues in eggs. Traces of lasalocid were also found in the yolks. The traces of lasalocid are attributable to an accidental contamination of the feed during its manufacture. PMID:15538711

  16. The hypocholesterolemic agent dichloroacetate increases egg cholesterol content of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Beyer, R S; Jensen, L S

    1993-06-01

    Experiments were conducted to determine whether a diet with added dichloroacetate (DCA), an inhibitor of cholesterol biosynthesis, would influence plasma and egg cholesterol concentrations when fed to laying hens. In the first experiment, 62-wk-old laying hens (10 hens per treatment) were fed a control diet containing 0, 350, 700, or 1,400 ppm DCA for an 8-wk period. Egg production and size, feed intake, weight gain, and plasma and egg cholesterol were determined at biweekly intervals. In a second experiment, 36-wk-old laying hens (eight hens per treatment) received diets with 0, 3,000, or 6,000 ppm added DCA for a period of 6 wk. Production parameters and cholesterol measurements were conducted as in Experiment 1. Egg production and feed intake were significantly decreased with increasing levels of DCA in Experiment 1. In the second experiment, 6,000 ppm DCA sharply reduced feed intake, body weight, and egg production. Yolk weight and percentage yolk were significantly decreased by the higher levels of DCA used in Experiment 2. Total plasma cholesterol was not affected by dichloroacetate in either of the experiments. In contrast, egg cholesterol concentration increased by 10 and 37% in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively, in response to diets with added DCA when compared with the unsupplemented controls. Total egg cholesterol increased in response to dietary DCA in Experiment 1, but not consistently in Experiment 2 due to the decreased yolk size of the hens fed DCA. The results of these studies indicate that dietary DCA was not effective in reducing egg cholesterol concentrations. PMID:8321813

  17. Hepatic cholinesterase of laying hens naturally infected by Salmonella Gallinarum (fowl typhoid).

    PubMed

    Da Silva, Aleksandro S; Boiago, Marcel M; Bottari, Nathieli B; do Carmo, Guilherme M; Alves, Mariana Sauzen; Boscato, Carla; Morsch, Vera M; Schetinger, Maria Rosa C; Casagrande, Renata A; Stefani, Lenita M

    2016-09-01

    Salmonella is a facultative intracellular pathogen that may cause foodborne gastroenteritis in humans and animals consisting of over 2000 serovars. The serovar Salmonella Gallinarum is an important worldwide pathogen of poultry. However, little is known on the mechanisms of pathogenesis of Salmonella in chickens. The aim of this study was to evaluate cholinesterase and myeloperoxidase activities in hepatic tissue of laying hens naturally infected by S. Gallinarum. Twenty positive liver samples for S. Gallinarum were collected, in addition to seven liver samples from healthy uninfected laying hens (control group). The right liver lobe was homogenized for analysis of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and myeloperoxidase (MPO), and the left lobe was divided into two fragments, one for histopathology and the other for Salmonella isolation. The results showed changes in AChE and BchE activity in the liver of infected laying hens compared to the control group (P < 0.05), i.e. reduced AChE and increased BChE activities in liver samples. Infected animals showed increased MPO activity compared to healthy animals (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the histopathological findings showed fibrinoid necrosis associated to the infiltration of lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages,heterophils in the liver of infected hens. These findings suggest that the inflammatory process was attenuated providing a pro-inflammatory action of both enzyme analyzed in order to reduce the free ACh, a molecule which has an anti-inflammatory action. Therefore, our results lead to the hypothesis that cholinesterase plays an important role on the modulation of immune response against S. Gallinarum with an inflammatory effect, contributing to the response against this bacterium. This study should contribute to a better understanding on the pathogenic mechanisms involved in laying hens infected by S. Gallinarum. PMID:27377431

  18. Egg production and welfare of laying hens kept in different housing systems (conventional, enriched cage, and free range).

    PubMed

    Yilmaz Dikmen, B; İpek, A; Şahan, Ü; Petek, M; Sözcü, A

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to compare egg production performance and welfare traits of laying hens kept in conventional cage (CC), enriched cage (EC), and free range (FR). Lohmann Brown laying hens (n = 480 with 160 per housing type) were studied across a production cycle from placement at 17 wk until depopulation at 66 wk. The hens were randomly allocated into cages or pens of housing system groups; within each system there were four replicates with 40 hens in each pen or cage. The hen day egg production (P = 0.037), feed intake (FI) (P < 0.001), egg mass (EM) (P < 0.001), and dirty egg ratio of hens were higher in the FR system but similar in the CC and EC systems. The highest mortality ratio was found in EC system hens (P = 0.020). The best feather score was found in FR system hens (P < 0.001). The worse body wound score was found in EC system hens (P = 0.038). On the other hand, the worse bumble foot and footpad lesions were found in FR system hens (P < 0.001). The highest tibia breaking strength was found in FR system hens compared with in CC and EC system hens (P < 0.001). The highest Heterophil/Lymphocyte ( H/L: ) ratio was found in CC system hens (P = 0.006) but the blood phosphorus ( P: ) level was higher in FR system hens (P = 0.013). The tonic immobility, blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and Ca values of hens were found to be similar in all systems (P > 0.05). The hens in the FR system had additional space for optimum comfort and better feather and bone traits, but the dirty egg ratio, feed consumption, and foot lesions were higher than in CC and EC systems. PMID:26994200

  19. Performance, egg quality, and blood plasma chemistry of laying hens fed hempseed and hempseed oil.

    PubMed

    Neijat, M; Gakhar, N; Neufeld, J; House, J D

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the performance of hens (feed intake, rate of lay, egg weight, and BW gain), egg quality and blood biochemistry (enzymes, electrolytes, proteins, and other plasma constituents) of laying hens fed diets containing hemp products. Forty-eight Lohmann LSL-Classic (white-egg layers; 19 wk of age) were individually caged and fed 1 of 6 wheat-barley-soybean-based diets for a period of 12 wk. The diets consisted of hempseed (HS; 10, 20, or 30%), hempseed oil (HO; 4.5 or 9.0%), or a control diet (corn oil-based). All diets were formulated to contain similar levels of crude fat (11%), energy (2,800 kcal/kg), and CP (17%). Data were analyzed as a completely randomized design using the repeated measure analysis of the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS. The results indicated that the inclusion of up to 30 and 9.0% HS and HO, respectively, to diets of laying hens had no significant effects on hen performance, egg quality, or plasma level of metabolites (proteins, glucose, uric acid, and cholesterol) and electrolytes (Na, K, Cl, P, and Ca). Overall plasma enzyme concentrations, particularly gamma-glutamyl transferase, were significantly (P < 0.01) lowest at the 10 and 20% levels of HS inclusion, or at the 4.5% HO level of inclusion of the hempseed products compared with the higher levels or control fed hens. Similar effects were also observed for plasma aspartate aminotransferase levels but with the HS enriched diets only (P < 0.05), particularly being lowest at the inclusion levels of 10 and 20% HS compared with the control. The results may imply a possible protective effect of HS- and HO-containing diets, particularly at 10% HS, 20% HS, and 4.5% HO levels, on liver damage/injury. In summary, both HO and HS appear to be well tolerated by laying hens as judged by markers of plasma clinical chemistry supporting the safety and efficacy of hemp products for use in laying hen rations. PMID:25239534

  20. Haematological and Biochemical Parameters during the Laying Period in Common Pheasant Hens Housed in Enhanced Cages

    PubMed Central

    Hrabčáková, Petra; Voslářová, Eva; Bedáňová, Iveta; Pištěková, Vladimíra; Chloupek, Jan; Večerek, Vladimír

    2014-01-01

    The development of selected haematological and biochemical parameters during the laying period was monitored in common pheasant hens housed in an enhanced cage system. The cages were enhanced by the addition of two perches and a shelter formed by strips of cloth hanging in the corner of the cage. The results showed significant changes in the haematological and biochemical parameters monitored during egg laying. At the time when laying capacity approached a maximum, a decrease was observed (P < 0.05) in haematocrit, erythrocytes, and haemoglobin values, whereas monocytes, eosinophils, the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, phosphorus, and calcium exhibited an increase (P < 0.05). At the end of the laying period, an increase (P < 0.05) was recorded in the count of leukocytes, heterophils, lymphocytes and basophils, the heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and the concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, cholesterol, phosphorus, and calcium, whereas lower values (P < 0.05) were recorded for haematocrit and plasma total protein in comparison with the values of the indicators at the beginning of the laying period. The results provide new information about dynamic changes in selected haematological and biochemical parameters in clinically healthy common pheasant hens during the laying period. PMID:25121117

  1. Haematological and biochemical parameters during the laying period in common pheasant hens housed in enhanced cages.

    PubMed

    Hrabčáková, Petra; Voslářová, Eva; Bedáňová, Iveta; Pištěková, Vladimíra; Chloupek, Jan; Večerek, Vladimír

    2014-01-01

    The development of selected haematological and biochemical parameters during the laying period was monitored in common pheasant hens housed in an enhanced cage system. The cages were enhanced by the addition of two perches and a shelter formed by strips of cloth hanging in the corner of the cage. The results showed significant changes in the haematological and biochemical parameters monitored during egg laying. At the time when laying capacity approached a maximum, a decrease was observed (P < 0.05) in haematocrit, erythrocytes, and haemoglobin values, whereas monocytes, eosinophils, the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, phosphorus, and calcium exhibited an increase (P < 0.05). At the end of the laying period, an increase (P < 0.05) was recorded in the count of leukocytes, heterophils, lymphocytes and basophils, the heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and the concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, cholesterol, phosphorus, and calcium, whereas lower values (P < 0.05) were recorded for haematocrit and plasma total protein in comparison with the values of the indicators at the beginning of the laying period. The results provide new information about dynamic changes in selected haematological and biochemical parameters in clinically healthy common pheasant hens during the laying period. PMID:25121117

  2. Physical Health Problems and Environmental Challenges Influence Balancing Behaviour in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    LeBlanc, Stephanie; Tobalske, Bret; Quinton, Margaret; Springthorpe, Dwight; Szkotnicki, Bill; Wuerbel, Hanno; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    With rising public concern for animal welfare, many major food chains and restaurants are changing their policies, strictly buying their eggs from non-cage producers. However, with the additional space in these cage-free systems to perform natural behaviours and movements comes the risk of injury. We evaluated the ability to maintain balance in adult laying hens with health problems (footpad dermatitis, keel damage, poor wing feather cover; n = 15) using a series of environmental challenges and compared such abilities with those of healthy birds (n = 5). Environmental challenges consisted of visual and spatial constraints, created using a head mask, perch obstacles, and static and swaying perch states. We hypothesized that perch movement, environmental challenges, and diminished physical health would negatively impact perching performance demonstrated as balance (as measured by time spent on perch and by number of falls of the perch) and would require more exaggerated correctional movements. We measured perching stability whereby each bird underwent eight 30-second trials on a static and swaying perch: with and without disrupted vision (head mask), with and without space limitations (obstacles) and combinations thereof. Video recordings (600 Hz) and a three-axis accelerometer/gyroscope (100 Hz) were used to measure the number of jumps/falls, latencies to leave the perch, as well as magnitude and direction of both linear and rotational balance-correcting movements. Laying hens with and without physical health problems, in both challenged and unchallenged environments, managed to perch and remain off the ground. We attribute this capacity to our training of the birds. Environmental challenges and physical state had an effect on the use of accelerations and rotations to stabilize themselves on a perch. Birds with physical health problems performed a higher frequency of rotational corrections to keep the body centered over the perch, whereas, for both health categories

  3. Physical Health Problems and Environmental Challenges Influence Balancing Behaviour in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Stephanie; Tobalske, Bret; Quinton, Margaret; Springthorpe, Dwight; Szkotnicki, Bill; Wuerbel, Hanno; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    With rising public concern for animal welfare, many major food chains and restaurants are changing their policies, strictly buying their eggs from non-cage producers. However, with the additional space in these cage-free systems to perform natural behaviours and movements comes the risk of injury. We evaluated the ability to maintain balance in adult laying hens with health problems (footpad dermatitis, keel damage, poor wing feather cover; n = 15) using a series of environmental challenges and compared such abilities with those of healthy birds (n = 5). Environmental challenges consisted of visual and spatial constraints, created using a head mask, perch obstacles, and static and swaying perch states. We hypothesized that perch movement, environmental challenges, and diminished physical health would negatively impact perching performance demonstrated as balance (as measured by time spent on perch and by number of falls of the perch) and would require more exaggerated correctional movements. We measured perching stability whereby each bird underwent eight 30-second trials on a static and swaying perch: with and without disrupted vision (head mask), with and without space limitations (obstacles) and combinations thereof. Video recordings (600 Hz) and a three-axis accelerometer/gyroscope (100 Hz) were used to measure the number of jumps/falls, latencies to leave the perch, as well as magnitude and direction of both linear and rotational balance-correcting movements. Laying hens with and without physical health problems, in both challenged and unchallenged environments, managed to perch and remain off the ground. We attribute this capacity to our training of the birds. Environmental challenges and physical state had an effect on the use of accelerations and rotations to stabilize themselves on a perch. Birds with physical health problems performed a higher frequency of rotational corrections to keep the body centered over the perch, whereas, for both health categories

  4. Welfare of organic laying hens kept at different indoor stocking densities in a multi-tier aviary system. I: egg laying, and use of veranda and outdoor area.

    PubMed

    Steenfeldt, S; Nielsen, B L

    2015-09-01

    Multi-tier aviary systems are becoming more common in organic egg production. The area on the tiers can be included in the net area available to the hens (also referred to as usable area) when calculating maximum indoor stocking densities in organic systems within the EU. In this article, results on egg production, laying behaviour and use of veranda and outdoor area are reported for organic laying hens housed in a multi-tier system with permanent access to a veranda and kept at stocking densities (D) of 6, 9 and 12 hens/m2 available floor area, with concomitant increases in the number of hens per trough, drinker, perch and nest space. In a fourth treatment, access to the top tier was blocked reducing vertical, trough and perch access at the lowest stocking density (treatment D6x). In all other aspects than stocking density, the experiment followed the EU regulations on the keeping of organic laying hens. Laying percentage was significantly lower (P<0.05) in D12 compared with the other stocking densities (90.6% v. 94.3% (± 0.7)), most likely due to the concomitant reduction in nest space and drinker availability per hen. No systematic effects of density were found on other laying variables (egg weight, eggs laid outside nests, aviary side preferences). Number of hens using the veranda increased with stocking density. Hens primarily used the range near the house (within 50 m) and hens kept at the lowest stocking density and the smallest group size appeared to use the outdoor area more extensively, based on an assessment of vegetation cover (P<0.05). For the measures reported here, the welfare consequences of increased stocking density were assessed to be minor; additional results are reported in the associated article (Steenfeldt and Nielsen, 2015). PMID:25990512

  5. Evaluation of the Bacterial Diversity in Cecal Contents of Laying Hens Fed Various Molting Diets Using Bacterial Tag-Encoded FLX Amplicon Pyrosequencing (bTEFAP)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laying hens are typically induced to molt in order to begin a new egg-laying cycle by withdrawing feed for up to 12-14 d. Fasted hens are more susceptible to colonization and tissue invasion by Salmonella Enteriditis. Much of this increased incidence in fasted hens is thought to be due to changes ...

  6. Effect of snack food by-product inclusion on production of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Van Wyhe, R C; Fraley, S E; Szybisty, C A; Karcher, D M; Karcher, E L

    2012-06-01

    The increased interest in becoming green for consumers and companies is driving groups to develop innovative ways to become more efficient and reduce their waste. Foods past their expiration dates are large sources of waste and are causing food-manufacturing companies to develop waste disposal strategies. Integrating by-products from these companies into animal diets, specifically that of laying hens, could be significantly more cost effective for both the human food manufacturers and the agricultural producers. The study's objective is to evaluate laying hen diets containing snack food by-product, consisting mostly of expired potato chips, and the effect on hen performance. In total, 192 White Leghorn laying hens (45 wk old) were selected from the Michigan State University Poultry Farm. Hens were housed in conventional cages (3 birds/cage) and received 1 of 4 diets for 5 wk: 1) industry control corn-soybean meal, 2) control with 3% by-product, 3) control with 6% by-product, and 4) control with 9% by-product. Diets were formulated to be isocaloric, isonitrogenous, and balanced for sodium. Feed intake was measured for 3 consecutive days each week, and no overall differences between treatments were observed. However, during the first week, feed intake was significantly higher in birds fed the 6% and 9% diets compared with those fed control (P < 0.05). Birds fed the 6% had a higher feed intake than that of the control again during the fourth week (P < 0.01). Egg production, egg weight, and specific gravity were measured weekly. Hen BW was measured on d 1, 14, 28, and 35. Egg production, egg weight, specific gravity, and BW were not significantly affected by the addition of snack food by-products to the diet. In conclusion, the addition of expired snack food by-product into poultry diets does not significantly affect laying hen egg production and has the potential to be used as an alternative feed stuff in the future. PMID:22582300

  7. Mass depopulation of laying hens in whole barns with liquid carbon dioxide: evaluation of welfare impact.

    PubMed

    Turner, P V; Kloeze, H; Dam, A; Ward, D; Leung, N; Brown, E E L; Whiteman, A; Chiappetta, M E; Hunter, D B

    2012-07-01

    Appropriate emergency disaster preparedness is a key priority for agricultural agencies to allow effective response to serious avian disease outbreaks. There is a need to develop rapid, humane, and safe depopulation techniques for poultry that are widely applicable across a range of farm settings. Whole barn depopulation with carbon dioxide (CO(2)) has been investigated as a humane and efficient means of killing large numbers of birds in the event of a reportable disease outbreak. It has also been considered as a method for depopulating barns containing end-of-lay hens, particularly when there is limited local slaughter and rendering capacity. Determining the best method of humanely killing large flocks of birds remains problematic and is being investigated by a coordinated international effort. While whole barn depopulation using CO(2) inhalation has been explored, physiologic responses of chickens have not been characterized in field settings and assessment of animal welfare is hampered without this information. In this study, 12 cull laying hens were surgically instrumented with telemetry transmitters to record electroencephalographs, electrocardiographs, body temperature, and activity during 2 large-scale field CO(2) euthanasia trials of end-of-lay hens. The day following surgery, instrumented hens were placed in barns with other birds, barns were sealed, and animals were killed by CO(2) inhalation delivered via a specially designed liquid CO(2) manifold. Instrumented birds were monitored by infrared thermography, and ambient temperature, CO(2), and O(2) concentrations were recorded. Results from these studies indicate that instrumented hens lost consciousness within 2 min of CO(2) levels reaching 18 to 20%. Mild to moderate head shaking, gasping, and 1 to 2 clonic muscle contractions were noted in hens before unconsciousness; however, brain death followed rapidly (<5 min). Evaluation of welfare costs and benefits suggest clear advantages over catching and

  8. Effects of age and dietary soybean oil level on eggshell quality, bone strength and blood biochemistry in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Jiang, S; Cui, L Y; Hou, J F; Shi, C; Ke, X; Yang, L C; Ma, X P

    2014-01-01

    The objective of the study was to investigate the differences in eggshell quality, bone quality and serum bone biochemistry markers associated with changes in age and dietary soybean oil levels in laying hens. A total of 54, 19-week-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens were housed in 18 battery cages (3 birds/cage) and randomly divided into three diet treatments for 90 d: control-fat (CF, 1.9% soybean oil), moderate-fat (MF, 7% soybean oil) and high-fat (HF, 10% soybean oil). The hens' body weights (BW), egg production, egg weights, eggshell thickness and femoral diameter were higher at d 90 than at d 60 or d 30. Meanwhile, feed intake, relative bone weights, all bone strength parameters and serum Ca were lower at d 90 or 60 than at d 30. Compared to the CF hens, the feed intake, BW, abdominal fat pad weights and serum alkaline phosphatase activity were elevated in MF or HF hens. The eggshell thickness, relative femoral and tibial weight, femoral stiffness, femoral modulus, tibial mixed force and serum calcium and phosphorus levels were lower in MF or HF hens than CF hens. These findings suggest that bone loss in caged hens starts from an early stage of the laying period, and dietary oil (particularly with diets over 10% soybean oil) has harmful effects on eggshell quality, bone strength and bone mineralisation from an early stage of the laying period. PMID:25109942

  9. Phosphorous requirements of laying hens in a semiarid continental climate.

    PubMed

    Daghir, N J; Farran, M T; Kaysi, S A

    1985-07-01

    Single Comb White Leghorn layers raised in floor pens in conventional open housing were used to determine their phosphorous requirement in a semiarid continental climate. Dietary available phosphorous (AP) of .15, .25, .35, and .45% were fed continuously from 26 to 74 weeks of age. Concurrently, diets containing .45, .35, and .25% AP or .35, .25, and .15% AP were "phase fed" during the age intervals of 26 to 42, 42 to 54, and 54 to 74 weeks, respectively. Diets used were corn-soybean diets in which the phosphorous was varied by changing the level of dicalcium phosphate in the ration. Under the conditions of this experiment, hens required a minimum of .25% AP for best egg production, feed consumption, and body weight gain. The AP levels above .35% depressed shell thickness. In a phase-feeding program, when the last phase corresponds with the summer season, AP should not go below .25% for best performance. PMID:4022909

  10. Specific characteristics of the aviary housing system affect plumage condition, mortality and production in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Heerkens, Jasper L T; Delezie, Evelyne; Kempen, Ine; Zoons, Johan; Ampe, Bart; Rodenburg, T Bas; Tuyttens, Frank A M

    2015-09-01

    Feather pecking and high mortality levels are significant welfare problems in non-cage housing systems for laying hens. The aim of this study was to identify husbandry-related risk factors for feather damage, mortality, and egg laying performance in laying hens housed in the multi-tier non-cage housing systems known as aviaries. Factors tested included type of system flooring, degree of red mite infestation, and access to free-range areas. Information on housing characteristics, management, and performance in Belgian aviaries (N=47 flocks) were obtained from a questionnaire, farm records, and farm visits. Plumage condition and pecking wounds were scored in 50 randomly selected 60-week-old hens per flock. Associations between plumage condition, wounds, performance, mortality, and possible risk factors were investigated using a linear model with a stepwise model selection procedure. Many flocks exhibited a poor plumage condition and a high prevalence of wounds, with considerable variation between flocks. Better plumage condition was found in wire mesh aviaries (P<0.001), in aviaries with no red mite infestation (P=0.004), and in free-range systems (P=0.011) compared to plastic slatted aviaries, in houses with red mite infestations, and those without a free-range area. Furthermore, hens in aviaries with wire mesh flooring had fewer wounds on the back (P=0.006) and vent (P=0.009), reduced mortality (P=0.003), and a better laying performance (P=0.013) as compared to hens in aviaries with plastic slatted flooring. Flocks with better feather cover had lower levels of mortality (P<0.001). Red mite infestations were more common in plastic slatted aviaries (P=0.043). Other risk factors associated with plumage condition were genotype, number of diet changes, and the presence of nest perches. Wire mesh flooring in particular seems to have several health, welfare, and performance benefits in comparison to plastic slats, possibly related to decreased feather pecking, better

  11. The effects of water deprivation on the behavior of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Rault, Jean-Loup; Cree, Shelby; Hemsworth, Paul

    2016-03-01

    Freedom from thirst is one of the most undeniable welfare requirements. Nevertheless, the welfare implication of water deprivation because of a particular situation (e.g., transport) or as an involuntary consequence (e.g., sick, injured, or subordinate animals) remains unclear. This experiment investigated the behavioral changes in laying hens following various durations of water deprivation by using a motivation test based on passing through a narrow, vertical gap to access water. Twenty laying hens were subjected to water deprivation for various durations (0, 12, 18, 24, or 32 h) and the cost of access was varied by changing the width of the vertical gap (150, 135, 120, or 100 mm) to access the water side of the testing cage. An incomplete randomized block design was used with two tests per hen per wk for 5 wk. The testing apparatus was identical to their home cage but with two cages connected through an adjustable vertical gap and a drinker on the other side. Hens spent more time in the control side rather than the water side at 100 mm compared to 120 mm (P = 0.03). The hens' willingness to pass through a narrow vertical gap in order to access water did not vary according to the duration of water deprivation. Nonetheless, water-deprivation duration had a marked effect on the hens' location and behavior. Hens spent more time in the vicinity of the drinker at 18, 24, and 32 h compared to 0 and 12 h (P < 0.05). Hens spent more time drinking at 24 h and 32 h, followed by 18, 12, and finally 0 h (P < 0.05). Drinking latency and frequency were higher for all water-deprivation durations as compared to the 0 h control (P < 0.05). Water deprivation can be characterized by behavioral changes such as drinking duration, reaching a plateau at 24 h. Complementary physiological data are warranted to fully assess the impact of water deprivation on hen welfare. PMID:26628345

  12. Ivermectin Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, and Tissue/Egg Residue Profiles in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Laura; Dominguez, Paula; Farias, Cristina; Canton, Lucila; Virkel, Guillermo; Maté, Laura; Ceballos, Laura; Lanusse, Carlos; Alvarez, Luis

    2015-12-01

    The goals were to determine the ivermectin (IVM) plasma pharmacokinetics, tissue and egg residue profiles, and in vitro metabolism in laying hens. Experiments conducted were (1) 8 hens were intravenously treated with IVM and blood samples taken; (2) 88 hens were treated with IVM administered daily in water (5 days) (40 were kept and their daily eggs collected; 48 were sacrificed in groups (n = 8) at different times and tissue samples taken and analyzed); (3) IVM biotransformation was studied in liver microsomes. Pharmacokinetic parameters were AUC = 85.1 ng·day/mL, Vdss = 4.43 L/kg, and T1/2el = 1.73 days. Low IVM tissue residues were quantified with the highest measured in liver and skin+fat. IVM residues were not found in egg white, but significant amounts were quantified in yolk. Residues measured in eggs were greater than some MRL values, suggesting that a withdrawal period would be necessary for eggs after IVM use in laying hens. PMID:26553292

  13. Effect of dietary defatted diatom biomass on egg production and quality of laying hens

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study was to determine if feeding laying hens with defatted diatom microalgal biomass (DFA) from biofuel production affected their egg production and health status. Methods Five replicates of 5 individually caged ISA Babcock White leghorn hens were fed 4 diets, including a corn-soybean meal control diet, a diet containing 7.5% DFA substituting for soybean meal, and diets containing 7.5% or 15% DFA substituting for corn and soybean meal. Body weights, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), rate of egg production, egg size, egg mass, and several characteristics of eggs were determined at 4 and 8 wk. Venous blood was sampled at 4 and 8 wk for measurement of 5 biomarkers of health. Results The 15% DFA diet decreased (P < 0.05) feed intake, egg production, and plasma uric acid concentrations as compared with the control diet, but increased (P < 0.05) egg albumen weight and height compared with the 7.5% DFA diets. The two levels of DFA produced dose-dependent (P < 0.05) changes in three color measures of egg yolk, without affecting four hen plasma biochemical indicators of health. Conclusions Feeding laying hens with 7.5% DFA in the corn-soybean meal diet for 8 wk had no adverse effect on their health, egg production, or egg quality, but 15% inclusion reduced feed intake, egg production, and efficiency of feed utilization. PMID:24401600

  14. Restriction of cadmium transfer to eggs from laying hens exposed to cadmium

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, Shin; Okabe, Masashi; Emoto, Tadasu

    1997-09-01

    The transfer of Cd to eggs of white Leghorn laying hens has been shown to be restricted. After Cd was injected ip into laying hens, the Cd concentrations in the blood, livers, ovaries, and eggs were measured, Although the Cd concentrations in the maternal blood and livers increased remarkably at certain levels of administrations, the Cd concentration in the yolks of eggs was not significantly increased, and was less than 0.04 {mu}g/g wet weight. After egg production stopped in the highest injected group (7.5 mg Cd/kg), Cd in the yolks of eggs had an accumulated range of 0.02-0.03 {mu}g/g wet weight. This was despite the high Cd accumulation in the liver. Furthermore, the Cd concentration in the follicle walls of the ovary increased and was 13- to 52-fold higher than in the follicle yolks. An additional experiment was conducted in order to estimate whether hatching success is affected by the Cd in the laid eggs of Cd-injected laying hens, The ratio of hatching success in the 0.3 or 1.2 {mu}g Cd/egg-injected groups was similar to that in the saline- injected group, indicating that a small amount of Cd in the eggs might exert no marked influence on the hatching success. In conclusion, Cd transfer from laying hen to eggs was restricted after the maternal bird was exposed to Cd. Furthermore, Cd accumulates in the follicle walls of ovary. These results suggest that the follicle walls might play a role in protecting the follicle yolks against Cd toxicity. 22 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  15. A survey on the occurrence of ochratoxin A in feeds for swine and laying hens.

    PubMed

    Martins, H Marina; Almeida, Inês; Camacho, Carolina; Costa, José M; Bernardo, Fernando

    2012-05-01

    Results of a 2-year (2009-2010) survey on the occurrence of ochratoxin A (OTA) in swine feed and in feed for laying hens in Portugal are reported. A total of 664 samples (478 swine feed, 186 feed for laying hens) were analyzed by a HPLC method using fluorescence detection with 2 μg kg(-1) as detection limit. In swine feed, 31 samples (6.49%) were positive for OTA. In feed for laying hens, 12 samples (6.45%) were OTA-positive. The average levels of contamination were low, with median values of positive samples at 3-4 μg kg(-1) in both years and both commodities, although a few samples contained exceptionally high levels (maximum 130 μg kg(-1)). Only the maximum level sample (swine feed) contained OTA at a concentration exceeding the European Commission guidance value. The remaining OTA concentrations found in feed samples were much lower than the guidance values. PMID:23606048

  16. Influence of Zeolite on fatty acid composition and egg quality in Tunisian Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The health benefits of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are generally recognized. Unfortunately, in most Mediterranean countries, the recommended daily intake of these compounds is rarely met. Therefore, enrichment of commonly occurring foods can boost intake of these fatty acids. In this regard, eggs are an interesting target, as they form an integral part of the diet. Result Zeolite (Clinoptilolites) was added to Laying Hens feed at concentrations 1% or 2% and was evaluated for its effects on performance of the production and on egg quality. The Laying Hens were given access to 110 g of feed mixtures daily that was either a basal diet or a ‘zeolite diet’ (the basal diet supplemented with clinoptilolite at a level of 1% or 2%). It was found that zeolite treatment had a positive and significatif (p < 0.05) effect on some parameters that were measured like egg height and eggshell strength. While dietary zeolite supplementation tended to/or has no significant effects on total egg, eggshell, yolk and albumen weights. It was found also that zeolite mainly increases level of polyunsaturated fatty acids in egg. Conclusion This study showed the significance of using zeolite, as a feed additive for Laying Hens, as part of a comprehensive program to control egg quality and to increase level of polyunsaturated fatty acids on egg. PMID:22676421

  17. Biological and economic optimum level of calcium in White Leghorn laying hens.

    PubMed

    Castillo, C; Cuca, M; Pro, A; González, M; Morales, E

    2004-06-01

    Calcium is important in eggshell formation; inadequate levels in the diet of laying hens may affect shell quality and egg production. An experiment with 250 Leghorn Hy-Line W-98 hens was conducted to evaluate 5 dietary Ca levels (2.96, 3.22, 3.83, 4.31, and 4.82%) in 3 laying periods. The evaluated variables were egg production (EP), egg mass (EM), average daily feed intake (ADFI), feed conversion (FC), and specific gravity (SG). The biological optimum level (BOL) of Ca for maximum egg production and specific gravity, and the economic optimum level (EOL) to maximize profits were calculated. There was no interaction between Ca level and laying period. The results show that the Ca level of the diet (P < 0.05) affected the intake of this nutrient (3.34, 3.68, 4.26, 4.89, and 5.39 g bird/day), ADFI (113, 114, 111, 113, and 111 g bird/day), and SG (1.080, 1.081, 1.082, 1.083, and 1.083). As the hens aged, EP and SG diminished (P < 0.05). BOL for maximum EP and SG were 4.34 and 4.62%, and EOL was 4.38%. PMID:15206611

  18. Testosterone antagonist (flutamide) blocks ovulation and preovulatory surges of progesterone, luteinizing hormone and oestradiol in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Rangel, P L; Sharp, P J; Gutierrez, C G

    2006-06-01

    The preovulatory release of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the domestic hen occurs after the initiation of a preovulatory surge of testosterone. The objective of this study was to determine whether this testosterone surge has functional significance in the endocrine control of ovulation. Groups of laying hens (n = 10-22) were treated with the androgen receptor antagonist, flutamide, at 8 h intervals for 24 h at doses of 0, 31.25, 62.5, 125 and 250 mg. All doses reduced egg laying (P < 0.001), with the highest dose being the most effective. In a second study, laying hens (n = 9) were treated with 250 mg flutamide at 8 h intervals for 24 h with a control group being given placebo (n = 10). Blood samples were taken for hormone measurements at 2 h intervals for 18 h starting 4 h before the onset of darkness. The percentage of hens laying per day did not differ between groups before treatment (control, 88% vs flutamide, 86%). Ovulation was blocked in all hens treated with flutamide within 2 days while the control hens continued to lay at the pretreatment rate (80%). Preovulatory surges of plasma testosterone, progesterone, oestradiol and LH were observed in control hens but with the exception of testosterone, flutamide treatment blocked the progesterone, oestradiol and LH surges. LH concentrations declined progressively with time in the flutamide-treated hens. It is concluded that inhibition of testosterone action blocks egg laying and the preovulatory surges of progesterone, luteinizing hormone and oestradiol demonstrating a key role for the preovulatory release of testosterone in the endocrine control of ovulation in the domestic hen. PMID:16735550

  19. Impact of commercial housing systems and nutrient and energy intake on laying hen performance and egg quality parameters.

    PubMed

    Karcher, D M; Jones, D R; Abdo, Z; Zhao, Y; Shepherd, T A; Xin, H

    2015-03-01

    The US egg industry is exploring alternative housing systems for laying hens. However, limited published research related to cage-free aviary systems and enriched colony cages exists related to production, egg quality, and hen nutrition. The laying hen's nutritional requirements and resulting productivity are well established with the conventional cage system, but diminutive research is available in regards to alternative housing systems. The restrictions exist with limited availability of alternative housing systems in research settings and the considerable expense for increased bird numbers in a replicate due to alternative housing system design. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of nutrient and energy intake on production and egg quality parameters from laying hens housed at a commercial facility. Lohmann LSL laying hens were housed in three systems: enriched colony cage, cage-free aviary, and conventional cage at a single commercial facility. Daily production records were collected along with dietary changes during 15 production periods (28-d each). Eggs were analyzed for shell strength, shell thickness, Haugh unit, vitelline membrane properties, and egg solids each period. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) coupled with a principal components analysis (PCA) approach was utilized to assess the impact of nutritional changes on production parameters and monitored egg quality factors. The traits of hen-day production and mortality had a response only in the PCA 2 direction. This finds that as house temperature and Met intake increases, there is an inflection point at which hen-day egg production is negatively effected. Dietary changes more directly influenced shell parameters, vitelline membrane parameters, and egg total solids as opposed to laying hen housing system. Therefore, further research needs to be conducted in controlled research settings on laying hen nutrient and energy intake in the alternative housing systems

  20. Impact of commercial housing systems and nutrient and energy intake on laying hen performance and egg quality parameters1

    PubMed Central

    Karcher, D. M.; Jones, D. R.; Abdo, Z.; Zhao, Y.; Shepherd, T. A.; Xin, H.

    2015-01-01

    The US egg industry is exploring alternative housing systems for laying hens. However, limited published research related to cage-free aviary systems and enriched colony cages exists related to production, egg quality, and hen nutrition. The laying hen's nutritional requirements and resulting productivity are well established with the conventional cage system, but diminutive research is available in regards to alternative housing systems. The restrictions exist with limited availability of alternative housing systems in research settings and the considerable expense for increased bird numbers in a replicate due to alternative housing system design. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of nutrient and energy intake on production and egg quality parameters from laying hens housed at a commercial facility. Lohmann LSL laying hens were housed in three systems: enriched colony cage, cage-free aviary, and conventional cage at a single commercial facility. Daily production records were collected along with dietary changes during 15 production periods (28-d each). Eggs were analyzed for shell strength, shell thickness, Haugh unit, vitelline membrane properties, and egg solids each period. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) coupled with a principal components analysis (PCA) approach was utilized to assess the impact of nutritional changes on production parameters and monitored egg quality factors. The traits of hen-day production and mortality had a response only in the PCA 2 direction. This finds that as house temperature and Met intake increases, there is an inflection point at which hen-day egg production is negatively effected. Dietary changes more directly influenced shell parameters, vitelline membrane parameters, and egg total solids as opposed to laying hen housing system. Therefore, further research needs to be conducted in controlled research settings on laying hen nutrient and energy intake in the alternative housing systems

  1. Effect of expanded cottonseed meal on laying performance, egg quality, concentrations of free gossypol in tissue, serum and egg of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Chao; Song, Hua-Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Yun; Jiang, Yuan-Jing; Zhang, Ai-Ting; Azzam, Mahmoud Mostafa; Zou, Xiao-Ting

    2014-05-01

    Three hundred and sixty Hy-Line Brown hens, 40 week of age, were allocated to five treatments, each of which included four replicates of 18 hens. After an expanded process of cottonseed meal (CSM), free gossypol content in CSM was decreased from 1.24 to 0.40 g/kg. The dietary treatments were corn-soybean meal based diets including 6% CSM and 6%, 8% and 10% expanded cottonseed meal (ECSM). Hens fed 8% ECSM had higher (P<0.05) laying rate and average egg weight than those fed 6% CSM. The albumen height and Haugh unit in the control group, 6% and 8% ECSM groups were superior (P<0.05) to other treatments. Hens fed 6% CSM resulted in severe (P<0.05) egg yolk discoloration. Free gossypol (FG) concentrations in yolk and albumen and tissues of the 6% CSM group were greater (P<0.05) than those in any ECSM treatments. Hens fed 6% CSM and 10% ECSM had the highest (P<0.05) FG concentrations in the liver compared with those in the kidney and muscle, and higher (P<0.05) FG residues in yolk than those in albumen. In conclusion, FG in CSM can be reduced by 68% through an expanded process and ECSM can be available in laying hens at up to 10% of the total diet and an appropriate replacement of soybean meal with ECSM may improve performance in laying hens. PMID:24428132

  2. Ovarian laying hen follicular maturation and in vitro Salmonella internalization.

    PubMed

    Howard, Z R; Moore, R W; Zabala-Diaz, I B; Landers, K L; Byrd, J A; Kubena, L F; Nisbet, D J; Birkhold, S G; Ricke, S C

    2005-06-15

    Transovarian transmission of paratyphoid Salmonella is well documented and occurs at a low incidence in chickens. However, the exact mechanism of follicular invasion is not well understood. The following study investigates the ability of Salmonella to invade ovarian follicles at different stages of follicular maturity in vitro. Ovarian follicles were collected from Leghorn hens and separated into three stages of maturity: (1) large yellow follicles or F follicles (LYF), (2) small yellow follicles (SYF), and (3) small white follicles (SWF). All follicles were incubated at 37 degrees C in RPMI 1640 medium. Follicles were incubated with 1 x 10(6) CFU/mL of Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella enteritidis sensitive to gentamicin for 2 h. Samples were then removed from the bacterial culture, and placed in medium containing gentamicin sulfate for 5 h to kill any S. typhimurium or S. enteritidis, which had not invaded the follicular membrane. After the 5 h incubation, follicles were stomached in phosphate buffered saline. Serial dilutions were made of each follicle and viable S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis cells were enumerated on brilliant green agar. Two identical trials were conducted. Data suggest that Salmonella may differentially invade ovarian follicles depending on maturity of the follicle, and that SWF may be more susceptible to S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis invasion than either the SYF or the LYF. PMID:15917137

  3. Incidence, Severity, and Welfare Implications of Lesions Observed Postmortem in Laying Hens from Commercial Noncage Farms in California and Iowa.

    PubMed

    Kajlich, Anya S; Shivaprasad, H L; Trampel, Darrell W; Hill, Ashley E; Parsons, Rebecca L; Millman, Suzanne T; Mench, Joy A

    2016-03-01

    The egg industry is moving away from the use of conventional cages to enriched cage and noncage laying hen housing systems because of animal welfare concerns. In this study, the prevalence and severity of lesions in noncage laying hens from commercial farms in two of the largest egg-producing states, California and Iowa, were evaluated by postmortem examination. Hens that died or were culled were collected during early, mid, and late stages of the laying cycle from 16 houses on three farms. Of the 25 gross lesions identified for study, 22 were observed, with an average of four lesions per hen. Vent cannibalism, reduced feather cover, keel bone deformation, and beak abnormalities were the most frequent lesions, observed in ≥40% of hens. Other common lesions were cloacal prolapse (30.5%), footpad dermatitis (24.3%), and septicemia (23.1%). Beak abnormality and enteric disease had the highest proportion of severe lesions. Pearson chi-square analysis revealed a number of stage-of-lay effects (P ≤ 0.05), some of which differed by state. For both states combined, the lesions observed more frequently during early lay were beak abnormalities, northern fowl mite infestation, and cage layer fatigue, whereas during mid lay, they were poor feather cover, vent cannibalism, footpad dermatitis, keel bone deformation, respiratory disease and roundworms. Feather pecking and cloacal prolapse were most common during late lay. Although differences in hen genetics, farm management practices, and environmental factors could all have affected the results of this study, the information provides a better understanding of hen health in noncage housing systems and could help to identify potential interventions to reduce hen welfare problems. PMID:26953938

  4. Relationship of Salmonella infection and inflammatory intestinal response with hematological and serum biochemical values in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Soria, Mario Alberto; Bonnet, María Agustina; Bueno, Dante Javier

    2015-06-15

    There are few studies about the blood serum of laying hens infected with Salmonella. The differential leukocyte count and blood chemistry values are an important aid in the diagnosis of human diseases, but blood parameters in the avian species are not well known. On the other hand, invasive forms of bacterial gastroenteritis, like Salmonella, often cause intestinal inflammation so this study was undertaken to find a biomarker of Salmonella infection and inflammatory intestinal response in the hematological or serum biochemical parameters in laying hens. Furthermore, we evaluated the association of some farm characteristics with Salmonella infection and fecal leukocytes (FL). A fecal sample with at least one fecal leukocyte per field was considered positive for inflammatory intestinal response. False positive serum reactions for Salmonella infection, by serum plate agglutination (SPA) test, were reduced by heating the sample to 56°C for 30 min and then diluting it 5-fold. The range of hematological and biochemical parameter values was very wide, in addition, there was a poor agreement between the SPA and FL results. Comparison of the positive and negative samples in SPA and FL showed that 1.3% and 79.8% of the laying hens were positive and negative in both tests, respectively. Hens with a positive SPA result showed a higher percentage of monocytes than those with a negative SPA result. Hens with a positive FL test had a higher percentage of heterophils, ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes and aspartate aminotransferase values, while the percentage of lymphocytes was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those with a negative FL test. The risk of Salmonella infection increased when the age of laying hens and the number of hens per poultry house was greater than or equal to 18 months old and 10,000 laying hens, compared to less than 18 months old and 10,000 laying hens, respectively. On the other hand, the risk of inflammatory intestinal response was higher in laying

  5. Soft Perches in an Aviary System Reduce Incidence of Keel Bone Damage in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Stratmann, Ariane; Fröhlich, Ernst K. F.; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Schrader, Lars; Toscano, Michael J.; Würbel, Hanno; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G.

    2015-01-01

    Keel bone fractures and deviations are one of the major welfare and health issues in commercial laying hens. In non-cage housing systems like aviaries, falls and collisions with perches and other parts of the housing system are assumed to be one of the main causes for the high incidence of keel bone damage. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effectiveness of a soft perch material to reduce keel bone fractures and deviations in white (Dekalb White) and brown laying hens (ISA Brown) kept in an aviary system under commercial conditions. In half of 20 pens, all hard, metal perches were covered with a soft polyurethane material. Palpation of 20 hens per pen was conducted at 18, 21, 23, 30, 38, 44 and 64 weeks of age. Production data including egg laying rate, floor eggs, mortality and feed consumption were collected over the whole laying period. Feather condition and body mass was assessed twice per laying period. The results revealed that pens with soft perches had a reduced number of keel bone fractures and deviations. Also, an interaction between hybrid and age indicated that the ISA hybrid had more fractured keel bones and fewer non-damaged keel bones compared with the DW hybrid at 18 weeks of age, a response that was reversed at the end of the experiment. This is the first study providing evidence for the effectiveness of a soft perch material within a commercial setting. Due to its compressible material soft perches are likely to absorb kinetic energy occurring during collisions and increase the spread of pressure on the keel bone during perching, providing a mechanism to reduce keel bone fractures and deviations, respectively. In combination with genetic selection for more resilient bones and new housing design, perch material is a promising tool to reduce keel bone damage in commercial systems. PMID:25811980

  6. Continual feeding of two types of microalgal biomass affected protein digestion and metabolism in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Ekmay, R D; Chou, K; Magnuson, A; Lei, X G

    2015-01-01

    A 14-wk study was conducted to determine the nutritional efficacy and ssmetabolic impact of 2 types of microalgal biomass as alternative protein sources in laying hen diets. Shaver hens (total = 150 and 26 wk old) were fed 1 of 5 diets: a control or a defatted green microalgal biomass (DG; Desmodesmus spp.) at 25% and a full-fatted diatom biomass (FD; Staurosira spp.) at 11.7% inclusion with or without protease. This experiment consisted of 5 replicates per treatment and each replicate contained 6 hens individually reared in cages (1 hen for biochemical data/replicate). Despite decreased ADFI (P = 0.03), hens fed DG or FD had final BW, overall hen-day egg production, and egg quality similar to the controls. Feeding DG or FD did not alter plasma concentrations of insulin, glutamine, and uric acid or alkaline phosphatase activity at wk 8 or 14 but decreased plasma 3-methyhistine concentrations (P = 0.03) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activities (P < 0.001) at wk 14 and improved (P = 0.002) ileal total AA digestibility. Although DG or FD exhibited moderate effects on intestinal brush border protease activities and mRNA levels of duodenal transporters Pept1, Lat1, and Cat1, both substantially enhanced (P < 0.05) phosphorylation of hepatic protein synthesis key regulator S6 ribosomal protein (S6) and the ratio of phospho-S6 to S6 in the liver of hens. However, DG and FD manifested with different impacts on weights of egg and egg albumen, proteolytic activity of jejunal digesta, plasma TRAP activity, ileal total AA digestibility, and several intestinal genes and hepatic proteins. Supplemental protease in the DG and FD diets produced mixed effects on a number of measures. In conclusion, our findings revealed the feasibility of including greater levels of microalgal biomass as a source of feed protein for laying hens and a novel potential of the biomass in improving dietary protein digestion and body protein metabolism than previously perceived. PMID

  7. Cage Versus Noncage Laying-Hen Housings: Respiratory Exposures.

    PubMed

    Arteaga, Veronica; Mitchell, Diane; Armitage, Tracey; Tancredi, Daniel; Schenker, Marc; Mitloehner, Frank

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the personal respiratory exposures of poultry workers in three different types of layer housing under commercial production conditions. Workers were randomly assigned to each of conventional cage, enriched cage, and aviary barns in a crossover repeated-measures design for three observation periods over the hens' lifetime. Inhalable and fine particulate matter (PM) and endotoxin in both size fractions were assessed by personal and area samplers over the work shift. Concentrations of inhalable PM, PM2.5 (PM with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm), and endotoxin in both size fractions were higher in aviary than either the conventional or enriched barns. Geometric means (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) of inhalable PM and endotoxin for the aviary, conventional, and enriched barns were 8.9 (6.8-11.5) mg/m(3) and 7517.9 (5403.2-10,460.2) EU/m(3), 3.7 (2.8-4.8) mg/m(3) and 1655.7 (1144.6-2395.2) EU/m(3), 2.4 (1.8-3.3) mg/m(3) and 1404.8 (983.3-2007.0) EU/m(3), respectively. Area samplers recorded a lower mean inhalable PM concentration and higher PM2.5 concentration than personal samplers. Ammonia concentrations were low throughout three monitoring seasons. These findings show that the aviary barns pose higher respiratory exposures to poultry workers than either conventional or enriched barns. PMID:26237714

  8. Cage Versus Noncage Laying-Hen Housings: Worker Respiratory Health.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Diane; Arteaga, Veronica; Armitage, Tracey; Mitloehner, Frank; Tancredi, Daniel; Kenyon, Nicholas; Schenker, Marc

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to compare respiratory health of poultry workers in conventional cage, enriched cage and aviary layer housing on a single commercial facility, motivated by changing requirements for humane housing of hens. Three workers were randomly assigned daily, one to each of conventional cage, enriched cage, and aviary housing in a crossover repeated-measures design for three observation periods (for a total of 123 worker-days, eight different workers). Workers' exposure to particles were assessed (Arteaga et al. J Agromedicine. 2015;20:this issue) and spirometry, exhaled nitric oxide, respiratory symptoms, and questionnaires were conducted pre- and post-shift. Personal exposures to particles and endotoxin were significantly higher in the aviary than the other housings (Arteaga et al., 2015). The use of respiratory protection was high; the median usage was 70% of the shift. Mixed-effects multivariate regression models of respiratory cross-shift changes were marginally significant, but the aviary system consistently posted the highest decrements for forced expiratory volume in 1 and 6 seconds (FEV1 and FEV6) compared with the enriched or conventional housing. The adjusted mean difference in FEV1 aviary - enriched cage housing was -47 mL/s, 95% confidence interval (CI): (-99 to 4.9), P = .07. Similarly, for FEV6, aviary - conventional housing adjusted mean difference was -52.9 mL/6 s, 95% CI: (-108 to 2.4), P = .06. Workers adopting greater than median use of respiratory protection were less likely to exhibit negative cross-shift pulmonary function changes. Although aviary housing exposed workers to significantly higher respiratory exposures, cross-shift pulmonary function changes did not differ significantly between houses. Higher levels of mask use were protective; poultry workers should wear respiratory protection as appropriate to avoid health decrements. PMID:26237715

  9. Prediction of the metabolizable energy requirements of free-range laying hens.

    PubMed

    Brainer, M M A; Rabello, C B V; Santos, M J B; Lopes, C C; Ludke, J V; Silva, J H V; Lima, R A

    2016-01-01

    This experiment was conducted with the aim of estimating the ME requirements of free-range laying hens for maintenance, weight gain, and egg production. These experiments were performed to develop an energy requirement prediction equation by using the comparative slaughter technique and the total excreta collection method. Regression equations were used to relate the energy intake, the energy retained in the body and eggs, and the heat production of the hens. These relationships were used to determine the daily ME requirement for maintenance, the efficiency energy utilization above the requirements for maintenance, and the NE requirement for maintenance. The requirement for weight gain was estimated from the energy content of the carcass, and the diet's efficiency energy utilization was determined from the weight gain, which was measured during weekly slaughter. The requirement for egg production was estimated by considering the energy content of the eggs and the efficiency of energy deposition in the eggs. The requirement and efficiency energy utilization for maintenance were 121.8 kcal ME/(kg∙d)and 0.68, respectively. Similarly, the NE requirement for maintenance was 82.4 kcal ME/(kg∙d), and the efficiency energy utilization above maintenance was 0.61. Because the carcass body weight and energy did not increase during the trial, the weight gain could not be estimated. The requirements for egg production requirement and efficiency energy utilization for egg production were 2.48 kcal/g and 0.61, respectively. The following energy prediction equation for free-range laying hens (without weight gain) was developed: ME /(hen ∙ d) = 121.8 × W + 2.48 × EM, in which W = body weight (kg) and EM = egg mass (g/[hen ∙ d]). PMID:26812318

  10. Effects of beta-mannanase in corn-soybean meal diets on laying hen performance.

    PubMed

    Jackson, M E; Fodge, D W; Hsiao, H Y

    1999-12-01

    Recently, a patented enzyme product (beta-Mannanase, Hemicell) has been shown to improve feed conversion in corn-soybean diets fed to broilers and swine. The mechanism of beta-Mannanase is to degrade beta-mannan, which is an antinutritional factor existing in many legumes, including soybean and canola meals. The objective of this study was to determine whether or not performance can be improved by including beta-Mannanase in diets of commercial laying hens, 18 through 66 wk of age. A 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments was employed. There were two energy sequences of 2,926-2,907-2,885 and 2,827-2,808-2,786 kcal ME/kg, which changed at 33 and 43 wk of age respectively; two dietary enzyme levels (0 and 110 units/g); and two Hy-Line strains (W36 and W77). Hen-day production, hen-housed production, BW, feed intake, mortality, egg weight, and specific gravity data were collected biweekly. Data were analyzed in four cycles (each with six 2-wk periods) and also for the whole experiment. beta-Mannanase increased egg weight from 51.4 to 51.7 g/egg (P < 0.05) in the first 12-wk cycle. This effect was consistent across energy levels. beta-Mannanase significantly improved hen-day and hen-housed production after the first cycle. Hen-day production of the beta-Mannanase group was 0.70, 1.07, and 1.5% greater than the control for cycles two, three, and four, respectively (P < 0.01). After 30 wk of age, average hen-day production of hens fed the low-energy diets with beta-Mannanase was similar or superior to that of hens fed the high-energy diets without the enzyme. The study indicates that beta-Mannanase is capable of increasing egg weight in commercial layers at early stages of production, and increasing egg production, particularly delaying the postpeak decline in productivity. PMID:10626649

  11. [Degree of synchronous feeding behavior of two types of laying hybrid hens in battery cages with a feeder space of 12 cm per hen].

    PubMed

    Knierim, U

    2000-11-01

    There is a considerable lack of scientific evidence on the necessary feeder space with respect to the legal requirement that all hens of one battery cage must be able to feed simultaneously. Moreover it is likely that hens from different lines, differing in weight and width, have different space needs at the feeding trough. In order to ascertain the degree of simultaneous feeding in two types of laying hybrids with different weights, feeding activity was recorded in 29 cages, populated with four hens each with a feeder space of 12 cm per hen. Recordings took place over 6 days at seven feeding times under ad libitum feeding conditions. In all cages, the lighter and apparently slimmer LSL-hens (Lohmann Selected Leghorn, white) were able to feed simultaneously. However, for the somewhat heavier and apparently broader LT-hens (Lohmann Tradition, brown) this could not be observed in two of 16 cages. Nevertheless, was the average proportion of cages higher in LT-hens in which synchronous feeding of all hens could be noted at least once within each 30 minutes observation period. These were 35% of cages (LT) compared to 18% in LSL-hens (p < 0.001). Therefore, not only the physical space needs, but also possible differences in social and feeding behaviour may affect synchrony in different lines. In general, the proportion of observation time with simultaneous feeding was low (3.3% in LT, 1.7% in LSL, n.s.). As there are no comparable figures available for different feeder space allowances from the literature, an assessment of the presented data is not possible. Investigations on the synchrony of feeding behaviour in small groups of laying hens under varying environmental conditions and in different layer lines should be continued. PMID:11153232

  12. A Screen-Peck Task for Investigating Cognitive Bias in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Deakin, Amanda; Browne, William J; Hodge, James J L; Paul, Elizabeth S; Mendl, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Affect-induced cognitive judgement biases occur in both humans and animals. Animals in a more negative affective state tend to interpret ambiguous cues more negatively than animals in a more positive state and vice versa. Investigating animals' responses to ambiguous cues can therefore be used as a proxy measure of affective state. We investigated laying hens' responses to ambiguous stimuli using a novel cognitive bias task. In the 'screen-peck' task, hens were trained to peck a high/low saturation orange circle presented on a computer screen (positive cue-P) to obtain a mealworm reward, and to not peck when the oppositely saturated orange circle was presented (negative cue-N) to avoid a one second air puff. Ambiguous cues were orange circles of intermediate saturation between the P and N cue (near-positive-NP; middle-M; near-negative-NN), and were unrewarded. Cue pecking showed a clear generalisation curve from P through NP, M, NN to N suggesting that hens were able to associate colour saturation with reward or punishment, and could discriminate between stimuli that were more or less similar to learnt cues. Across six test sessions, there was no evidence for extinction of pecking responses to ambiguous cues. We manipulated affective state by changing temperature during testing to either ~20°C or ~29°C in a repeated measures cross-over design. Hens have been shown to prefer temperatures in the higher range and hence we assumed that exposure to the higher temperature would induce a relatively positive affective state. Hens tested under warmer conditions were significantly more likely to peck the M probe than those tested at cooler temperatures suggesting that increased temperature in the ranges tested here may have some positive effect on hens, inducing a positive cognitive bias. PMID:27410229

  13. Hormonal regulation of medullary bone metabolism in the laying hen

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, J.R.

    1987-01-01

    A new organ culture system for the study of bone formation has been developed using medullary bone, a non-structural, metabolically active form of bone which is found in the marrow cavities of egg-laying birds. In the presence of fetal calf serum, bone explants were viable in culture by morphological criteria, and retained large numbers of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Incorporation of /sup 3/H-proline into collagenase-digestible protein (CDP) and non-collagen protein (NCP) was determined using purified bacterial collagenase. Collagen accounted for over 10% of the total protein labeled. The calcium-regulating hormones, parathyroid hormone and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), caused a dose-dependent inhibition of /sup 3/H-proline incorporation into CDP. The effective dose range of 1,25(OH)2D3 was 0.1 nM to 100 nM, while that of PTH was 1.0 nM to 100 nM. The effect of both hormones was specific for collagen, since /sup 3/H-proline incorporation into NCP was unaffected. Hydroxyproline analysis of bone explants and culture medium revealed that both hormones decreased the total hydroxyroline content of the cultures, suggesting that the inhibition of /sup 3/H-proline incorporation into DCP is due to inhibition of collagen synthesis.

  14. Effect of heat exposure on gene expression of feed intake regulatory peptides in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Song, Zhigang; Liu, Lei; Sheikhahmadi, Ardashir; Jiao, Hongchao; Lin, Hai

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper was to investigate the effect of heat stress on the regulation of appetite-associated genes in laying hens. Forty eight laying hens were randomly divided into two circumstances: high (31 ± 1.5°C; relative humidity, 82.0 ± 2.2%) or normal (20 ± 2°C, control; relative humidity, 60.1 ± 4.5%) ambient environment. Heat stress decreased body weight gain (P < 0.01), feed intake (P < 0.01), laying rate (P < 0.05), average egg mass (P < 0.01), egg production (P < 0.01), shell thickness (P < 0.01), and feed efficiency (P < 0.05). High ambient temperature decreased plasma uric acid (P < 0.05). Heat stress significantly increased mRNA levels of ghrelin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (P < 0.05) and decreased mRNA levels of cholecystokinin (P < 0.05) in the hypothalamus. Heat stress significantly increased (P < 0.05) mRNA levels of ghrelin in the glandular stomach and jejunum but significantly decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA levels of cholecystokinin in the duodenum and jejunum. In conclusion, heat stress plays a unique role in some special neuropeptides (e.g., ghrelin, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, and cholecystokinin), which might participate in the regulation of feed intake in laying hens under high ambient temperature. PMID:22619495

  15. Effect of Heat Exposure on Gene Expression of Feed Intake Regulatory Peptides in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zhigang; Liu, Lei; Sheikhahmadi, Ardashir; Jiao, Hongchao; Lin, Hai

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper was to investigate the effect of heat stress on the regulation of appetite-associated genes in laying hens. Forty eight laying hens were randomly divided into two circumstances: high (31 ± 1.5°C; relative humidity, 82.0 ± 2.2%) or normal (20 ± 2°C, control; relative humidity, 60.1 ± 4.5%) ambient environment. Heat stress decreased body weight gain (P < 0.01), feed intake (P < 0.01), laying rate (P < 0.05), average egg mass (P < 0.01), egg production (P < 0.01), shell thickness (P < 0.01), and feed efficiency (P < 0.05). High ambient temperature decreased plasma uric acid (P < 0.05). Heat stress significantly increased mRNA levels of ghrelin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (P < 0.05) and decreased mRNA levels of cholecystokinin (P < 0.05) in the hypothalamus. Heat stress significantly increased (P < 0.05) mRNA levels of ghrelin in the glandular stomach and jejunum but significantly decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA levels of cholecystokinin in the duodenum and jejunum. In conclusion, heat stress plays a unique role in some special neuropeptides (e.g., ghrelin, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, and cholecystokinin), which might participate in the regulation of feed intake in laying hens under high ambient temperature. PMID:22619495

  16. Early Life in a Barren Environment Adversely Affects Spatial Cognition in Laying Hens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Tahamtani, Fernanda M.; Nordgreen, Janicke; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; Janczak, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    Spatial cognition in vertebrates is adversely affected by a lack of environmental complexity during early life. However, to our knowledge, no previous studies have tested the effect of early exposure to varying degrees of environmental complexity on specific components of spatial cognition in chickens. There are two main rearing systems for laying hens in the EU: aviaries and cages. These two systems differ from one another in environmental complexity. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that rearing in a barren cage environment relative to a complex aviary environment causes long-lasting deficits in the ability to perform spatial tasks. For this purpose, 24 white Dekalb laying hens, half of which had been reared in an aviary system and the other half in a conventional cage system, were tested in a holeboard task. Birds from both treatment groups learnt the task; however, the cage-reared hens required more time to locate rewards and had poorer levels of working memory. The latter finding supports the hypothesis that rearing in a barren environment causes long-term impairment of short-term memory in chickens. PMID:26664932

  17. Effects of supplemental copper and chromium on the serum and egg traits of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lien, T F; Chen, K L; Wu, C P; Lu, J J

    2004-08-01

    1. This study investigated the effects of supplemental copper and chromium on the serum and egg traits of laying hens using 144 forty-five-week-old White Leghorn layers. The hens were randomly assigned into 9 groups to conduct this 3 copper (0, 125 and 250 mg/kg as copper sulphate) x 3 chromium (0, 800 and 1600 microg/kg as chromium picolinate) factorial trial. 2. Egg yolk cholesterol was significantly reduced by supplementary copper (Cu) and chromium (Cr) and there was an interaction between Cu and Cr supplementation. Egg production, egg weight, eggshell strength and eggshell thickness were not influenced by Cu or Cr supplementation. 3. Serum cholesterol concentration was decreased by Cu supplementation and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) was reduced markedly by both Cu and Cr. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) was significantly increased by Cu and Cr. Interaction occurred between Cu and Cr in the VLDL and HDL parameters. Supplmentary Cu also reduced VLDL-cholesterol (VLDL-C) and enhanced HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), while supplemental Cr had a contrary effect on these two parameters. 4. If minimum egg cholesterol content is the criterion, this study suggests that 125 mg/kg of Cu together with 800 to 1600 microg/kg of Cr provide adequate supplementary concentrations for laying hens. PMID:15484730

  18. Effect of prenatal temperature conditioning of laying hen embryos: Hatching, live performance and response to heat and cold stress during laying period.

    PubMed

    Kamanli, S; Durmuş, I; Yalçın, S; Yıldırım, U; Meral, Ö

    2015-07-01

    This study was designed to determine the effect of prenatal temperature conditioning on hatching and live performance of laying chickens, and response to heat and cold stress during laying period. A total of 3600 eggs obtained from ATAK-S brown parent stock were incubated at control (37.5°C, CONT-Inc), cyclic low (36.5°C/6h/d from 10 to 18d of incubation, LOW-Inc) or high (38.5°C/6h/d from 10-18d of incubation, HIGH-Inc) incubation temperatures. Hatched chicks per incubation temperature were reared under standard rearing conditions up to 26wk. From 27 to 30wk, hens from each incubation temperature were divided into 3 environmentally controlled rooms and reared at control (20±2°C, CONT-Room), low (12±2°C, COLDS) or high (32±2°C, HEATS) temperatures. Hatching performance, body weight, egg production, and plasma triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels and oxidant and antioxidant activities were evaluated. The highest hatchability was for LOW-Inc chicks while HIGH-Inc chick had similar hatchability to CONT-Inc. There was no effect of incubation temperatures on plasma MDA, GSH-Px, activities and T4 concentrations on day of hatch. LOW- Inc chicks had higher SOD activities and T3 concentrations compared to the other groups. Although chick weight was similar among incubation temperature groups, CONT-Inc chicks were heavier than those cyclic incubation temperature groups until 12wk of age. Incubation temperature had no effect on sexual maturity age and weight and egg production of laying hens. From 27 to 30wk, regardless of incubation temperature, HEATS hens lost weight from day 0 to 10, had the highest cloacal temperatures and lowest feed consumption and egg production while COLDS hens had the lowest cloacal temperatures. At day 5, T4 level was higher in LOW-Inc hens at COLDS but it was higher in HIGH-Inc hens at HEATS compared to CONT-Inc. These data may suggest a modification in thyroid activity of hens that were conditioned during the incubation period

  19. A coprological and serological survey for the prevalence of Ascaridia spp. in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Martín-Pacho, J R; Montoya, M N; Arangüena, T; Toro, C; Morchón, R; Marcos-Atxutegi, C; Simón, F

    2005-06-01

    Ascaridia galli is a common nematode found in the intestine of domesticated chickens. The objectives of the study were to conduct a coprological and serological survey on the prevalence of ascaridiosis in laying hens of commercial farms. The farms recently adopted a breeding programme, where the hens have access to outdoor pens. Different amounts of Ascaridia eggs were detected in five of seven studied farms, while the other two farms were found to be free from the parasite. Serological tests revealed a seroprevalence of 21.8% (range 7.6-95%). No positive serum samples were detected in the same farms with previous negative coprological analysis. Western blot analyses confirmed the results obtained by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. In four experimentally infected hens, a progressive increase of the IgG antibody levels was observed, surpassing the cut-off point established for ELISA test 6 weeks post-infection. Serological tests are able to detect the infection before the eggs of the parasite appear in the faeces of infected hens, providing a useful tool to detect infections with Ascaridia spp. in avian farms. PMID:16115098

  20. [Influence of chitosan feeding of laying hens on egg vitamin and cholesterol content].

    PubMed

    Vrzhesinskaia, O A; Filimonova, I V; Kodentsova, O V; Beketova, N A; Kodentsova, V M

    2005-01-01

    Chitosan feeding (10 and 20 mg per 1 kg body mass) of 19 week-age laying hens during 1.5 months caused a decrease in whole egg content of vitamin A for 13% and 20% (p < or = 0.05), vitamin E--for 30%, lutein--17% and didn't effect on vitamin B2 level. Chitosan intake lead to cholesterol content 1.5-2 fold decrease and didn't influence on egg yolk lipids concentration. Low dose chitosan-receiving hens had eggs with 1.8-fold increased egg yolk phospholipids level. The most optimal dose of chitosan for the improvement of eggs nutritive value was 10 mg. Under minimal loss in vitamins its administration lead to the pronounced cholesterol decrease and marked phospholipids elevation. PMID:16044838

  1. Rearing Laying Hens in Aviaries Reduces Fearfulness following Transfer to Furnished Cages.

    PubMed

    Brantsæter, Margrethe; Tahamtani, Fernanda M; Moe, Randi O; Hansen, Tone B; Orritt, Rachel; Nicol, Christine; Janczak, Andrew M

    2016-01-01

    Appropriate rearing is essential for ensuring the welfare and productivity of laying hens. Early experience has the potential to affect the development of fearfulness. This study tested whether rearing in aviaries, as opposed to cages, reduces the fearfulness of laying hens after transfer to furnished cages. Fear responses were recorded as avoidance of a novel object in the home cage. Lohmann Selected Leghorns were reared in an aviary system or conventional rearing cages and then transported to furnished cages at 16 weeks, before the onset of lay. Observations of a selection of birds were conducted at 19 (N = 50 independent cages) and 21 (N = 48 independent cages) weeks of age. At 19 and 21 weeks, cage-reared birds showed higher levels of fearfulness indicated by spending more time away from the novel object compared to aviary-reared birds. These results suggest that rearing in an enriched aviary environment reduces fearfulness up to the fifth week after transfer to a new housing system, compared to rearing in cages. PMID:26955634

  2. Rearing Laying Hens in Aviaries Reduces Fearfulness following Transfer to Furnished Cages

    PubMed Central

    Brantsæter, Margrethe; Tahamtani, Fernanda M.; Moe, Randi O.; Hansen, Tone B.; Orritt, Rachel; Nicol, Christine; Janczak, Andrew M.

    2016-01-01

    Appropriate rearing is essential for ensuring the welfare and productivity of laying hens. Early experience has the potential to affect the development of fearfulness. This study tested whether rearing in aviaries, as opposed to cages, reduces the fearfulness of laying hens after transfer to furnished cages. Fear responses were recorded as avoidance of a novel object in the home cage. Lohmann Selected Leghorns were reared in an aviary system or conventional rearing cages and then transported to furnished cages at 16 weeks, before the onset of lay. Observations of a selection of birds were conducted at 19 (N = 50 independent cages) and 21 (N = 48 independent cages) weeks of age. At 19 and 21 weeks, cage-reared birds showed higher levels of fearfulness indicated by spending more time away from the novel object compared to aviary-reared birds. These results suggest that rearing in an enriched aviary environment reduces fearfulness up to the fifth week after transfer to a new housing system, compared to rearing in cages. PMID:26955634

  3. Prediction of feather damage in laying hens using optical flows and Markov models

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyoung-joo; Roberts, Stephen J.; Drake, Kelly A.; Dawkins, Marian Stamp

    2011-01-01

    Feather pecking in laying hens is a major welfare and production problem for commercial egg producers, resulting in mortality, loss of production as well as welfare issues for the damaged birds. Damaging outbreaks of feather pecking are currently impossible to control, despite a number of proposed interventions. However, the ability to predict feather damage in advance would be a valuable research tool for identifying which management or environmental factors could be the most effective interventions at different ages. This paper proposes a framework for forecasting the damage caused by injurious pecking based on automated image processing and statistical analysis. By frame-by-frame analysis of video recordings of laying hen flocks, optical flow measures are calculated as indicators of the movement of the birds. From the optical flow datasets, measures of disturbance are extracted using hidden Markov models. Based on these disturbance measures and age-related variables, the levels of feather damage in flocks in future weeks is predicted. Applying the proposed method to real-world datasets, it is shown that the disturbance measures offer improved predictive values for feather damage thus enabling an identification of flocks with probable prevalence of damage and injury later in lay. PMID:20659929

  4. Acaricide Residues in Laying Hens Naturally Infested by Red Mite Dermanyssus gallinae

    PubMed Central

    Marangi, Marianna; Morelli, Vincenzo; Pati, Sandra; Camarda, Antonio; Cafiero, Maria Assunta; Giangaspero, Annunziata

    2012-01-01

    In the poultry industry, control of the red mite D. gallinae primarily relies worldwide on acaricides registered for use in agriculture or for livestock, and those most widely used are carbamates, followed by amidines, pyrethroids and organophosphates. Due to the repeated use of acaricides - sometimes in high concentrations - to control infestation, red mites may become resistant, and acaricides may accumulate in chicken organs and tissues, and also in eggs. To highlight some situations of misuse/abuse of chemicals and of risk to human health, we investigated laying hens, destined to the slaughterhouse, for the presence of acaricide residues in their organs and tissues. We used 45 hens from which we collected a total of 225 samples from the following tissues and organs: skin, fat, liver, muscle, hearth, and kidney. In these samples we analyzed the residual contents of carbaryl and permethrin by LC-MS/MS. Ninety-one (40.4%) samples were positive to carbaryl and four samples (1.7%) were positive to permethrin. Concentrations of carbaryl exceeding the detection limit (0.005 ppm) were registered in the skin and fat of birds from two farms (p<0.01), although these concentrations remained below the maximum residue limit (MRLs) (0.05 ppm) (p<0.01). All organs/tissues of hens from a third farm were significantly more contaminated, with skin and muscle samples exceeding the MRL (0.05 ppm) (p<0.01) of carbaryl in force before its use was banned. Out of 45 chickens tested, 37 (82.2%) were found to be contaminated by carbaryl, and 4 (8.8%) by permethrin. The present study is the first report on the presence of pesticides banned by the EU (carbaryl) or not licensed for use (permethrin) in the organs and tissues of laying hens, which have been treated against red mites, and then slaughtered for human consumption at the end of their life cycle. PMID:22363736

  5. Parents and Early Life Environment Affect Behavioral Development of Laying Hen Chickens

    PubMed Central

    de Haas, Elske N.; Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth; Kemp, Bas; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Rodenburg, T. Bas

    2014-01-01

    Severe feather pecking (SFP) in commercial laying hens is a maladaptive behavior which is associated with anxiety traits. Many experimental studies have shown that stress in the parents can affect anxiety in the offspring, but until now these effects have been neglected in addressing the problem of SFP in commercially kept laying hens. We therefore studied whether parental stock (PS) affected the development of SFP and anxiety in their offspring. We used flocks from a brown and white genetic hybrid because genetic background can affect SFP and anxiety. As SFP can also be influenced by housing conditions on the rearing farm, we included effects of housing system and litter availability in the analysis. Forty-seven rearing flocks, originating from ten PS flocks were followed. Behavioral and physiological parameters related to anxiety and SFP were studied in the PS at 40 weeks of age and in the rearing flocks at one, five, ten and fifteen weeks of age. We found that PS had an effect on SFP at one week of age and on anxiety at one and five weeks of age. In the white hybrid, but not in the brown hybrid, high levels of maternal corticosterone, maternal feather damage and maternal whole-blood serotonin levels showed positive relations with offsprings’ SFP at one week and offsprings’ anxiety at one and five weeks of age. Disruption and limitation of litter supply at an early age on the rearing farms increased SFP, feather damage and fearfulness. These effects were most prominent in the brown hybrid. It appeared that hens from a brown hybrid are more affected by environmental conditions, while hens from a white hybrid were more strongly affected by parental effects. These results are important for designing measures to prevent the development of SFP, which may require a different approach in brown and white flocks. PMID:24603500

  6. [Discussion of actual legal minimum requirements for feeder space and perch length in laying hen husbandry in the light of the body widths measured in Lohmann Selected Leghorn and Lohmann Brown laying hens].

    PubMed

    Briese, Andreas; Spindler, Birgit

    2013-01-01

    Legal requirements on space and dimensions regarding furnished cages and alternative systems in laying hen husbandry are subject of constant discussion. Further knowledge about basic measures of the hens might help to come to reasonable results in the future. Digital images of Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) and Lohmann Brown (LB) laying hens, housed at the Lehr- und Forschungsgut Ruthe, University for Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Foundation, in Big Dutchman Eurovent laying hen cages, were made at three stages (19th, 36th and 58th week) of production. All hens had been taken out of their cages by night and set on a perch in a special cage used to photograph the hens frontally under controlled conditions. Body widths were calculated by a python application Cdisto.py0 2009 Andreas Briese) to mark and measure the body width in the digital images of a total of 156 hens. Mean body widths of 133.77 mm in Lohmann-LSL hens (SD = 9.71; N = 64; mean weight: 1.73 kg) and of 152.55 mm in Lohmann-LB hens (SD = 10.31; N = 92; mean weight: 1.93 kg) respectively were found. Even slight changes in body weights had no effect on the body width. Nonetheless the differences between both hybrids were always statistically significant (Mann-Whitney p < 0,001). Using these preliminary results on body width in a mathematical model simultanious feeding behaviour becomes only possible if the number of animals is reduced by 10.3% to 89.7% in LSL and by 21.3% to 78.7% in LB breeds in relation to a calculated maximum on base of the minimum space requirements for furnished cages in the EU-Dir 74/1999/EC. PMID:23540200

  7. Effects of pantethine supplementation to diets with different energy cereals on hepatic lipogenesis of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hsu, J C; Tanaka, K; Ohtani, S; Collado, C M

    1987-02-01

    Effects on dietary pantethine supplementation on hepatic lipid accumulation and on the activities of lipogenic-related enzymes in the liver were studied in Single Comb White Leghorn laying hens fed isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets containing corn or barley as the carbohydrate source. Addition of 200 ppm pantethine to the corn-soy (CS) basal diet significantly reduced abdominal fat weight, liver triglyceride, as well as total cholesterol and 17 beta-estradiol concentrations in the plasma. Activities of citrate cleavage enzyme (EC 4.1.3.8; CCE) and fatty acid synthetase (FAS) in the liver were significantly reduced when the CS basal diet was supplemented with pantethine, but the activities of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-malate dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.40; NADP-MDH) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.49; G6PDH), were not significantly affected. However, liver triglyceride, total cholesterol, and 17 beta-estradiol concentrations in plasma as well as the activities of CCE, FAS, and NADP-MDH in liver were significantly lower in laying hens fed the barley-soy (BS) basal diet than in those fed the CS basal diet. Pantethine supplementation to the BS diet failed to show any significant effect on liver triglyceride content and on the hepatic activities of lipogenic-related enzymes. There were no significant differences in liver weight, rate of egg production, and egg weight among dietary treatments. these results suggest that dietary pantethine is effective in reducing the accumulation of liver and abdominal fat in laying hens fed a CS diet. PMID:3588494

  8. Kinetic study of chlordecone orally given to laying hens (Gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Jondreville, Catherine; Fournier, Agnès; Mahieu, Maurice; Feidt, Cyril; Archimède, Harry; Rychen, Guido

    2014-11-01

    The former use of chlordecone (CLD) in the French West Indies has resulted in long-term pollution of soils. In this area, CLD may be transferred into eggs of hens reared outdoors, through soil ingestion. In order to assess this risk, a kinetic study involving the contamination of laying hens (22 weeks of age) with a diet containing 500 μg CLD kg(-1) during 42 d, followed by a depuration period of 35 d was carried out. Forty-four hens were sequentially slaughtered all over the experimental period and their liver, egg, abdominal fat and serum were collected. Two additional edible tissues, pectoral and leg muscles, were collected in hens slaughtered at the end of the contamination period. The depuration half-life of CLD in liver, egg, abdominal fat and serum was estimated at 5.0 ± 0.38 (mean ± SE), 5.5 ± 0.29, 5.3 ± 0.37 and 5.1 ± 0.66 d, respectively. CLD concentration at the end of the contamination period reached 1640 ± 274, 460 ± 41, 331 ± 23, and 213 ± 8.5 μg kg(-1) fresh matter (FM), respectively. The corresponding concentrations in pectoral and leg muscles were 119 ± 8.4, 127 ± 11 μg kg(-1) FM, respectively. The steady state carry over rate of CLD in eggs reached 43 ± 7.6%. This experiment demonstrates the preferential accumulation of CLD in liver, its significant transfer to eggs and its quite short half-life. It is concluded that raising hens on even mildly contaminated areas would lead to products exceeding the regulatory maximum residue limit of 20 μg CLD kg(-1). PMID:25113213

  9. A Screen-Peck Task for Investigating Cognitive Bias in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Browne, William J.; Hodge, James J. L.; Paul, Elizabeth S.; Mendl, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Affect-induced cognitive judgement biases occur in both humans and animals. Animals in a more negative affective state tend to interpret ambiguous cues more negatively than animals in a more positive state and vice versa. Investigating animals’ responses to ambiguous cues can therefore be used as a proxy measure of affective state. We investigated laying hens’ responses to ambiguous stimuli using a novel cognitive bias task. In the ‘screen-peck’ task, hens were trained to peck a high/low saturation orange circle presented on a computer screen (positive cue–P) to obtain a mealworm reward, and to not peck when the oppositely saturated orange circle was presented (negative cue–N) to avoid a one second air puff. Ambiguous cues were orange circles of intermediate saturation between the P and N cue (near-positive–NP; middle–M; near-negative–NN), and were unrewarded. Cue pecking showed a clear generalisation curve from P through NP, M, NN to N suggesting that hens were able to associate colour saturation with reward or punishment, and could discriminate between stimuli that were more or less similar to learnt cues. Across six test sessions, there was no evidence for extinction of pecking responses to ambiguous cues. We manipulated affective state by changing temperature during testing to either ~20°C or ~29°C in a repeated measures cross-over design. Hens have been shown to prefer temperatures in the higher range and hence we assumed that exposure to the higher temperature would induce a relatively positive affective state. Hens tested under warmer conditions were significantly more likely to peck the M probe than those tested at cooler temperatures suggesting that increased temperature in the ranges tested here may have some positive effect on hens, inducing a positive cognitive bias. PMID:27410229

  10. Effect of yeast with bacteriocin from rumen bacteria on laying performance, blood biochemistry, faecal microbiota and egg quality of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wang, H T; Shih, W Y; Chen, S W; Wang, S Y

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of yeast with bacteriocin from Ruminococcus albus 7 (albusin B) on physiological state and production performance of laying hens. One hundred and twenty 26-week-old Single Comb White Leghorn (Hyline) laying hens were assigned into five groups including: (i) control group, (ii) yeast control (YC), (iii) 0.125% yeast with bacteriocin (0.125B), (iv) 0.25% yeast with bacteriocin (0.25B) and (v) 0.5% yeast with bacteriocin (0.5B). All supplements were added to the experimental diets of the hens from 26 to 46 weeks of age. Samples were collected every 4 weeks. Blood samples were collected from the wing vein for blood biochemical parameters assay, and faecal samples were collected by swab for the microbiota test. The egg production performance was recorded daily, and fresh eggs were collected for quality test. The blood biochemical assay results indicated that the addition of yeast with bacteriocin decreased the AST (aspartate aminotransferase) activity and it also affects the lactate concentration in laying hen blood. The result of egg quality indicated that yeast with bacteriocin supplementation had no effect on the mass of yolk and the strength of eggshell, but it had positive effect on the laying performance under hot environment. Low concentration bacteriocin (0.125B) supplementation could decrease total yolk cholesterol. The faecal microbiota result indicated that the supplementation of bacteriocin increased the lactobacilli counts. The yeast with bacteriocin supplementation significantly decreased the clostridia counts under hot environment condition, especially in hens receiving 0.25B. Combining the data from clinic chemistry, faecal microbiota, egg production and egg quality, the 0.25B supplementation may result in the best physiological parameter and egg production performance of laying hen. PMID:25404002

  11. Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx and Esophagus with Pulmonary Metastasis in a Backyard Laying Hen.

    PubMed

    Laura, Nordio; Marta, Vascellari; Giacomo, Berto; Luca, Bano

    2016-09-01

    A backyard laying hen exhibiting muscular atrophy, dyspnea, and absence of egg production was analyzed for diagnostic insights. Gross findings revealed the presence of a large ulcerated mass with irregular edges involving the caudal part of the oropharynx and the cranial part of the esophagus, occluding the lumen of the esophagus and compressing the trachea. Small nodular lesions were detected also in the lungs. Histologically, both esophageal and pulmonary masses were characterized by nests of pleomorphic epithelial cells with squamous differentiation. The diagnosis was of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus with the uncommon feature of pulmonary metastasis. PMID:27610733

  12. The effect of furnished cages on the immune response of laying hens under social stress.

    PubMed

    Matur, Erdal; Eraslan, Evren; Akyazi, Ibrahim; Ergul Ekiz, Elif; Eseceli, Huseyin; Keten, Mehmet; Metiner, Kemal; Aktaran Bala, Deniz

    2015-12-01

    The aim of the study was to examine the effects of cage furnishing and social stress on some lymphoid organ weight and innate, cell-mediated, and humoral immune responses in laying hens. Sixty-four chickens were used. The chickens were divided into 2 groups; one of the groups was reared in furnished cages (RFC) and the other was reared in conventional cages (RCC). In wk 17, social stress was applied. Heterophil and lymphocyte percentages; liver, spleen, thymus, and bursa of Fabricius weights; phagocytic activity; oxidative burst and chemotaxic activity of heterophil; CD4+ and CD8+ cell proportions; and antibody production were measured. The effect of rearing methods was significant on heterophil, lymphocyte percentage, heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, and antibody production. Heterophil percentage and H/L ratio were lower (P=0.001, P=0.001, respectively), and antibody production was higher (P=0.003) in RFC hens compared to RCC hens. The main effect of social stress was also significant on heterophil, lymphocyte percentages, and H/L ratio. Heterophil percentage was higher (P=0.049); H/L ratio tended to be higher (P=0.068); and lymphocyte percentage tended to be lower (P=0.072) due to stress. In addition, thymus and bursa of Fabricius weights tended to be lower (P=0.073 and P=0.074, respectively) in stressed hens. There were significant interactions between rearing methods and social stress on oxidative burst, chemotaxic activity, and CD4+ and CD8+ proportion (P=0.001, P=0.004, P=0.054, and P=0.001, respectively). These parameters were significantly higher in RFC hens, when they were exposed to stress. On the other hand, they did not differ in RCC or unstressed RFC hens. These results indicated that cage furnishing positively affected heterophil functions, CD4+ and CD8+ cell proportions, and antibody production. Therefore, we suggest that cage furnishing, which is recommended for improving the welfare of animals, is also beneficial for improving the immune response

  13. The effects of melatonin on the physical properties of bones and egg shells in the laying hen.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Alexander C; Horvat-Gordon, Maria; Moore, Ashli; Bartell, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Laying hens often experience unbalanced calcium utilization which can cause deficiencies in bone and egg mineralization. Because melatonin has been shown to affect bone mineralization in other animals, we examined whether treating hens with melatonin would affect eggshell thickness and improve skeletal performance, thereby reducing skeletal and egg shell defects. Birds were given a diet containing either low (30 µg/kg), medium (300 µg/kg), or high (3 mg/kg) concentrations of melatonin, or control feed through approximately one laying cycle. We examined the weight, length, and strength of egg, femur, tibia, and keel. Hens treated with a high concentration of melatonin showed significant strengthening in their femur and tibia, as measured by maximum force sustained and breaking force, compared to controls. Egg weights from hens treated with melatonin were significantly greater than those from hens that were not treated with melatonin. Conversely, egg shell mass of hens treated with melatonin was significantly lower than those of hens not treated with melatonin. Our data suggest that melatonin may affect the allocation of calcium to bone at the expense of egg shell mineralization. PMID:23468846

  14. Effect of dietary karaya saponin on serum and egg yolk cholesterol in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Afrose, S; Hossain, M S; Tsujii, H

    2010-12-01

    1. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of dietary karaya saponin on cholesterol deposition in laying hens. 2. A total of 40 Boris Brown hens were randomly assigned at 20 weeks of age to 4 treatment groups and fed on diets supplemented with 0 (control), 25, 50 or 75 mg/kg karaya saponin for an 8-week experimental period. 3. After 8 weeks of dietary supplementation, karaya-saponin-treated groups had significantly lower serum cholesterol (23·0%) and triglycerides but increased high density lipoproteins cholesterol concentration than controls, irrespective of karaya saponin content in the diet. Egg yolk cholesterol and triglycerides were also significantly reduced by dietary karaya saponin. Hepatic cholesterol and triglycerides were significantly reduced by karaya saponin but bile acids concentration in the faeces and liver were significantly increased by karaya saponin. The concentrations of oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids in the yolk were greater in hens receiving karaya saponin than in controls. Karaya saponin significantly increased egg production, feed efficiency and yolk colour compared with controls. Karaya saponin tended to increase egg weight, feed consumption, Haugh units, albumen weight and yolk index. 4. In conclusion, karaya saponin is a potential agent for reducing yolk cholesterol concentration together with an overall increase of production performance and improvement in egg quality. PMID:21161787

  15. Effect of Dietary Supplementation of Red Ginseng By-product on Laying Performance, Blood Biochemistry, Serum Immunoglobulin and Microbial Population in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Kang, H K; Park, S-B; Kim, C H

    2016-10-01

    This study was carried out to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation of red ginseng by-product (RGB) on the laying performance, blood biochemistry, and microbial population in laying hens. A total of 120 Hy-Line Brown laying hens (75 weeks old) were randomly allotted to 1 of 3 dietary treatments with 4 replicates per treatment. A commercial-type basal diet was prepared, and 2 additional diets were prepared by supplementing 5.0 or 10.0 g/kg of RGB to the basal diet at the expense of corn. The diets were fed to hens on an ad libitum basis for 4 weeks. There were no differences in feed intake, egg weight, and feed conversion ratio during 4 weeks of the feeding trial. However, hen-day egg production was significantly greater (p<0.05) for the RGB treatment groups than that for the basal treatment group. There were no differences in triglyceride, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase during the 4-week feeding trial. However, RGB supplementation increased (p<0.05) the serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM content compared with basal treatment group. The total cholesterol was lower (p<0.05) in the RGB treatments groups than that in the basal treatment group. The intestinal Lactobacillus population was greater (p<0.05) for the RGB treatments groups than that for the basal treatment group. However, the numbers of Salmonella and Escherichia coli were not different among dietary treatments. During the entire experiment, there was no significant difference in egg quality among all the treatments. In conclusion, in addition to improving hen-day production, there were positive effects of dietary RGB supplementation on serum immunoglobulin and cholesterol levels in laying hens. PMID:26954140

  16. The association between plumage damage and feather-eating in free-range laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hartcher, K M; Hemsworth, P H; Wilkinson, S J; Thomson, P C; Cronin, G M

    2016-05-01

    Severe feather-pecking (SFP) persists as a highly prevalent and detrimental behavioural problem in laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) worldwide. The present experiment investigated the association between feather-eating and plumage damage, a consequence of SFP, in groups of free-range, ISA Brown laying hens. Single feathers were placed on the floor of the home pens. Feathers were sourced from seven different birds. A total of 50 birds in six pens with extensive plumage damage were compared with birds in six control pens with little plumage damage at 41 to 43 weeks of age (n=12 pens, 600 hens). Birds in pens with extensive plumage damage ingested more feathers (F=8.1, DF=1, 8, P=0.02), and also showed shorter latencies to peck at (χ 2=54.5, DF=1, P<0.001), and ingest feathers (χ 2=55.6, DF=1, P<0.001). Birds ingested feathers from a bird in the free-range facility, in which the testing took place, more quickly than from a bird housed in a separate cage facility (χ 2 = 39.0, DF=6, P<0.001). A second experiment investigated the predictive relationship between feather-eating and plumage damage. Feathers were presented to 16 pens of 50 pullets prior to the development of plumage damage, at 15 weeks of age, and then to the same hens after plumage damage had become prominent, at 40 weeks of age. Birds had a higher probability of ingesting feathers (F=142.0, DF=1, 231, P<0.001), pecked feathers more times (F=11.24, DF=1, 239, P<0.001), and also pecked (χ 2 = 127.3, DF=1, P<0.001) and ingested (χ 2=189.3, DF=1, P<0.001) the feathers more quickly at 40 than 15 weeks of age. There was a trend for an interaction, where birds pecked feathers from the rump more times than feathers from the back at 40 weeks of age (F=3.46, DF=1, 237, P=0.06). However, a lack of variability in plumage damage between pens in this experiment precluded investigation of the predictive relationship. The results from the present study confirm the association between feather-eating and plumage

  17. Mycoplasma gallisepticum in the commercial egg-laying hen: an historical perspective considering effects of pathogen strain, age of bird at inoculation, and diet on performance and physiology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), a pathogenic organism, primarily causes respiratory distress, but can also spread systemically to subsequently reduce egg production and egg quality in laying hens. However, the effects of MG on the performance and physiology of the commercial laying hen have been sho...

  18. H/L ratio as a measurement of stress in laying hens - methodology and reliability.

    PubMed

    Lentfer, T L; Pendl, H; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Fröhlich, E K F; Von Borell, E

    2015-04-01

    Measuring the ratio of heterophils and lymphocytes (H/L) in response to different stressors is a standard tool for assessing long-term stress in laying hens but detailed information on the reliability of measurements, measurement techniques and methods, and absolute cell counts is often lacking. Laying hens offered different sites of the nest boxes at different ages were compared in a two-treatment crossover experiment to provide detailed information on the procedure for measuring and the difficulties in the interpretation of H/L ratios in commercial conditions. H/L ratios were pen-specific and depended on the age and aviary system. There was no effect for the position of the nest. Heterophiles and lymphocytes were not correlated within individuals. Absolute cell counts differed in the number of heterophiles and lymphocytes and H/L ratios, whereas absolute leucocyte counts between individuals were similar. The reliability of the method using relative cell counts was good, yielding a correlation coefficient between double counts of r > 0.9. It was concluded that population-based reference values may not be sensitive enough to detect individual stress reactions and that the H/L ratio as an indicator of stress under commercial conditions may not be useful because of confounding factors and that other, non-invasive, measurements should be adopted. PMID:25622692

  19. Pathogenicity and distribution of avian nephritis virus (G-4260 strain) in inoculated laying hens.

    PubMed

    Imada, T; Maeda, M; Furuta, K; Yamaguchi, S; Kawamura, H

    1983-01-01

    Specific-pathogen-free laying hens were inoculated intravenously with the G-4260 strain of avian nephritis virus (ANV). The distribution of the virus in organs, histological changes in main organs, the condition of laying, and egg transmission of the virus were examined in them. Over an experimental period of 27 days, no clinical sings were observed. In a chronological study on the distribution of the virus in organs, the virus was recovered from liver, kidney, jejunum, and rectum for 6 days postinoculation (PI). The virus titer in organ emulsion was the highest in the jejunum of all the main organs. The virus was recovered from the kidney for 8 days PI, although it was not so high in this organ. It was not recovered from the ovary or oviduct. Fluorescent antigens were not observed at all in any material. In a pathological examination, some local inflammatory changes were observed only in the kidney. There were no significant changes in the ovary, oviduct, or any other organ. Antibody appeared 10 days PI and was detectable even 27 days PI, although it was not so high in titer. There was no significant difference in the rate of egg-production between the infected and the sham inoculated groups. No virus was isolated from 111 fertile eggs laid by infected hens over a period from 2 to 27 days PI. PMID:6097821

  20. Production characteristics of Hy-Line W36 laying hens hatched from white and tinted eggs.

    PubMed

    Kim, E J; Purswell, J L; Evans, J D; Branton, S L

    2014-08-01

    Eggshell color can greatly influence visual appeal of table eggs, and within the United States, table eggs are normally sorted and marked according to eggshell color to maximize consumer appeal. Recently, table egg producers have noted increased incidence of "off-color" or tinted (TT) eggs derived from white egg laying breeder hens. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the production characteristics and resultant eggshell color of laying hens hatched from different colored eggs. Hy-Line W36 eggs were obtained from a commercial breeder operation and eggshell color was assessed with a colorimeter to separate eggs into groups of tinted (TT) and nontinted (NT) eggs before incubation. Treatment groups were placed into separate hatching trays. At hatching, chicks from each treatment group were individually wing-banded. Pullets were randomly allocated into cages according to treatment groups at 18 wk. Birds were placed into individual cages, with 5 consecutive cages representing a treatment replicate. Each treatment was replicated 24 times for a total of 120 birds per treatment and fed a nutritionally complete layer diet. Production performance was evaluated from 18 to 34 wk of age. Average weekly egg production was calculated. Feed intake, egg weights, egg mass, feed conversion ratio, and egg color were analyzed every 2 wk. Birds were weighed every 4 wk until completion of the study. Birds hatched from TT eggs had significantly increased BW throughout the experimental period. Hen-day egg production was significantly different when compared with the NT treatment at 19 and 20 wk of age. Eggshell color was also found to be significantly different for the NT and TT groups with TT eggs being significantly further from true white. Selection of progeny based on eggshell color may be a criterion for selecting white egg layers as layers hatched from TT eggs resulted in more off-color eggs, which may affect consumer acceptance for buying white table eggs

  1. Relationships between beak condition, preening behavior and ectoparasite infestation levels in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Vezzoli, Giuseppe; Mullens, Bradley A; Mench, Joy A

    2015-09-01

    The effects of beak condition on ectoparasite populations and preening in laying hens were investigated. Beak-trimmed and beak-intact caged Hy-Line W-36 hens were infested with either chicken body lice or northern fowl mites using a 2×2 factorial design with 4 replicate cages (each containing 2 hens)/treatment: 1) BTL: (beak-trimmed lice-infested); 2) BTM: (beak-trimmed mite-infested); 3) BIL: (beak-intact lice-infested); and 4) BIM: (beak-intact mite-infested). Mite scores and lice numbers were estimated weekly. Hens were video recorded the wk before infestation and at wk 6 and 9 post-infestation. Time spent preening on 6 body areas and in total were analyzed using a repeated measures ANOVA. There was a wk×beak condition interaction for lice loads, with BTL harboring approximately 17 times more lice than BIL from wk 7 to 10 post-infestation (P<0.0001). Beak condition affected mite loads (P<0.0001), with BTM having a higher mite score (3.8±0.26) than BIM (1.4±0.26). At peak infestation, BTL spent more total time preening (P=0.02, s±SE: 232.1±37.6) than prior to infestation (33.9±37.6) and directed their preening behavior towards the vent. In contrast, BIL (73.9±37.6), BTM (9.4±1.6), and BIM (8.6±1.6) did not increase total time spent preening over pre-infestation levels (103.6±37.6, 5.8±1.6, 6.7±1.6 respectively), although BTM did redirect their preening behavior toward the vent. This study confirmed previous studies showing that an intact beak is important for reducing ectoparasite infestations. Preening behavior increased in response to lice infestation, but only in beak-trimmed hens; preening behavior and louse load were correlated at peak infestation. In contrast, mite infestation did not lead to increased preening, and there was no correlation between preening and mite load. However, both lice- and mite-infested hens directed preening behavior predominantly towards the vent where these parasites are typically found. PMID:26155987

  2. Designer laying hen diets to improve egg fatty acid profile and maintain sensory quality

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Erin M; Ryland, Donna; Gibson, Robert A; Aliani, Michel; House, James D

    2013-01-01

    The fatty acid composition of eggs is highly reflective of the diet of the laying hen; therefore, nutritionally important fatty acids can be increased in eggs in order to benefit human health. To explore the factors affecting the hen's metabolism and deposition of fatty acids of interest, the current research was divided into two studies. In Study 1, the fatty acid profile of eggs from Bovan White hens fed either 8%, 14%, 20%, or 28% of the omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA) (expressed as a percentage of total fatty acids), and an additional treatment of 14% LA containing double the amount of saturated fat (SFA) was determined. Omega-6 fatty acids and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) in the yolk were significantly (P < 0.05) increased, and oleic acid (OA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were significantly decreased with an increasing dietary LA content. In Study 2, the fatty acid and sensory profiles were determined in eggs from Shaver White hens fed either (1) 15% or 30% of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (of total fatty acids), and (2) low (0.5), medium (1), or high (2) ratios of SFA: LA+OA. Increasing this ratio resulted in marked increases in lauric acid, ALA, EPA, DPA, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), with decreases in LA and arachidonic acid. Increasing the dietary ALA content from 15% to 30% (of total fatty acids) did not overcome the DHA plateau observed in the yolk. No significant differences (P ≥ 0.05) in aroma or flavor between cooked eggs from the different dietary treatments were observed among trained panelists (n = 8). The results showed that increasing the ratio of SFA: LA+OA in layer diets has a more favorable effect on the yolk fatty acid profile compared to altering the LA content at the expense of OA, all while maintaining sensory quality. PMID:24804037

  3. Plumage colour and feather pecking in laying hens, a chicken perspective?

    PubMed

    Bright, A

    2007-06-01

    1. This study investigated whether feather damage due to feather pecking and bird behaviour were influenced by plumage colour in Oakham Blue laying hens (black, white, grey colour variants). The reflectance properties of feathers and spectral composition of light environments experienced by the hens were also examined. 2. Nine hundred and seventy-nine birds were inspected and scored for feather damage; 10.5 h of video recordings were examined to record feather pecking and bird behaviour. Feathers and light environments were measured using a USB-2000 spectrometer and DH-2000-CAL-DTH lamp. 3. Oakham Blue birds with white plumage had less feather damage due to feather pecking than black or grey birds. There was more severe feather pecking in the mornings than in the afternoon. White birds feather pecked severely more than black or grey birds, although there were no other behavioural differences between plumage colours. 4. White feathers reflected at a higher intensity than black or grey feathers. However, black and grey feather spectra were relatively flat and the contribution of UV wavelengths to plumage reflection was proportionally greater than that for white feathers. 5. Light intensity inside a poultry house was 100 x (UW/cm2/nm) less than on the range and there was low or no UV reflectance. Under the dim, artificial lights inside a poultry house, Oakham Blue hens with black and grey feathers may be less visible to conspecifics than white birds because their plumage reflects at a lower intensity. Furthermore, the lack of available UV light inside vs. outside and the higher contribution of UV reflectance to black and grey plumage may make black and grey birds appear more different inside the house than white birds. It is possible that this novel/unusual appearance may make black or grey Oakham Blue hens more susceptible to feather pecking. PMID:17578687

  4. Comparative study on the behaviour, health and productivity of laying hens in a furnished cage and an aviary system.

    PubMed

    Platz, Siegfried; Heyn, Elke; Hergt, Franziska; Weigl, Birgit; Erhard, Michael

    2009-01-01

    A total of 540 Lohmann Silver laying hens was used to investigate behaviour, use of the structural elements offered, as well as health and productive parameters in six units (45 hens each) of one furnished cage system (FC; Typ 715/725, Fa. Salmet, Berge, Germany, according to EU guideline 1999/74/EG [2003]) vs. three units (90 hens each) of one aviary housing system (AV; type natura, Big Dutchman, Vechta, Germany). There was no difference between the two systems in terms of animal health, egg quality, laying performance and nest acceptance Acceptance of the nests was high in both systems and resulted in relatively small proportions of mislaid eggs (median 0.28% AV vs. 0.33% FC). Perches in FC were used during the light phase by 15.6% of the hens compared with 73.3% at night. The dust bathing activity of the hens in AV corresponded to natural circadian behaviour patterns (P <0.003) and the complete behaviour chain was exhibited. In contrast, FC hens invariably exhibited incomplete dust bathing patterns on the mat and on the grid floor without any diurnal rhythm. Duration of dust bathing of hens in FC differed significantly from the AV hens (median value 4.77 minutes on mats and 4.62 on grid floors respectively vs. 14.87 minutes, P < 0.05). Even though comparison of laying performance, egg quality and health did not yield any serious disadvantage of one system over the other, it has to be taken into consideration that normal behaviour was highly restricted in FC. PMID:19681395

  5. Individual Consistency of Feather Pecking Behavior in Laying Hens: Once a Feather Pecker Always a Feather Pecker?

    PubMed Central

    Daigle, Courtney L.; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Bolhuis, J. Elizabeth; Swanson, Janice C.; Siegford, Janice M.

    2015-01-01

    The pecking behavior [severe feather, gentle feather, and aggressive pecks (AP)] of individual White Shaver non-cage laying hens (n = 300) was examined at 21, 24, 27, 32, and 37 weeks. Hens were housed in 30 groups of 10 hens each and on 3 cm litter with access to a feeder, perch, and two nest boxes. The number of severe feather pecks given (SFPG) and received (SFPR) was used to categorize hens as feather peckers (P), victims (V), neutrals (N), or feather pecker-victims (PV) at each age. Hens categorized as PV exhibited pecking behaviors similar to P and received pecks similar to V. SFP given were correlated with APs given, but not with gentle feather pecks (GFP) given throughout the study. State-transition plot maps illustrated that 22.5% of P remained P, while 44% of PV remained PV throughout the duration of the study. Lifetime behavioral categories identified hens as a consistent feather pecker (5%), consistent neutral (3.9%), consistent victim (7.9%), consistent feather pecker-victim (29.4%), or inconsistent (53.8%) in their behavioral patterns throughout their life. Consistent feather peckers performed more SFP than hens of other categories, and consistent neutral hens received fewer GFP than consistent feather PV. No differences in corticosterone or whole blood serotonin levels were observed among the categories. Approximately, half of the population was classified as a feather pecker at least once during the study, while the remainder was never categorized as a feather pecker. Therefore, even if the development and cause of feather pecking may be multifactorial, once the behavior has been developed, some hens may persist in feather pecking. However, as some hens were observed to never receive or perform SFP, emphasis should be made to select for these hens in future breeding practices. PMID:26664935

  6. Treated fava bean (Vicia faba var. minor) as substitute for soybean meal in diet of early phase laying hens: egg-laying performance and egg quality.

    PubMed

    Laudadio, V; Tufarelli, V

    2010-10-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dietary dehulled-micronized fava bean (Vicia faba var. minor) seed on egg production, egg weight, feed conversion ratio, eggshell quality, and egg yolk color. In this trial, 18-wk-old laying hens in the early phase of production (ISA Brown) were randomly assigned to 2 groups and fed durum wheat middlings-based diets containing soybean or micronized-dehulled fava bean meal as the main protein source. Eggs were collected and weighed daily. Laying performance, egg quality, and feed conversion ratio were evaluated for 10 wk. The only significant effect detected was for feed intake (P<0.05), which was lower in hens fed the diet containing fava bean than for hens fed soybean meal, without however any negative effects on feed efficiency. None of the egg quality parameters studied were influenced by dietary treatment, except for yolk color score that was reduced in hens fed the fava bean diet (P<0.05). We conclude that dehulled-micronized fava beans in the diet did not have a negative influence on productive performance or egg quality of young brown hens. PMID:20852122

  7. The cholesterol problem, the egg and lipid metabolism in the laying hen.

    PubMed

    Naber, E C

    1976-01-01

    There is little doubt that high blood serum lipid levels are related to a higher incidence of atherosclerotic disease in humans. Experimental evidence to date suggests that dietary intervention can reduce blood lipid levels in most cases and that some small reduction in occurrence of cardiovascular disease will probably result. On the other hand no reduction in total mortality has been demonstrated in the well constructed dietary studies. It appears that there is considerable variation in the human population with regard to their patterns of lipid metabolism. Some apparently regulate body production of cholesterol in response to dietary changes, others do not. Some seem to excrete excess sterols efficiently, while some do not. It seems likely, therefore, that dietary manipulation would be useful for those disposed by heredity and other conditions to accumulation of excessive sterols in the body. On the other hand drug control of cholesterol biosynthesis and/or sterol excretion may be more effective solutions to the problem of sterol accumulation. Irrespective of whether diet or drugs prove to be the best answer to control of sterol balance, these should be applied only to that segment of the population known to require such treatment. The egg is an important dietary source of cholesterol and as a result is used sparingly in low cholesterol diets. On the other hand normal egg consumption of two eggs per day does not appear to overload cholesterol balance in the healthy human adult since depression in cholesterol biosynthesis and increased sterol excretion will result. Investigation of the lipid metabolism of the laying hen has shown that most of the cholesterol found in the egg is synthesized in the liver where it is under both dietary and drug control. Most of the cholesterol deposited in egg yolk may be essential for embryonic development. Drugs that severely limit cholesterol biosynthesis probably also limit synthesis of adrenal and sex hormones and hence limit

  8. Effects of long-term supplementation of laying hens with high concentrations of cholecalciferol on performance and egg quality.

    PubMed

    Persia, M E; Higgins, M; Wang, T; Trample, D; Bobeck, E A

    2013-11-01

    There is current interest in increasing human vitamin D dietary intake without having to modify human eating habits. One method to increase human dietary vitamin D intake is to generate eggs with increased concentrations of vitamin D through high-concentration vitamin D feeding in the diets of laying hens. Although eggs can be produced with high concentrations of vitamin D, the consequences of these diets on hen performance and egg quality have not been validated. The objective of this research is to quantify the effects of high concentrations of cholecalciferol (D3) on laying hen performance and egg quality. Hy-Line W36 laying hens were placed on 1 of 5 experimental diets for 40 wk: 1) control (contained 2,200 IU of D3/kg of diet), 2) control + 7,500 IU of D3/kg of diet (9,700 IU of D3/kg of diet total), 3) control + 15,000 IU of D3/kg of diet (17,200 IU of D3/kg of diet total), 4) control + 22,500 IU of D3/kg of diet (24,700 IU of D3/kg of diet total), and 5) control + 100,000 IU of D3/kg of diet (102,200 IU of D3/kg of diet total). Egg production and hen mortality were monitored daily. Feed intake was determined weekly. Eggs were collected at predetermined points throughout the 40-wk period (19 to 58 wk of bird age) for assessment of egg weight, egg component weights, Haugh unit, yolk color score, specific gravity, egg mass, and feed efficiency. There were no consistent differences among the dietary treatments over the experimental period. Hens supplemented with up to 102,200 IU of D3/kg of diet resulted in no significant reductions in egg production, feed intake, feed efficiency, egg component weights, yolk color, Haugh units, and specific gravity in comparison with the control-fed hens (P > 0.05). These data suggest the addition of cholecalciferol to the diet of the laying hen at concentrations up to 102,200 IU of D3/kg of diet had no consistent negative effects on laying hen performance or egg quality. PMID:24135597

  9. Control of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis in laying hens by inactivated Salmonella Enteritidis vaccines

    PubMed Central

    de Freitas Neto, Oliveiro Caetano; Mesquita, Aline Lopes; de Paiva, Jaqueline Boldrin; Zotesso, Fábio; Berchieri Júnior, Angelo

    2008-01-01

    Salmonella Enteritidis is one of the agents that is responsible for outbreaks of human foodborne salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Enteritidis and is generally associated with the consumption of poultry products. Inactivated Salmonella Enteritidis cell vaccine is one of the available methods to control Salmonella Enteritidis in breeders and laying hens, however results in terms of efficacy vary. This vaccine has never been tested in Brazil, therefore, the present work was carried out to assess three commercial inactivated Salmonella Enteritidis vaccines allowed in Brazil. Four hundred white light variety commercial laying hens were obtained at one-day-of age. At eight weeks old, the birds were divided into four groups with one hundred animals each. Birds from three groups (V1, V2 and V3) received different intramuscular vaccines, followed by a booster dose at 16 weeks of age. Birds from another group (CG) were not vaccinated. When the laying hens were 20, 25 and 31 weeks old, 13 from each group were transferred to another room and were challenged by inoculating 2 mL neat culture of Salmonella Enteritidis. On the second day after each challenge, the caecal contents, spleen, liver and ovary of three birds from each group were analyzed for the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis. Twice a week a cloacal swab of each bird was taken and all eggs laid were examined for the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis. After four consecutive negative cloacal swabs in all the groups, the birds were sacrificed so as to examine the liver, caecal contents and ovaries. Overall, the inactivated vaccine used in group V3 reduced Salmonella Enteritidis in the feces and eggs. A very small amount of Salmonella was found in the spleen, liver, ovary and caeca of the birds in the four groups during the whole experiment. In general, inactivated Salmonella Enteritidis vaccines was able to decrease the presence of Salmonella Enteritidis in the birds and in the eggs as well. Nevertheless, they must

  10. [The use of native triticale in poultry. 3. Use in laying hens].

    PubMed

    Richter, G; Lemser, A

    1993-01-01

    In three trials with a total of 3240 white laying hybrids, 10 to 72% Triticale of the variety "Grado" was used as a substitute for maize and wheat. The feeding of Triticale had no influence on feed consumption, laying performance, feed efficiency, mortality or weight gain. In two of three trials the egg weight was lowered with an increasing amount of Triticale in the diet. After supplementation of 1 or 1.5% sunflower oil to the diets with 50 resp. 72% Triticale the egg weight increased again to the level of the control group. With the exception of one group, there was no correlation between breaking strength and deformation of the eggs. The colour intensity of the egg yolk was decreased with increasing amounts of Triticale in the diet. It can be concluded, that laying hen feed supplemented with oil may contain up to 50% Triticale, but in non-supplemented diets the highest amount of Triticale should be only 20% because of the risk of linoleic acid shortage. PMID:8517768

  11. The effect of perch availability during pullet rearing and egg laying on musculoskeletal health of caged White Leghorn hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A major skeletal problem of conventionally caged hens is increased susceptibility to osteoporosis mainly due to lack of exercise. Osteoporosis is characterized by a progressive decrease in mineralized structural bone. Whereas considerable attention has been given to enriching laying cages, little r...

  12. Fecal shedding and internal organ colonization following exposure of laying hens to different oral doses of Salmonella Enteritidis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Contaminated eggs produced by infected laying hens continue to pose a significant public health concern as a leading source of transmission of Salmonella Enteritidis infections to humans. A recently implemented national regulatory program for egg-producing flocks in the United States seeks to contro...

  13. Colonization of internal organs by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    More human illnesses caused by Salmonella Enteritidis throughout the world have been linked to the consumption of contaminated eggs than to any other food vehicle. Deposition of this pathogen in the edible contents of eggs occurs when systemic infections of laying hens involve colonization of reprod...

  14. Isolation of Salmonella Enteritidis from Internal Organs of Experimentally Infected Laying Hens Housed in Conventional or Enriched Cages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Human illness caused by Salmonella Enteritidis has been more frequently linked to the consumption of contaminated eggs than to any other food source. This pathogen can be deposited inside the edible contents of eggs when reproductive organs are colonized in systemically infected laying hens. In rece...

  15. Penetration of Salmonella enteritidis through the yolk membrane in eggs from six genetically distinct commercial lines of laying hens.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infected laying hens can deposit Salmonella enteritidis inside developing eggs and thereby transmit disease to humans. Although deposition of S. enteritidis inside yolks is less common than deposition in the albumen or on the yolk (vitelline) membrane in naturally contaminated eggs, migration across...

  16. Colonization of marker and field strains of Salmonella Enteritidis and Typhimurium in antibiotic treated and non-treated laying hen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In each of three trials, caged laying hens (76, 26, and 33 wk-of-age) were divided into 6 groups designated to receive either maker (nalidixic acid resistance) S. Enteritidis (SE-M), field S. Enteritidis (SE-F), or marker S. Typhimurium (ST-M), and half pretreated with vancomycin (VNC) (n=12). VNC t...

  17. Organ weight and serum triglyceride responses of older (80 week) commercial laying hens fed an alfalfa meal molt diet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since one of the costs in the commercial egg industry is that of replacement pullets, commercial egg layer managers have opted to induce molt older hens in order to extend their productive life for additional egg laying cycles. Conventional molt induction involves the complete removal of feed for s...

  18. The relationship between the immune response and susceptibilty to Salmonella infection in the laying hen, producing safe eggs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chicken eggs are one of the main sources of human salmonellosis, with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis the most frequent cause of human non-typhoid salmonellosis. Laying hens colonized with S. Enteritidis generally do not show clinical signs. The bacteria colonize and invade the intestinal ...

  19. Effects of nitrocompounds on uric acid-utilizing microorganisms, nitrogen retention, and microbial community in laying hen manure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of nitrocompounds on the growth of uric acid-utilizing microorganisms, nitrogen retention, and microbial community in laying hen manure. There were three treatments: control, 100 mM nitropropanol (NPL), and 100 mM nitropropionic acid (NPC). The mixed la...

  20. Camelina meal increases egg n-3 fatty acid content without altering egg quality or production in laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Camelina sativa is an oilseed plant rich in n-3 and n-6-fatty acids and extruding defatted seed meal results in high protein meal (~40%) containing residual n-3 fatty acids. We examined the effects of feeding extruded defatted camelina seed meal to commercial laying hens on egg production, quality, ...

  1. Influence of Dermanyssus gallinae and Ascaridia galli infections on behaviour and health of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Kilpinen, O; Roepstorff, A; Permin, A; Nørgaard-Nielsen, G; Lawson, L G; Simonsen, H B

    2005-02-01

    (1) The effect of infections with Dermanyssus gallinae (poultry red mite or chicken mite) and Ascaridia galli (roundworm) on the behaviour and health of laying hens was investigated. (2) Six groups of 15 pullets (Isa Brown) were kept in indoor pens from 18 weeks of age. Two groups were artificially infected with D. gallinae, two groups with A. galli and two groups were kept as uninfected controls. The hens were observed for behavioural reactions and physiological changes (weight gain and various blood variables) to the parasitic infections. (3) Infections with D. gallinae resulted in reduced weight gain, anaemia and even death of some of the hens. Behavioural changes were also observed, as the mite-infected hens showed higher self-grooming and head scratching both during the day and night. (4) A. galli resulted in a lower weight gain but no significant changes were seen in blood variables or behavioural activities. PMID:15835249

  2. Effect of plant sterol-enriched diets on plasma and egg yolk cholesterol concentrations and cholesterol metabolism in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Liu, X; Zhao, H L; Thiessen, S; House, J D; Jones, P J H

    2010-02-01

    Egg exists as a major dietary source of cholesterol in Western diets. In North America, laying hen diets are usually devoid of cholesterol when diets are formulated to exclude animal-based products. Hence, laying hens meet their physiological cholesterol requirement through de novo synthesis. Plant sterols exert a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans by interfering with intestinal sterol absorption. However, it is unknown whether plant sterol supplementation could be effective in reducing intestinal reabsorption of biliary cholesterol in laying hens, thus modulating whole body cholesterol in favor of lower plasma and yolk cholesterol content. The current study was designed to investigate the effect of diets enriched with 0, 0.5, 1, and 2% plant sterols on cholesterol absorption, synthesis, as well as plasma, liver, and egg yolk cholesterol concentrations in laying hens. After 8 wk of plant sterol intervention (first 2 wk were acclimatization), feed intake, BW, egg weight, egg yolk weight, egg production, Haugh units, liver mass, plasma, and hepatic cholesterol concentrations did not differ as a function of plant sterol supplementation. Egg cholesterol concentrations (mg/g) fluctuated during the 6-wk experimental period. At wk 6, a minor reduction in egg yolk cholesterol concentration (mg per g of yolk, P<0.05, vs. control) was observed in hens fed 1 and 2% cholesterol-enriched diets, respectively. However, such result failed to affect total egg cholesterol content. No statistical difference was observed across treatments over 6 wk. Neither cholesterol absorption rates nor synthesis differed as a function of treatment. Results suggested that overall cholesterol content in egg yolk was not affected by feeding hens plant sterol-enriched diets over 6 wk. PMID:20075279

  3. Deterioration of eggshell quality in laying hens experimentally infected with H9N2 avian influenza virus.

    PubMed

    Qi, Xuefeng; Tan, Dan; Wu, Chengqi; Tang, Chao; Li, Tao; Han, Xueying; Wang, Jing; Liu, Caihong; Li, Ruiqiao; Wang, Jingyu

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the mechanism by which H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) affects eggshell quality. Thirty-week-old specific pathogen free egg-laying hens were inoculated with the chicken-origin H9N2 AIV strain (A/Chicken/shaanxi/01/2011) or with inoculating media without virus by combined intraocular and intranasal routes. The time course for the appearance of viral antigen and tissue lesions in the oviduct was coincident with the adverse changes in egg production in the infected hens. The viral loads of AIV have a close correlation with the changes in the uterus CaBP-D28k mRNA expression as well as the Ca concentrations in the eggshells in the infected hens from 1 to 7 days post inoculation (dpi). Ultrastructural examination of eggshells showed significantly decreased shell thickness in the infected hens from 1 to 5 dpi (P < 0.05). Furthermore, obvious changes in the structure of the external shell surface and shell membrane were detected in the infected hens from 1 to 5 dpi as compared with the control hens. In conclusion, this study confirmed that H9N2 AIV strain (A/Chicken/shaanxi/01/2011) infection is associated with severe lesions of the uterus and abnormal expression of CaBP-D28k mRNA in the uteri of the infected hens. The change of CaBP-D28k mRNA expression may contribute to the deterioration of the eggshell quality of the laying hens infected with AIV. It is noteworthy that the pathogenicity of H9N2 AIV strains may vary depending on the virus strain and host preference. PMID:26915662

  4. Development of an Ex Vivo Protocol to Model Bone Fracture in Laying Hens Resulting from Collisions

    PubMed Central

    Toscano, Michael J.; Wilkins, Lindsay J.; Millburn, Georgina; Thorpe, Katherine; Tarlton, John F.

    2013-01-01

    Fractures of the keel bone, a bone extending ventrally from the sternum, are a serious health and welfare problem in free range laying hens. Recent findings suggest that a major cause of keel damage within extensive systems is collisions with internal housing structures, though investigative efforts have been hindered by difficulties in examining mechanisms and likely influencing factors at the moment of fracture. The objectives of this study were to develop an ex vivo impact protocol to model bone fracture in hens caused by collision, to assess impact and bird-related factors influencing fracture occurrence and severity, and to identify correlations of mechanical and structural properties between different skeletal sites. We induced keel bone fractures in euthanized hens using a drop-weight impact tester able to generate a range of impact energies, producing fractures that replicate those commonly found in commercial settings. The results demonstrated that impact energies of a similar order to those expected in normal housing were able to produce fractures, and that greater collision energies resulted in an increased likelihood of fractures and of greater severity. Relationships were also seen with keel’s lateral surface bone mineral density, and the peak reactive force (strength) at the base of the manubrial spine. Correlations were also identified between the keel and long bones with respect to both strength and bone mineral density. This is the first study able to relate impact and bone characteristics with keel bone fracture at the moment of collision. Greater understanding of these relationships will provide means to reduce levels of breakage and severity in commercial systems. PMID:23785487

  5. Omnivores Going Astray: A Review and New Synthesis of Abnormal Behavior in Pigs and Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Brunberg, Emma I.; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Rydhmer, Lotta; Kjaer, Joergen B.; Jensen, Per; Keeling, Linda J.

    2016-01-01

    Pigs and poultry are by far the most omnivorous of the domesticated farm animals and it is in their nature to be highly explorative. In the barren production environments, this motivation to explore can be expressed as abnormal oral manipulation directed toward pen mates. Tail biting (TB) in pigs and feather pecking (FP) in laying hens are examples of unwanted behaviors that are detrimental to the welfare of the animals. The aim of this review is to draw these two seemingly similar abnormalities together in a common framework, in order to seek underlying mechanisms and principles. Both TB and FP are affected by the physical and social environment, but not all individuals in a group express these behaviors and individual genetic and neurobiological characteristics play an important role. By synthesizing what is known about environmental and individual influences, we suggest a novel possible mechanism, common for pigs and poultry, involving the brain–gut–microbiota axis. PMID:27500137

  6. Tissue concentrations of sulphaquinoxaline administered in the food of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Furusawa, N; Tsuzukida, Y

    1998-12-01

    1. Sulphaquinoxaline (SQ) was fed to laying hens at a dietary level of 400 mg/kg for 3 successive days. SQ contents (mg/kg) in the blood, kidney, liver, ovary, muscle (thigh) and adipose tissue collected on 1, 2, and 3 d after the start of feeding were determined by HPLC. The relationship between the SQ content in the tissues and times (d) of SQ feeding was analyzed statistically. 2. Dietary SQ was distributed throughout the whole body. 3. Contents in tissues, except the kidney, had already reached a plateau by day 1 after the start of administration whereas in the kidney it increased linearly throughout the 3 days. 4. The plateau values of SQ in the tissues were much greater than those of sulphamonomethoxine and sulphadimethoxine. PMID:9925323

  7. Omnivores Going Astray: A Review and New Synthesis of Abnormal Behavior in Pigs and Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Brunberg, Emma I; Rodenburg, T Bas; Rydhmer, Lotta; Kjaer, Joergen B; Jensen, Per; Keeling, Linda J

    2016-01-01

    Pigs and poultry are by far the most omnivorous of the domesticated farm animals and it is in their nature to be highly explorative. In the barren production environments, this motivation to explore can be expressed as abnormal oral manipulation directed toward pen mates. Tail biting (TB) in pigs and feather pecking (FP) in laying hens are examples of unwanted behaviors that are detrimental to the welfare of the animals. The aim of this review is to draw these two seemingly similar abnormalities together in a common framework, in order to seek underlying mechanisms and principles. Both TB and FP are affected by the physical and social environment, but not all individuals in a group express these behaviors and individual genetic and neurobiological characteristics play an important role. By synthesizing what is known about environmental and individual influences, we suggest a novel possible mechanism, common for pigs and poultry, involving the brain-gut-microbiota axis. PMID:27500137

  8. Withdrawal times of oxytetracycline and tylosin in eggs of laying hens after oral administration.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Rubén; Cornejo, Javiera; Maddaleno, Aldo; Araya-Jordán, Carolina; Iragüen, Daniela; Pizarro, Nicolás; San Martín, Betty

    2014-06-01

    Antimicrobials administered to laying hens may be distributed into egg white or yolk, indicating the importance of evaluating withdrawal times (WDTs) of the pharmaceutical formulations. In the present study, oxytetracycline and tylosin's WDTs were estimated. The concentration and depletion of these molecules in eggs were linked to their pharmacokinetic and physicochemical properties. Twenty-seven Leghorn hens were used: 12 treated with oxytetracycline, 12 treated with tylosin, and 3 remained as an untreated control group. After completion of therapies, eggs were collected daily and drug concentrations in egg white and yolk were assessed. The yolk was used as the target tissue to evaluate the WDT; the results were 9 and 3 days for oxytetracycline and tylosin, respectively. In particular, oxytetracycline has a good oral bioavailability, a moderate apparent volume of distribution, a molecular weight of 460 g/mol, and is lightly liposoluble. Tylosin, a hydrosoluble compound, with a molecular weight of 916 g/mol, has a low oral bioavailability and a low apparent volume of distribution, too. Present results suggest that the WDTs of the studied antimicrobials are strongly influenced by their oral bioavailability, the distribution, and the molecular weight and solubility, and that these properties also influence the distribution between the egg yolk and white. PMID:24853528

  9. Genetic variation for worm burdens in laying hens naturally infected with gastro-intestinal nematodes.

    PubMed

    Wongrak, K; Daş, G; von Borstel, U König; Gauly, M

    2015-01-01

    1. Genetic parameters were determined for the worm burden of the most common gastro-intestinal nematodes in two chicken genotypes after being exposed to free-range farming conditions for a laying period. 2. Seventeen-week-old hens of 2 brown genotypes, Lohmann Brown (LB) plus (n = 230) and LB classic (n = 230), were reared for a laying period and subjected to post-mortem parasitological examinations at 79 weeks (LB plus) or 88 weeks (LB classic) of age. 3. There was no significant difference in faecal egg counts between the genotypes. Almost all hens (>99%) were infected with at least one nematode species. Species-specific nematode prevalence ranged from 85.8% to 99.1% between the two genotypes. Heterakis gallinarum was the most prevalent nematode (98.5%), followed by Ascaridia galli (96.2%) and Capillaria spp. (86.1%). Capillaria spp. were composed of C. obsignata (79%), C. caudinflata (16%) and C. bursata (5%). 4. All phenotypic and genetic correlations among worm counts of different parasite species were positive in combined genotypes (rP ranged from 0.05 to 0.30 and rG ranged from 0.29 to 0.88). A strong genetic correlation (rG = 0.88 ± 0.34) between counts of A. galli and H. gallinarum was quantified. Heritability for total worm burden for LB plus and LB classic, respectively, were 0.55 ± 0.18 and 0.55 ± 0.34. Across both genotypes, the heritability of total worm burden was 0.56 ± 0.16. 5. In conclusion, there is a high variation attributable to genetic background of chickens in their responses to naturally acquired nematode infections. The high positive genetic correlation between counts of closely related worm species (e.g. A. galli and H. gallinarum) may indicate existence of similar genetically determined mechanism(s) in chickens for controlling these nematodes. PMID:25486507

  10. Effect of feeding hemp seed and hemp seed oil on laying hen performance and egg yolk fatty acid content: evidence of their safety and efficacy for laying hen diets.

    PubMed

    Gakhar, N; Goldberg, E; Jing, M; Gibson, R; House, J D

    2012-03-01

    Forty-eight 19-wk-old Bovan White laying hens were fed 1 of 5 diets containing either hemp seed (HS) or hemp seed oil (HO). The level of HO was 4, 8, or 12%, whereas the level was 10 or 20% for the HS. A set of 8 birds fed wheat-, barley-, and corn oil-based diets served as the control. Performance was monitored over 12 wk. Average hen-day egg production was not affected upon feeding of either HS or HO diets. Egg weight was higher than that of the controls for hens consuming the 20% HS diet (P < 0.05). Feed intake was lower than that of the controls for birds consuming the 4% HO diet but similar across other treatments. Final BW were not affected by diet, with the exception of being lower than that of the controls (P < 0.05) in hens consuming the 12% HO diet. The total egg yolk n-3 fatty acid content increased linearly (P < 0.05) with increasing dietary α-linolenic acid provision with the HS- or HO-based diets. A quadratic response (P < 0.05) was observed for docosahexaenoic acid levels in egg yolk in response to increasing dietary α-linolenic acid supply. The expression of hepatic fatty acid desaturase 1 and 2, key genes for the desaturation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, was significantly decreased (50-60% of controls; P < 0.05) as a result of feeding HS or HO diets. Based on the results from the current study, the inclusion of the hemp products HS or HO in the diets of laying hens up to a maximum level of 20 and 12%, respectively, does not adversely effect the performance of laying hens and leads to the enrichment of the n-3 fatty acid content of eggs. PMID:22334746

  11. The efficacy of flubendazole against different developmental stages of the poultry roundworm Ascaridia galli in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Tarbiat, B; Jansson, D S; Moreno, L; Lanusse, C; Nylund, M; Tydén, E; Höglund, J

    2016-03-15

    Infection with the poultry roundworm Ascaridia galli has increased in European countries due to the ban on battery cages. This study was conducted in two commercial laying hen flocks (F1 & F2) on different farms in central Sweden. The aims were to (1) investigate the efficacy of flubendazole (FLBZ, 1.43 mg/kg administered in drinking water for 7 days) against adult and larval stages including histotrophic larvae of A. galli, and (2) determine how long it took before the flocks were reinfected after deworming. Accordingly, 180 randomly selected hens were sacrificed before drug administration (bd), on day 3 and 7 during drug administration (dd), and on a weekly basis for up to five weeks post drug administration (pd). Intestinal contents and cloacal materials of each hen plus pooled faecal samples from manure belts were investigated to assess the worm burden and the parasite egg per gram faeces (epg). Additionally, drinking water, and serum and gastrointestinal digesta content samples obtained from ten treated animals were analyzed by HPLC to measure FLBZ and its reduced (R-FLBZ) and hydrolyzed (H-FLBZ) metabolites. No parasite eggs were observed in cloacal samples on day 21 and 28 pd on F1 and on day 21 pd on F2. The epg in manure decreased by 65% and 88% on day 3 dd and by 99% and 97% on day 35 pd on F1 and F2 respectively. Mean FLBZ concentrations quantified in duodenal contents ranged between 0.50 and 0.79 μg/g. Although, no histotrophic larvae were found dd, they reappeared one week pd (7 ± 7 F1, 0.5 ± 0.5 F2). Adult worms were found in both flocks before drug administration (44 ± 20 F1, 35 ± 25 F2), on day 3 dd (4 ± 3 F1, 2 ± 2 F2), and then not until day 35 (0.2 ± 0.6) on F1 and day 28 (0.4 ± 0.9) pd on F2. Thus, the only period in which no A. galli were found was on day 7 dd. Although FLBZ was highly efficient our results indicate that the birds were reinfected already within one week pd. PMID:26872930

  12. Influence of commercial laying hen housing systems on the incidence and identification of Salmonella and Campylobacter1

    PubMed Central

    Jones, D. R.; Guard, J.; Gast, R. K.; Buhr, R. J.; Fedorka-Cray, P. J.; Abdo, Z.; Plumblee, J. R.; Bourassa, D. V.; Cox, N. A.; Rigsby, L. L.; Robison, C. I.; Regmi, P.; Karcher, D. M.

    2016-01-01

    The housing of laying hens is important for social, industrial, and regulatory aspects. Many studies have compared hen housing systems on the research farm, but few have fully examined commercial housing systems and management strategies. The current study compared hens housed in commercial cage-free aviary, conventional cage, and enriched colony cage systems. Environmental and eggshell pool samples were collected from selected cages/segments of the housing systems throughout the production cycle and monitored for Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence. At 77 wk of age, 120 hens per housing system were examined for Salmonella and Campylobacter colonization in the: adrenal glands, spleen, ceca, follicles, and upper reproductive tract. All isolates detected from environmental swabs, eggshell pools, and tissues were identified for serotype. Two predominant Salmonella were detected in all samples: S. Braenderup and S. Kentucky. Campylobacter coli and C. jejuni were the only Campylobacter detected in the flocks. Across all housing systems, approximately 7% of hens were colonized with Salmonella, whereas > 90% were colonized with Campylobacter. Salmonella Braenderup was the isolate most frequently detected in environmental swabs (P < 0.0001) and housing system impacted Salmonella spp. shedding (P < 0.0001). Campylobacter jejuni was the isolate most frequently found in environmental swabs (P < 0.01), while housing system impacted the prevalence of C. coli and jejuni in ceca (P < 0.0001). The results of this study provide a greater understanding of the impact of hen housing systems on hen health and product safety. Additionally, producers and academia can utilize the findings to make informed decisions on hen housing and management strategies to enhance hen health and food safety. PMID:26976901

  13. Effect of dietary vanadium and vitamin C on egg quality and antioxidant status in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wang, J P; He, K R; Ding, X M; Luo, Y H; Bai, S P; Zeng, Q F; Su, Z W; Xuan, Y; Zhang, K Y

    2016-06-01

    This study assessed the effect of dietary vanadium (V) and vitamin C (VC) on production performance, egg quality and antioxidant status in laying hens. A total of 360 laying hens (31-week-old) were randomly allotted into a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement treatments (four replicates and 10 chicks per replicate) with three levels of dietary V (0, 5 and 10 mg/kg) and three levels of vitamin C (0, 50 and 100 mg/kg) for 12 weeks. The effect of V and VC did not alter egg production, egg weight, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio during 1-12 week. Albumen height and Haugh unit value were linearly decreased (p < 0.001) by addition of V, whereas the effect of 100 mg/kg VC was observed to counteract (p < 0.05) this effect in V-containing treatments during 1-12 week. Hens fed V-containing diet laid lighter (linear effect, p < 0.05) coloured eggs (higher lightness value, lower redness and yellowness value), and the VC exerted no influence on it during 1-12 week. The serum superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities, ability to inhibit hydroxyl radical, were significantly decreased, and the malondialdehyde (MDA) and V contents were increased (p < 0.05) by effect of V during 4, 8 and 12 week. The effect of VC alone and the interactive effect between VC and V were shown to increase serum (p < 0.05) SOD activity in 4 week and decrease MAD levels in 12 week. The result indicate that V decreased the egg quality and caused the oxidative stress at level of 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg, and the addition of 100 mg/kg vitamin C can alleviate its egg quality reduction effect and can mitigate the oxidative stress to some extent. PMID:26259765

  14. [Behaviour of laying hens in aviaries--review. Part 2: Feeding behaviour, reproductive and dust bathing behaviour of chickens].

    PubMed

    Moesta, A; Briese, A; Knierim, U; Hartung, J

    2008-01-01

    This literature review gives information about important behaviour patterns concerning feeding, reproduction and dust bathing of laying hens kept in aviary systems. The behaviour of hens in aviaries is compared to the behaviour of hens living under "close to natural" conditions. Feeding behaviour can be performed to a great extent in aviaries. The same is true for nesting behaviour, while mating behaviour can only be shown in mixed flocks. Dust bathing behaviour in aviaries should be further investigated. Although a litter area is provided and therefore dust bathing is basically possible, further research is needed, to which amount dust bathing behaviour is performed and how it is influenced by composition and height of the dust bathing substrate. Feather pecking and cannibalism can cause more deaths in housing systems with large groups of birds than in cage systems. Considering these results and the results of a first paper dealing with social and resting behaviour, aviaries provide an environment, where hens can perform a large part of their species typical behaviour repertoire. Therefore, under the aspect of behaviour, for laying hens in aviaries the potential to experience good welfare can be evaluated as fairly high. PMID:18265752

  15. Dust-bathing behavior of laying hens in enriched colony housing systems and an aviary system.

    PubMed

    Louton, H; Bergmann, S; Reese, S; Erhard, M H; Rauch, E

    2016-07-01

    The dust-bathing behavior of Lohmann Selected Leghorn hens was compared in 4 enriched colony housing systems and in an aviary system. The enriched colony housing systems differed especially in the alignment and division of the functional areas dust bath, nest, and perches. Forty-eight-hour video recordings were performed at 3 time-points during the laying period, and focal animal sampling and behavior sampling methods were used to analyze the dust-bathing behavior. Focal animal data included the relative fractions of dust-bathing hens overall, of hens bathing in the dust-bath area, and of those bathing on the wire floor throughout the day. Behavior data included the number of dust-bathing bouts within a predefined time range, the duration of 1 bout, the number of and reasons for interruptions, and the number of and reasons for the termination of dust-bathing bouts. Results showed that the average duration of dust bathing varied between the 4 enriched colony housing systems compared with the aviary system. The duration of dust-bathing bouts was shorter than reported under natural conditions. A positive correlation between dust-bathing activity and size of the dust-bath area was observed. Frequently, dust baths were interrupted and terminated by disturbing influences such as pecking by other hens. This was especially observed in the enriched colony housing systems. In none of the observed systems, neither in the enriched colony housing nor in the aviary system, were all of the observed dust baths terminated "normally." Dust bathing behavior on the wire mesh rather than in the provided dust-bath area generally was observed at different frequencies in all enriched colony housing systems during all observation periods, but never in the aviary system. The size and design of the dust-bath area influenced the prevalence of dust-bathing behavior in that small and subdivided dust-bath areas reduced the number of dust-bathing bouts but increased the incidence of sham dust

  16. Dust-bathing behavior of laying hens in enriched colony housing systems and an aviary system

    PubMed Central

    Louton, H.; Bergmann, S.; Reese, S.; Erhard, M. H.; Rauch, E.

    2016-01-01

    The dust-bathing behavior of Lohmann Selected Leghorn hens was compared in 4 enriched colony housing systems and in an aviary system. The enriched colony housing systems differed especially in the alignment and division of the functional areas dust bath, nest, and perches. Forty-eight-hour video recordings were performed at 3 time-points during the laying period, and focal animal sampling and behavior sampling methods were used to analyze the dust-bathing behavior. Focal animal data included the relative fractions of dust-bathing hens overall, of hens bathing in the dust-bath area, and of those bathing on the wire floor throughout the day. Behavior data included the number of dust-bathing bouts within a predefined time range, the duration of 1 bout, the number of and reasons for interruptions, and the number of and reasons for the termination of dust-bathing bouts. Results showed that the average duration of dust bathing varied between the 4 enriched colony housing systems compared with the aviary system. The duration of dust-bathing bouts was shorter than reported under natural conditions. A positive correlation between dust-bathing activity and size of the dust-bath area was observed. Frequently, dust baths were interrupted and terminated by disturbing influences such as pecking by other hens. This was especially observed in the enriched colony housing systems. In none of the observed systems, neither in the enriched colony housing nor in the aviary system, were all of the observed dust baths terminated “normally.” Dust bathing behavior on the wire mesh rather than in the provided dust-bath area generally was observed at different frequencies in all enriched colony housing systems during all observation periods, but never in the aviary system. The size and design of the dust-bath area influenced the prevalence of dust-bathing behavior in that small and subdivided dust-bath areas reduced the number of dust-bathing bouts but increased the incidence of sham dust

  17. Air Quality in Alternative Housing Systems May Have an Impact on Laying Hen Welfare. Part II—Ammonia

    PubMed Central

    David, Bruce; Mejdell, Cecilie; Michel, Virginie; Lund, Vonne; Oppermann Moe, Randi

    2015-01-01

    The EU ban on conventional barren cages for laying hens from 2012 has improved many aspects of laying hen welfare. The new housing systems allow for the expression of highly-motivated behaviors. However, the systems available for intensive large-scale egg production (e.g., aviaries, floor housing systems, furnished cages) may cause other welfare challenges. We have reviewed the literature regarding the health, behavior, production characteristics, and welfare of laying hens when exposed to ammonia in their housing environment. Concentrations of ammonia gas are commonly high in aviaries and floor housing systems in which manure is not regularly removed, whereas they are usually lower in furnished cages. High levels are found during the cold season when ventilation flow is often reduced. Ammonia is a pungent gas, and behavioral studies indicate chickens are averse to the gas. High concentrations of gaseous ammonia can have adverse health effects and, when very high, even influence production performance. The most profound effects seen are the occurrence of lesions in the respiratory tract and keratoconjunctivitis. There is also evidence that high ammonia concentrations predispose poultry to respiratory disease and secondary infections. We conclude that there are animal welfare challenges related to high ammonia levels, and that immediate actions are needed. Development of improved systems and management routines for manure removal and ventilation will be important for the reduction of ammonia levels and hence will contribute to safeguarding hen welfare. PMID:26479391

  18. Selenium-Fertilized Tritordeum (× Tritordeum Ascherson et Graebner) as Dietary Selenium Supplement in Laying Hens: Effects on Egg Quality.

    PubMed

    Tufarelli, V; Cazzato, E; Ceci, E; Laudadio, V

    2016-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of adding selenium (Se) in cereal production by fertilization on Se concentration in laying hen eggs. Tritordeum (×Tritordeum Ascherson et Graebner), a new cereal from the cross between durum wheat and a wild barley species having accreditation as natural crop species, was produced using selenate as Se-fertilizer. Hy-Line Brown laying hens were randomly allocated to two dietary treatments and fed for 10 weeks. Hens were fed two corn-soybean meal-based diets comprising a control basal diet including Tritordeum (100 g/kg diet) cv. Aucan grown without Se fertilization (containing background Se only from premix supplying 1,0 times birds' requirements) and a test-diet containing Se-enriched Tritordeum at the same level of the control diet. No difference was observed among dietary treatments on feed consumption and efficiency, egg mass, and laying rate, whereas egg yolk Se and vitamin E contents as well as liver and plasma Se levels were significantly influenced by dietary Se-enriched Tritordeum. Based on our findings, Se-enriched Tritordeum improved egg quality without affecting hens' productive performance. Thus, Se-fertilized Tritordeum may represent a valuable natural source of Se compared to conventional dietary supplements. PMID:26899320

  19. Potential for horizontal transmission of Salmonella and Campylobacter among caged and cage free laying hens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nine hens were inoculated orally and intravaginally with a marker strain of Salmonella and Campylobacter at 56 wk-of-age and housed in individual cages in isolation. Challenged hens were comingled with non-challenged hens 2 wk post-inoculation, at a ratio of 1 challenged hen per 4 non-challenged he...

  20. Phytase transgenic corn in nutrition of laying hens: residual phytase activity and phytate phosphorus content in the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Gao, C Q; Ji, C; Zhao, L H; Zhang, J Y; Ma, Q G

    2013-11-01

    The residual activities of transgenic corn-derived and 2 commercial microbial phytases (PA and PB) along the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of laying hens were compared to evaluate their relative resistance to hydrolysis in the GIT when added to P-deficient diets. The treatments consisted of a negative control (NC) diet containing 0.10 nonphytate P and an NC diet supplemented with transgenic corn-derived phytase (TCDP), PA, and PB at 500 to 5,000 FTU/kg of diet, respectively. Seven diets were fed to Hy-Line Brown laying hens (n = 504; 8 replicates of 9 hens per treatment) for 21 d. At the end of the experiment, the hens were killed and digesta samples from the crop, proventriculus and gizzard, jejunum, and ileum were collected and analyzed for residual phytase activities and phytate P content. Phytase activity in the transgenic corn was determined to be 8,980 FTU/kg of DM. The residual phytase activities along the GIT had increased (P < 0.01) with the addition of TCDP, PA, and PB to the NC diets. The TCDP had higher residual activity (P < 0.05) in the crop, proventriculus and gizzard, jejunum, and ileum as compared with the PA and PB activity. There was a decrease (P < 0.01) in the phytate P content of the digesta from all sources of phytase supplementation in the NC diets. Residual phytate P content decreased caudally along the GIT of hens. The results of this research indicate that phytase expressed in corn is as efficacious as the commercial microbial phytases (PA and PB) in P-deficient diets for the improvement of phytate P digestibility, which would eliminate the need for supplemental phytase and corn separately in laying hen diets. PMID:24135596

  1. Effect of dietary nonphytate phosphorus on laying performance and small intestinal epithelial phosphate transporter expression in Dwarf pink-shell laying hens

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effects of various levels of dietary nonphytate phosphorus on laying performance and the expression patterns of phosphorus metabolism related genes in Dwarf pink-shell laying hens. A total of 405 28-week-old Dwarf pink-shell laying hens were fed the same corn-soybean basal meals but containing 0.20%, 0.25%, 0.30%, 0.35% or 0.40% nonphytate phosphorus. The results showed that feed intake, egg production, and average egg weights were quadratically correlated with dietary nonphytate phosphorus content (P < 0.05), and the highest egg production, feed intake and average egg weights were achieved when dietary nonphytate phosphorus was at 0.3% (P < 0.05). mRNA expression of intestinal sodium phosphorus co-transporter linearly decreased when dietary nonphytate phosphorus increased. mRNA and protein expression of intestinal calbindin and vitamin D receptor correlated quadratically with dietary nonphytate phosphorus, and the highest expression was found when dietary available phosphorus was at 0.25% to 0.3%. In conclusion, the ideal phosphorus requirement for Dwarf pink-shell layer hens is estimated to be 0.3% in a corn-soybean diet. With this level of phosphorus supplementation, calbindin and vitamin D receptor reached their highest expression. PMID:24028402

  2. Dietary supplementation with sodium bicarbonate improves calcium absorption and eggshell quality of laying hens during peak production.

    PubMed

    Jiang, M J; Zhao, J P; Jiao, H C; Wang, X J; Zhang, Q; Lin, H

    2015-01-01

    The advantage of supplemental sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) on eggshell quality in laying hens changes with age. Besides increasing calcium (Ca) secretion in the eggshell gland, it may improve Ca absorption in the intestine or kidney. Hy-Line Brown layers (n = 384), 25 weeks of age, were allocated to two treatment groups in two experiments, each of which included 4 replicates of 24 hens. Hens were fed a basal diet (control) or the basal diet containing 3 g NaHCO3 g/kg for 50 or 20 weeks in Experiment 1 or 2, respectively. A 24-h continuous lighting regimen was used to allow hens to consume the dietary supplements during the period of active eggshell formation. In Experiment 1, particularly from 25 to 50 weeks of age, and in Experiment 2, NaHCO3 supplementation favoured hen-d egg production at the expense of lower egg weight. The increased eggshell thickness should have nothing to do with the additional eggshell formation, because of the unchanged egg mass and daily eggshell calcification. At 35 weeks of age in both experiments, NaHCO3 supplementation increased duodenal expression of calbindin-d28k (CaBP-D28k) protein, contributing to higher Ca retention and balance. From 50 to 75 weeks of age in Experiment 1, the hens had little response to NaHCO3 supplementation and showed a negative trend on eggshell thickness and strength. It is concluded that dietary supplementation with 3 g NaHCO3 g/kg improves Ca absorption and eggshell quality of laying hens during the peak but not late production period, with the introduction of continuous lighting. PMID:26569471

  3. Risk factors associated with keel bone and foot pad disorders in laying hens housed in aviary systems.

    PubMed

    Heerkens, J L T; Delezie, E; Rodenburg, T B; Kempen, I; Zoons, J; Ampe, B; Tuyttens, F A M

    2016-03-01

    Aviary systems for laying hens offer space and opportunities to perform natural behaviors. However, hen welfare can be impaired due to increased risk for keel bone and foot pad disorders in those systems. This cross-sectional study (N = 47 flocks) aimed to assess prevalences of keel bone and foot pad disorders in laying hens housed in aviaries in Belgium to identify risk factors for these disorders and their relation to egg production. Information on housing characteristics and egg production were obtained through questionnaire-based interviews, farm records, and measurements in the henhouse. Keel bone (wounds, hematomas, fractures, deviations) and foot pad disorders (dermatitis, hyperkeratosis) were assessed in 50 randomly selected 60-week-old laying hens per flock. A linear model with stepwise selection procedure was used to investigate associations between risk factors, production parameters, and the keel bone and foot pad disorders. The flock mean prevalences were: hematomas 41.2%, wounds 17.6%, fractures 82.5%, deviations 58.9%, hyperkeratosis 42.0%, dermatitis 27.6%, and bumble foot 1.2%. Identified risk factors for keel bone disorders were aviary type (row vs. portal), tier flooring material (wire mesh vs. plastic slats), corridor width, nest box perch, and hybrid. Identified risk factors for foot pad disorders were aviary type (row vs. portal), free-range, and hybrid. Percentage of second-quality eggs was negatively associated with keel bone deviations (P = 0.029) at the flock level. Keel bone and foot pad disorders were alarmingly high in aviary housing. The identification of various risk factors suggests improvements to aviary systems may lead to better welfare of laying hens. PMID:26628344

  4. Pop hole use by hens with different keel fracture status monitored throughout the laying period.

    PubMed

    Richards, G J; Wilkins, L J; Knowles, T G; Booth, F; Toscano, M J; Nicol, C J; Brown, S N

    2012-05-12

    The aim of this work was to study the effect of keel fractures on the extent to which free-range hens access the range through pop holes. Over two consecutive laying periods (two production years) a total of 1100 individual birds from one half of a house, divided into four separated flocks, were caught at 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65 weeks, palpated to assess the prevalence and severity of keel fractures and tagged with RFID transponders. Their use of pop holes was subsequently monitored in some cases from week 25 to end of lay at 68 to 70 weeks. At regular intervals (every 10 weeks), the tagged birds were re-caught to assess changes in keel fracture prevalence and severity. The average percentage of birds with fractured keels at 25, 35, 45, 55, 65 and at end of lay (68 to 70 weeks of age) was 5.5, 25.5, 49, 63, 66.5 and 78.5, respectively, across both production years. The effect of keel score on pop hole use was modelled statistically, adjusting for weather conditions and age of the birds. There were significant effects of most of the weather variables recorded, as well as age of the bird, on use of pop holes and also a significant effect of keel score. Higher keel scores resulted in a reduction in pop hole use. A significant statistical interaction between keel score and ambient temperature revealed an accelerated reduction in use as the temperature decreased and keel score increased. It is concluded that the occurrence of keel fractures may affect the birds' ability or willingness to utilise the outdoor range provided by free-range housing systems, thereby reducing the potential welfare advantages of this type of housing. PMID:22447459

  5. Population size, cage area, and dominance rank effects on productivity and well-being of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, D L; van Tienhoven, A; Gvaryahu, G

    1988-03-01

    The effect of two cage population sizes (four vs. six/cage) and two cage area treatments (316 cm2 vs. 406 cm2/bird) were compared in a nonconfounded design while maintaining feeder space constant (8.9 cm/bird) for egg production performances and behavioral and physiological indicators of well-being of laying hens. Egg production rates were determined for all members of each cage group (palpations at 48 to 50 wk) and on a cage group basis (20 to 60 wk). Heart weights, plasma corticosterone levels, durations of tonic immobility (TI), and plumage conditions were compared for top and bottom birds in the dominance ranks. Significant reductions in egg production were observed for low ranking hens in the high density (4 and 6/316-cm2) treatments. In addition, high ranking hens of the 6/316-cm2 treatment produced fewer eggs than high ranking hens in the 4/316-cm2 treatment. When high and low ranking individuals were housed in single-hen cages, egg production was improved relative to performances in the social environments. Heart weights of hens, as a percentage of body weight, were increased in the low ranking hens and for hens in the smaller cage size. Plasma corticosterone did not prove to be a useful indicator of well-being. Low ranking individuals had greater durations of TI but differences in feather condition were not detected. The results support the contention that appropriate population sizes and cage space allocations can be determined that will optimize the performance and welfare of layers in cage environments. PMID:3405919

  6. Recombinant proteins from Gallibacterium anatis induces partial protection against heterologous challenge in egg-laying hens.

    PubMed

    Pors, Susanne Elisabeth; Skjerning, Ragnhild Bager; Flachs, Esben M; Bojesen, Anders Miki

    2016-01-01

    Gallibacterium anatis is a Gram-negative bacterium and major cause of salpingitis and peritonitis in egg-laying hens, thereby contributing to decreased egg production and increased mortality among the hens. Due to widespread drug resistance and antigenic diversity, novel prophylactic measures are urgently required. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cross-protective capacity of three recombinant proteins recently identified as potential vaccine candidates; GtxA-N, GtxA-C, and FlfA, in an in vivo challenge model. Nine groups of birds were immunized twice with each protein, respectively, with 14 days separation. Additionally, three groups served as non-immunized controls. After 3 weeks, the birds were challenged with either of three G. anatis strains: 12656-12, 7990 or IPDH 697-78, respectively. Blood samples were taken at three different time points prior to challenge, as well as 48 h after challenge. All birds were euthanized and subjected to a post mortem procedure including scoring of lesions and sampling for bacterial growth. Moreover, ELISA assays were used to quantify antigen-specific IgG titers in serum. The results showed that all three proteins induced protection against the homologous strain 12656-12. No protein induced complete protection against strain 7990, although FlfA reduced the bacterial re-isolation rate. Moreover, immunization with GtxA-N and FlfA induced protection, while GtxA-C reduced the bacterial re-isolation, against strain IPDH 697-78. Thus although complete cross-protection against all three strains was not achieved, the results hold great promise for a new generation of immunogens in the search for novel prophylactic measures against G. anatis. PMID:26915521

  7. Survey of the prevalence of Salmonella species on laying hen farms in Kosovo.

    PubMed

    Hulaj, B; Çabeli, P; Goga, I; Taylor, N; Hess, C; Hess, M L

    2016-09-01

    A survey on the prevalence of Salmonella (S) species was carried out on 39 layer farms in Kosovo between April and September 2012. In total 367 samples, comprising feces, dust, eggs, and internal organs from dead birds, were investigated using bacteriological culture methods. Additionally, data on the location of the farm, the total number of birds on the farm, age of birds, and laying performance were collected. Salmonella were isolated from 38 samples obtained from 19 (49%) farms. The most common serovar identified was Salmonella enteritidis, found on 18 farms. The most common S. enteritidis phage type was PT29 followed by PT6, PT7, PT21, PT13a, PT8, PT14b, and PT4. One S. enteritidis isolate was not typable. Six farms had more than one phage type. Furthermore, serovar S. Bovismorbificans also was found in samples from 3 farms. Flock size or production stage was not associated with the probability of isolating Salmonella. The only flock factor found to be significantly associated was percent hen/day production: It was 2.8 times more likely to isolate Salmonella from flocks with production above 80% hen/day production compared to flocks producing at a lower level. Analysis of antimicrobial resistance patterns of 30 isolates revealed that all isolates were sensitive to gentamicin, ampicillin, sulphamethoxazole trimethoprim, and oxytetracycline, and 29 (97%) were sensitive to ciprofloxacin. All isolates showed intermediate resistance or were resistant to minocycline and cloxacillin. Twenty-six isolates (86%) had intermediate resistance to amoxicillin and 27 isolates (90%) were fully resistant to streptomycin. The present survey revealed a high prevalence of Salmonella enteritidis in layer flocks in Kosovo, indicating that table eggs have to be suspected as an important source of human salmone-llosis. PMID:27252368

  8. Blood flow through arteriovenous anastomoses and its thermal function in the laying hen.

    PubMed Central

    Wolfenson, D

    1983-01-01

    1. Total (arteriovenous anastomoses + capillary) blood flow (t.b.f.) and capillary blood flow (c.b.f.) distribution were determined by 52 and 15 micron microspheres respectively, in body organs of six unanaesthetized laying hens, exposed to thermoneutral air temperatures. 2. Statistically significant differences between t.b.f. and c.b.f. were only found in the unfeathered metatarsal skin, comb and wattles. The c.b.f. constituted 22, 42 and 45% of t.b.f. respectively, indicating significant arteriovenous anastomoses (a.v.a.) blood flow. Differences between t.b.f. and c.b.f. were small in the two larger ovarian follicles and digestive tract and were negligible in reproductive tract, liver and kidney. 3. Microspheres of different size have been injected into the external ischiadic artery in order to examine the vasomotor responses of leg tissues in twenty-one hens kept in thermoneutral, cold or hot conditions. 4. In cold, thermoneutral and hot conditions 1, 16 and 35% of whole leg blood flow respectively passed through a.v.a. Only c.b.f. was present in bone and muscle in either treatment; cold and heat reduced it in bones and cold increased it in muscles. Arteriovenous anastomoses blood flow appeared mostly in unfeathered skin; it constituted 17, 53 and 83% of t.b.f. to this tissue in cold, thermoneutral and hot conditions, while t.b.f. increased from 1.4 to 14% and 30% of whole leg blood flow respectively. Blood flow to feathered skin decreased during heat and cold. PMID:6864561

  9. Omega-3 fatty acid profile of eggs from laying hens fed diets supplemented with chia, fish oil, and flaxseed.

    PubMed

    Coorey, Ranil; Novinda, Agnes; Williams, Hannah; Jayasena, Vijay

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of diets supplemented with fish oil, flaxseed, and chia seed on the omega-3 fatty acid composition and sensory properties of hens' eggs. No significant difference in yolk fat content was found between treatments. The fatty acid composition of egg yolk was significantly affected by the dietary treatments. Inclusion of chia at 300 g/kg into the diet produced eggs with the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acid. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid were only detected in eggs from laying hens fed the diet supplemented with fish oil. Diet had a significant effect on color, flavor and overall acceptability of eggs. Types and levels of omega-3 fatty acids in feed influence the level of yolk omega-3 fatty acids in egg yolk. Inclusion of chia into the hens' diet significantly increased the concentration of yolk omega-3 fatty acid without significant change in sensory properties. PMID:25557903

  10. EFFECTS OF F-STRAIN MYCOPLASMA GALLISEPTICUM INOCULATION AT TWELVE WEEKS OF AGE ON EGG YOLK COMPOSITION IN COMMERCIAL EGG LAYING HENS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In two trials, the effects of F-strain Mycoplasma gallisepticum (FMG) on the content of egg yolks from commercial Single Combed White Leghorn laying hens were investigated over a production cycle. Ten hens were assigned to each of eight (Trial 1) or sixteen (Trial 2) negative pressure fiberglass bi...

  11. Rearing without early access to perches impairs the spatial skills of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Gunnarsson; Yngvesson; Keeling; Forkman

    2000-04-01

    The effect of rearing with and without perches on the spatial ability of domestic hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) was investigated. No access or late access to perches during rearing has been shown to increase the later prevalence of floor eggs and cloacal cannibalism in loose-housed laying hens. This may be explained by either the birds reared without perches have difficulty using perches due to low muscle strength, lack of motor skills, and inability to keep balance, or they have impaired spatial skills necessary for moving around in three-dimensional space. These alternative explanations are not mutually exclusive.Thirty, day-old chicks were randomly allocated into two equal groups and reared in litter pens, one with access to perches (P+) and one without (P-). At 8 weeks of age, all birds were given access to perches, and by 15 weeks, all birds were using perches for roosting at night. At 16 weeks, 10 birds from each group were tested in pens where food was presented on a wire mesh tier 40 cm above the ground (T40). Three consecutive tests, with increasing difficulty for the bird to reach the food, were then performed. Firstly, the food was presented at 80 cm above the ground but with the tier at 40 cm still present; secondly, food was presented on the tier at 80 cm; and then, finally, with the food on a 160 cm high tier with the tier at 80 cm still present. All birds were food deprived for 15 h before each test and the time from the bird entering the pen until reaching the food was recorded. There was no difference in the time to reach the food between P+ and P- birds in the T40 test. But as the difficulty of the task increased, the difference between the P+ and P- birds became significant, with the P- birds taking a longer time to reach the food or not reaching it at all. Since there was no difference between P+ and P- in the T40 test, it seems reasonable to suppose that the later differences did not depend on differences in physical ability. Therefore, the

  12. Effects of phytoestrogen supplementation in the feed on the shell gland of laying hens at the end of the laying period.

    PubMed

    Wistedt, A; Ridderstråle, Y; Wall, H; Holm, L

    2012-08-01

    Shell quality decreases as laying hens age and the aim of present study was to investigate how a supplement of daidzein, a natural phytoestrogen in soya, affects key factors in the shell gland and eggshell quality in late-stage laying hens. Hybrids of Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) and Lohmann Brown (LB), received either a daidzein diet (50 mg/kg feed) or a control diet from 60 to 72 weeks of age. Both the total number of capillaries and capillaries with carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity were higher in the LSL hybrid than in the LB. After daidzein supplementation the number of CA positive capillaries was unaffected in the LSL but increased in the LB hybrid indicating a higher sensitivity to daidzein in this hybrid. Estrogen receptor alpha and beta (ERα, ERβ) were localized and the complete picture of the two ERs can now be described in shell gland of domestic hens. Nuclear and cytoplasmic staining was generally stronger for ERβ, while membrane associated staining was present only for ERα. Interestingly, capillary endothelium contained only ERβ and since estrogen regulation of CA is well documented, the presence of an endothelial ER provides one possible route for the increase in CA positive capillaries found in LB hybrids. Eggshell quality or egg production was not affected by daidzein supplementation. The hybrids used in this study showed anatomical differences and reacted differently to daidzein supplementation, but if this can be explained by the divergences in ERβ localization noted between the hybrids remains to be clarified. PMID:22835656

  13. [Control of Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini and Fanzago, 1877) (Acari: Macronyssidae) infestation in commercial laying hens by using Azadirachta indica extract].

    PubMed

    Soares, Nilce M; Tucci, Edna C; Guastalli, Elizabeth A L; Yajima, Helena

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluated the effectiveness of a neem extract-based product to control O. sylviarum infestations in commercial laying hens. The birds were divided in 3 groups, which received 2, 3, or 4 applications of the product at 7 day intervals. The results obtained allow the conclusion that the neem extract at 2% is effective to control infestations by O. sylviarum, and at least 3 sprays of the product are required weekly for an effective control of the parasite. PMID:19265573

  14. Susceptibility of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli from laying hens in Belgium to antibiotics and disinfectants and integron prevalence.

    PubMed

    Oosterik, Leon H; Peeters, Laura; Mutuku, Irene; Goddeeris, Bruno M; Butaye, Patrick

    2014-06-01

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) causes huge annual losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Multiresistance against antibiotics of APEC strains is increasingly seen in broilers, although much is still unknown about strains from laying hens where use of antibiotics is limited. Disinfection can reduce the infection burden. However, little is known about the presence of resistance against these products. Ninety-seven APEC strains were isolated from Belgian laying hens. The resistance to different classes of antibiotics was determined as well as the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC; agar and broth dilution) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of five disinfectants most often used in the poultry industry (formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, glyoxal, hydrogen peroxide, and a quaternary ammonium compound). The presence of integrons was determined by PCR Resistance to ampicillin (35.1%), nalidixic acid (38.1%), sulfonamides (SULFA, 41.2%), and tetracycline (TET, 53.6%) was high but resistance to other tested antibiotics was low. Nevertheless, two extended spectrum beta-lactamase producers were found. The MIC of the disinfectants for the APEC strains showed a Gaussian distribution, indicating that there was no acquired resistance. MBCs were similar to MICs via the broth dilution method, showing the bactericidal effect of the disinfectants. Twenty-one strains (21.6%) were found positive for class 1 integrons and a positive association between integron presence and resistance to trimethoprim, SULFA, and TET was found. No association could be found between integron presence and phylogenetic group affiliation. Susceptibility of APEC strains from laying hens to antibiotics is, in general, very high. Phenotypic resistance to commonly used disinfectants could not be found, indicating that the current use of disinfectants in the laying hen industry did not select for resistance. PMID:25055632

  15. Effects of inulin on performance, egg quality, gut microflora and serum and yolk cholesterol in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Shang, H M; Hu, T M; Lu, Y J; Wu, H X

    2010-12-01

    1. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of inulin on laying hens. A total of 360 Brown Nick laying hens were divided randomly into 6 groups of 60 with 6 replicates of 10 hens and fed on diets containing 0 (control), 0·1, 0·5, 1·0, 1·5 or 2·0% inulin during the 4-week trial. 2. Dietary supplementation of inulin reduced cholesterol concentration (mg/g yolk) and content (mg/egg) in eggs. Cholesterol content in eggs decreased linearly with increasing levels of dietary inulin level. 3. Supplementation of inulin in diets decreased coliform bacteria counts and pH in the caecum. The lowest coliform bacteria counts (6·30 ± 0·03 log10 cfu/g) and pH (6·47 ± 0·01) were obtained in the 2·0% inulin group, the two indices decreasing by 21·6% and 3·0% respectively, compared with the control group. Coliform bacteria count and pH were changed linearly in accordance with increasing levels of dietary inulin level. Caecal Bifidobacteria counts were increased in the 2·0%-inulin group. 4. Inulin supplementation of layer diets did not appear to have any adverse effects on laying rate, egg weight, feed intake, feed conversion efficiency, cracked-egg rate, eggshell thickness or Haugh unit compared with the control laying hens. 5. Therefore, dietary supplementation with inulin may lead to the development of low-cholesterol chicken eggs as demanded by health-conscious consumers. PMID:21161786

  16. [Enriched cage systems for laying hens--legal minimum conditions and starting points for their scientific evaluation].

    PubMed

    Briese, A; Sewerin, K; Knierim, U; Hartung, J

    2001-03-01

    Recent developments in the European and national legislation regarding minimum standards for the keeping of laying hens will be causing changed conditions for egg production in the medium term. Enriched cages shall allow hens to better fulfill their needs than traditional battery cages. More space for the stretching of wings and legs, perches for resting, littered areas for scratching, pecking and dustbathing and nests for egg-laying behaviour shall allow layers to perform more of their normal behaviour patterns. However, regarding the sustainability of these systems there are different views and still a great lack of scientific data and practical experience. An overview is given on the development of European and national animal welfare legislation concerning laying hens, minimum requirements for enriched cages and the available evidence about animal behaviour, performance and health in these systems. Furthermore, a current project at the School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover on the animal welfare assessment of enriched cages, specifically on the Aviplus cage system, which was one of the first systems on the market and is in accordance with EU-directive, is introduced. PMID:11314463

  17. Manipulation of the phenotypic appearance of individuals in groups of laying hens: effects on stress and immune-related variables.

    PubMed

    Nazar, F N; Marin, R H; Liste, G; Campderrich, I; Estevez, I

    2015-01-01

    This study evaluated whether phenotypic appearance (PA) alteration during two developmental phases in laying hens, reared in two different group sizes, affects stress and immune responses. After hatching, 750 chicks were randomly assigned to 30 pens at a group size of either 10 or 40 birds. Then, the appearance of 0, 30, 50, 70 or 100% of the chicks in each pen was altered by blackdyeing their head feathers (marked); remaining chicks were unmarked. At 32 weeks, basal and postacute stress plasma corticosterone concentration, leukocyte counts, phytohemagglutinin-p lymphoproliferative and primary antibody responses were measured in six birds/pen. Analysis of variances (ANOVAs) showed no differences among treatment combinations. In a second phase, birds within initially homogeneous pens were sequentially either marked or had dye bleached to alter PA of 70% of hens in each flock (= group in a pen). Hens within initially heterogeneous pens remained unaltered as controls. The above variables were remeasured. Hens in phenotypically manipulated pens showed modified leukocyte counts compared to hens in control pens, indicating a chronic stress reaction in all penmates (whether individual PA was altered or not). Social isolation increased plasma corticosterone concentration. However, within groups of n = 40, phenotypically unaltered hens had lower responses than their altered penmate counterparts, suggesting that remaining in a stable PA group aids better coping with challenges. Although all hens in manipulated pens showed modified leukocyte counts, their antibody and lymphoproliferative responses did not differ from controls suggesting that all groupmates were able to immunologically cope with the challenges presented, within the timeframe evaluated. PMID:26364806

  18. Exposure to Increased Environmental Complexity during Rearing Reduces Fearfulness and Increases Use of Three-Dimensional Space in Laying Hens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Brantsæter, Margrethe; Nordgreen, Janicke; Rodenburg, T. Bas; Tahamtani, Fernanda M.; Popova, Anastasija; Janczak, Andrew M.

    2016-01-01

    The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and would use elevated areas of the pen more often as adults than hens reared in a barren cage environment. Laying hens (N = 160) were housed in the same rearing house; half of the birds (n = 80) in an aviary and the other half (n = 80) in cages. At 16 weeks of age, the birds were transported to the experimental facilities. Their behavior was recorded at 19 and 23 weeks of age and analyzed by analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have lower levels of fearfulness compared with cage-reared birds both at 19 weeks and at 23 weeks of age. When comparing the response induced by initial exposure to a novel object at 19 and 23 weeks of age, more aviary-reared birds tended to fly up at 19 weeks compared to the cage-reared birds, indicating a tendency toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds than in cage-reared birds. There was no difference between treatments in the flight response at 23 weeks. The groups did not differ in defecation frequency or the concentration of fecal corticosterone metabolites at either age. At 19 weeks, observation of the spatial distribution in the home pens indicated that more aviary-reared birds spent time on the low perch, the elevated platform, and the upper perch, compared to the cage-reared birds. However, at 23 weeks of age, these differences were no longer detected. The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness of adult laying hens. PMID:26973843

  19. Exposure to Increased Environmental Complexity during Rearing Reduces Fearfulness and Increases Use of Three-Dimensional Space in Laying Hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Brantsæter, Margrethe; Nordgreen, Janicke; Rodenburg, T Bas; Tahamtani, Fernanda M; Popova, Anastasija; Janczak, Andrew M

    2016-01-01

    The complexity of the rearing environment is important for behavioral development and fearfulness. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that laying hens reared in a complex aviary system with exposure to mild intermittent stressors would be less fearful, less sensitive to stress, and would use elevated areas of the pen more often as adults than hens reared in a barren cage environment. Laying hens (N = 160) were housed in the same rearing house; half of the birds (n = 80) in an aviary and the other half (n = 80) in cages. At 16 weeks of age, the birds were transported to the experimental facilities. Their behavior was recorded at 19 and 23 weeks of age and analyzed by analysis of variance on individual scores for a fearfulness-related principal component generated using principal component analysis. The results indicate that aviary-reared birds have lower levels of fearfulness compared with cage-reared birds both at 19 weeks and at 23 weeks of age. When comparing the response induced by initial exposure to a novel object at 19 and 23 weeks of age, more aviary-reared birds tended to fly up at 19 weeks compared to the cage-reared birds, indicating a tendency toward a more active behavioral response in the aviary-reared birds than in cage-reared birds. There was no difference between treatments in the flight response at 23 weeks. The groups did not differ in defecation frequency or the concentration of fecal corticosterone metabolites at either age. At 19 weeks, observation of the spatial distribution in the home pens indicated that more aviary-reared birds spent time on the low perch, the elevated platform, and the upper perch, compared to the cage-reared birds. However, at 23 weeks of age, these differences were no longer detected. The results of this study support the hypothesis that increased environmental complexity during rearing reduces fearfulness of adult laying hens. PMID:26973843

  20. The development of seasonal emission factors from a Canadian commercial laying hen facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, Robert J.; Wood, David J.; Van Heyst, Bill J.

    2014-04-01

    Pollutants emitted from poultry housing facilities are a concern from a human health, bird welfare, and environmental perspective. Development of emission factors for these aerial pollutants is difficult due to variable climatic conditions, the number and type of poultry, and the wide range of management practices used. To address these concerns, a study was conducted to develop emission factors for ammonia and particulate matter over a period of one year from a commercial poultry laying hen facility in Wellington County, Ontario, Canada. Instruments housed inside an on-site mobile trailer were used to monitor in-house concentrations of ammonia and size fractionated particulate matter via a heated sample line. Along with a ventilation profile, emission factors were developed for the facility. Average emissions of 19.53 ± 19.97, 2.55 ± 2.10, and 1.10 ± 1.52 g day-1 AU-1 (where AU is defined as an animal unit equivalent to 500 kg live mass) for ammonia, PM10, PM2.5, respectively, were observed. All emissions peaked during the winter months, with the exception of PM2.5 which increased in the summer.

  1. Polluting profiles of dieldrin and DDTs in laying hens of Osaka, Japan.

    PubMed

    Furusawa, N; Morita, Y

    2000-09-01

    Contaminating/accumulating levels of organochlorine pesticides in extractable fats from a basal diet, eggs and seven tissues (adipose tissue, blood, kidney, liver, muscle, ovary and oviduct) and excreta of laying hens that were kept in a general poultry farm of Japan were examined. No benzene hexachlorides or aldrin was detected [< 1 part per billion (p.p.b.)] overall. Dieldrin and all DDTs (p,p'-DDE, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDD and p,p'-DDT) were contaminated in the dietary fats (mean range 10-70 p.p.b.). Although dieldrin (4-58 p.p.b.), p,p'-DDE (65-196 p.p.b.) and p,p'-DDT (30-73 p.p.b.) were found to be accumulated in all the tissue fats and egg yolk fats, they were not detected in the dried excreta. Accumulations of o,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDD were found only in the liver fat (92 p.p.b.) and in the kidney fat (27 p.p.b.), respectively. In all the samples, p,p'-DDE levels were highest in comparison with the other compounds. For all organochlorine pesticides detected, the accumulated levels were well below the practical residue limits. PMID:11048432

  2. Changes in feather condition in relation to feather pecking and aggressive behaviour in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Bilcík, B; Keeling, L J

    1999-09-01

    The aim of this experiment was to describe and examine the relationship between pecks received by individual birds and the feather and skin damage of those birds at different ages. The effect of group size was also studied. Laying hens were raised in floor pens in group sizes of 15, 30, 60 and 120 birds, each with 4 replicates. Behavioural observations were performed at the ages of 22, 27, 32 and 37 weeks. Detailed feather scoring was carried out at the ages of 18, 23, 28 and 33 weeks. Behavioural observations focused on the number of feather pecks (gentle and severe) and aggressive pecks received, and on the part of the body that was pecked. Scoring of feather and skin damage focused on the same 11 parts of the body. Increasing numbers of aggressive pecks received were associated with decreased body weight and increased feather damage at the ages of 27 and 32 weeks. The number of severe feather pecks received was significantly related with feather damage at all ages; however, no relation with gentle feather pecks received was found. Group size had a significant effect on feather condition, with large group sizes having most feather damage. PMID:10579400

  3. Pedigree and genomic analyses of feed consumption and residual feed intake in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wolc, Anna; Arango, Jesus; Jankowski, Tomasz; Settar, Petek; Fulton, Janet E; O'Sullivan, Neil P; Fernando, Rohan; Garrick, Dorian J; Dekkers, Jack C M

    2013-09-01

    Efficiency of production is increasingly important with the current escalation of feed costs and demands to minimize the environmental footprint. The objectives of this study were 1) to estimate heritabilities for daily feed consumption and residual feed intake and their genetic correlations with production and egg-quality traits; 2) to evaluate accuracies of estimated breeding values from pedigree- and marker-based prediction models; and 3) to localize genomic regions associated with feed efficiency in a brown egg layer line. Individual feed intake data collected over 2-wk trial periods were available for approximately 6,000 birds from 8 generations. Genetic parameters were estimated with a multitrait animal model; methods BayesB and BayesCπ were used to estimate marker effects and find genomic regions associated with feed efficiency. Using pedigree information, feed efficiency was found to be moderately heritable (h(2) = 0.46 for daily feed consumption and 0.47 for residual feed intake). Hens that consumed more feed and had greater residual feed intake (lower efficiency) had a genetic tendency to lay slightly more eggs with greater yolk weights and albumen heights. Regions on chromosomes 1, 2, 4, 7, 13, and Z were found to be associated with feed intake and efficiency. The accuracy from genomic prediction was higher and more persistent (better maintained across generations) than that from pedigree-based prediction. These results indicate that genomic selection can be used to improve feed efficiency in layers. PMID:23960108

  4. Residues of doxycycline and oxytetracycline in eggs after medication via drinking water to laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, H; Osawa, N; Rasa, F S; Hermawati, D; Werdiningsih, S; Isriyanthi, N M; Sugimori, T

    1991-01-01

    Doxycycline (DOTC) and oxytetracycline (OTC) were dissolved in drinking water (0.5 g/l) and supplied to laying hens for 7 consecutive days. Eggs laid were collected daily during and after medication, and the antibiotic concentrations in the yolk and albumin were determined by the cup-plate method with Bacillus cereus var. mycoides ATCC 11778. The concentrations of both antibiotics were increased in yolk day by day with the advance in medication, reached peaks 2 days after withdrawal and then declined gradually. Mean peak concentrations in the yolk were 6.70 micrograms/g for DOTC and 1.42 micrograms/g for OTC. Peak concentrations in the albumin occurred in the middle stage of medication, where the mean values were 12.24 micrograms/g for DOTC and 1.03 micrograms/g for OTC. DOTC was detected in albumin until 24 days after withdrawal and for 2 days more in yolk than in albumin. OTC was detected in yolk until 9 days after withdrawal. The depletion period of OTC was shorter for the albumin, where the residue disappeared in all eggs 6 days after withdrawal. In spite of similarities between DOTC and OTC in structure, DOTC was deposited in higher concentrations and lasted for a longer period in eggs. This characteristic was considered due to its greater lipophilicity, closely correlated with oral absorption and tissue penetration. PMID:2015932

  5. Efficacy of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product on intestinal health and productivity of coccidian-challenged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lensing, M; van der Klis, J D; Yoon, I; Moore, D T

    2012-07-01

    A 37-d laying hen experiment was performed to determine the effect of Diamond V XPC(LS) (XPC(LS), Diamond V Mills, Cedar Rapids, IA) during a subclinical Eimeria maxima infection on intestinal health and productivity. Two hundred and sixteen 18-wk-old Brown Nick laying hens were allocated to 24 litter pens based on a weight class system (9 hens/pen). The trial was carried out as a 2 × 2 factorial design with XPC(LS) and E. maxima challenge as main factors. Birds were fed a corn/wheat-based mash prelayer diet from wk 18 to 20 (10.9 MJ/kg of AME and 13.7% CP) and a standard phase I layer diet from wk 20 to 24 (11.7 MJ/kg of AME and 15.3% CP) that were supplemented with XPC(LS) at the rate of 0 or 0.75 g/kg. Hens were orally inoculated on d 23 (22 wk of age) with either 1 mL of saline (not infected) or 10,000 sporulated E. maxima oocysts/bird in 1 mL of saline (infected). Effects of XPC(LS) on intestinal health were determined by E. maxima lesion scoring. Results of E. maxima lesions were analyzed by Fisher exact, whereas severity of lesions and production parameters were analyzed by ANOVA. Supplementation of XPC(LS) significantly reduced severity of E. maxima lesions (P < 0.05) from 1.1 to 0.8 in challenged hens. An overall significant effect of XPC(LS) supplementation was demonstrated on d 34 by decreasing the severity of lesions from 0.3 to 0.1. The E. maxima challenge decreased (P < 0.05) production performance between 7 and 14 d postchallenge by lowering egg weight from 50 to 47 g/egg and laying rate from 84 to 70% and increasing feed per dozen eggs (P < 0.01) from 1.60 to 2.06 kg. Results indicate that Diamond V XPC(LS) supplementation reduced intestinal damage caused by an E. maxima infection in laying hens. PMID:22700503

  6. Changes of blood parameters associated with bone remodeling following experimentally induced fatty liver disorder in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Jiang, S; Cheng, H W; Cui, L Y; Zhou, Z L; Hou, J F

    2013-06-01

    Studies have demonstrated that obesity and osteoporosis are linked disorders in humans. This study examined the hypothesis that excessive lipid consumption affects bone metabolism in laying hens. A total of one hundred 63-wk-old laying hens were randomly divided into 2 treatments and fed either a regular layer diet (control) or a high energy and low protein diet (HE-LP; experimental treatment) for 80 d. Egg production, feed intake, and BW were recorded at various days during the treatment. At d 80, ten randomly chosen birds per treatment group were killed. Abdominal fat weight, liver weight, and liver fat content were determined. Serum levels of total calcium, inorganic phosphate, and alkaline phosphatase were measured using a biochemical analyzer. Serum concentrations of osteocalcin, leptin-like protein, and estrogen were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Tibia length and width were measured using a vernier caliper; density of the right tibias was determined using an x-ray scanner; and mechanical properties of the left tibias were analyzed using a material testing machine. The expression of osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin mRNA in the keel bone was analyzed by real-time PCR. The concentration of osteocalcin protein in the keels was measured using western blot. Compared with control hens, hens fed the HE-LP diet had lower egg production, lower feed intake, greater liver fat content, and greater abdominal fat pad mass (P < 0.05). Feeding the HE-LP diet increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity, osteocalcin, leptin-like protein, and estrogen concentrations (P < 0.05), and decreased the keel osteocalcin concentrations (P < 0.05). There were significant positive correlations between the serum concentrations of leptin-like protein, estrogen, and osteocalcin regardless of treatment (P < 0.05). The results indicated that HE-LP diet induced a fatty liver disorder in laying hens with an upregulation in bone turnover and exacerbated skeletal damage. The data

  7. Influence of Ascaridia galli infections and anthelmintic treatments on the behaviour and social ranks of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Gauly, M; Duss, C; Erhardt, G

    2007-05-31

    In the present study, the effects of an experimental Ascaridia galli infection and anthelmintic treatment on the behaviour and social status of laying hens of two different lines were studied. Sixty white (Lohmann LSL; LSL) and 60 brown (Lohmann Brown; LB) hens were reared under helminth-free conditions. The hens of each line were divided into four groups. The birds in two of the groups were artificially infected with 250 embryonated A. galli eggs at an age of 27 weeks. The other two groups were kept as uninfected controls. One infection and control group was dewormed at 38 weeks of age and slaughtered 4 weeks later, contemporary with the other animals. Individual faecal Ascaridia egg counts (FEC) were performed 11 weeks post-infection (p.i.). Body weights, laying performance and egg weights were recorded regularly. Blood was taken to measure testosterone levels. The worm burdens established in the intestines were counted in the infected not treated group after slaughtering. In addition, 15 behavioural parameters were recorded by focal animal observation (n=10 per group) of one infection (plus anthelmintic treatment) and one control group, according to the time-sampling method throughout the experiment. All agonistic interactions within the groups were recorded simultaneously on an ongoing basis, thereby allowing the calculation of an individual social rank index. The following results were obtained: Mean FEC and worm burden were higher (p < 0.01) in the LSL hens than in the LB hens, but their performances were not different (p > 0.05) from the controls. Infections with A. galli resulted in significant behavioural changes in both lines as the infected birds showed a higher food intake and lower locomotion activity during the prepatent and patent periods. After anthelmintic treatment, food intake decreased and locomotion increased. Behavioural changes were more pervasive in the infected LSL hens, as these hens also showed changes in ground pecking and nesting

  8. Air Quality in Alternative Housing Systems May Have an Impact on Laying Hen Welfare. Part I—Dust

    PubMed Central

    David, Bruce; Oppermann Moe, Randi; Michel, Virginie; Lund, Vonne; Mejdell, Cecilie

    2015-01-01

    The new legislation for laying hens in the European Union put a ban on conventional cages. Production systems must now provide the hens with access to a nest, a perch, and material for dust bathing. These requirements will improve the behavioral aspects of animal welfare. However, when hens are kept with access to litter, it is a concern that polluted air may become an increased threat to health and therefore also a welfare problem. This article reviews the literature regarding the health and welfare effects birds experience when exposed to barn dust. Dust is composed of inorganic and organic compounds, from the birds themselves as well as from feed, litter, and building materials. Dust may be a vector for microorganisms and toxins. In general, studies indicate that housing systems where laying hens have access to litter as aviaries and floor systems consistently have higher concentrations of suspended dust than caged hens with little (furnished cages) or no access to litter (conventional cages). The higher dust levels in aviaries and floor housing are also caused by increased bird activity in the non-cage systems. There are gaps in both the basic and applied knowledge of how birds react to dust and aerosol contaminants, i.e., what levels they find aversive and/or impair health. Nevertheless, high dust levels may compromise the health and welfare of both birds and their caretakers and the poor air quality often found in new poultry housing systems needs to be addressed. It is necessary to develop prophylactic measures and to refine the production systems in order to achieve the full welfare benefits of the cage ban. PMID:26479370

  9. Evaluation of the toxicity of selenium from hydroponically produced selenium-enriched kale sprout in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Chantiratikul, Anut; Borisuth, Lalita; Chinrasri, Orawan; Saenthaweesuk, Nattanan; Chookhampaeng, Sumalee; Thosaikham, Witphon; Sriart, Noppong; Chantiratikul, Piyanete

    2016-05-01

    Hydroponically produced Se-enriched kale sprouts (HPSeKS) are studied for their use as an alternative dietary Se supplement for poultry. The study experimented with different levels and sources of Se to determine toxicity and how the toxicity may affect productive performance, Se concentration in egg and tissues, and physiological responses of laying hens. One-hundred and twenty hens, 59 weeks of age, were divided into 5 groups. Each group consisted of 4 replicates and each replicate had 6 birds according to a 2×2+1 Augmented Factorial Experiment in a Completely Randomized Design. The experiment was conducted over a 4 week period, and 5 dietary treatments (T) were used: T1 basal diet, T2 and T3 basal diet plus 5 and 10mg Se/kg from sodium selenite (SS), T4 and T5 basal diet plus 5 and 10mg Se/kg from HPSeKS, respectively. The results make clear that Se from HPSeKS, at 5-10mg/kg, did not affect (P>0.05) feed intake and egg production; however, Se bioavailability decreased (P<0.05). Egg, tissue and plasma Se concentrations, and GSH-Px activity in red blood cells increased (P<0.05) compared to those in T1. Final body weight, feed intake, Se bioavailability, concentration of Se in breast muscle and plasma of hens fed Se from SS were lower (P<0.05) than those of hens fed Se from HPSeKS. The findings demonstrate that dietary Se from HPSeKS at 5-10mg/kg is not considered a toxic level for laying hens. The toxicity of Se from HPSeKS was less than the toxicity of Se from SS. PMID:26964695

  10. Effect of different supplements on eggshell quality, some characteristics of gastrointestinal tract and performance of laying hens

    PubMed Central

    Shalaei, Mosayeb; Hosseini, Seyed Mohammad; Zergani, Emel

    2014-01-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effects of antibiotic, organic acid, probiotic and prebiotic supplementation on performance, egg shell quality, pH value of gastrointestinal (GI) tract and small intestinal morphology of laying hens. The experiment was a completely randomized design with 160 laying hens strain (W-36) from 32 to 42 weeks of age, with five treatments, four replicates and eight hens in each replicate. The experimental treatments consisted of: 1-basal diet, 2-basal diet + 150 g per ton antibiotic (oxytetracycline), 3-basal diet + 3 kg per ton mixture of organic acids supplementation, 4- basal diet + 50 g per ton probiotic (protoxin) and 5-basal diet + 2 kg per ton prebiotic (mannan oligosaccharide). During the experimental period, performance characteristics were evaluated. At the end of experiment two birds per replicate was sacrificed for small intestinal morphology. The results showed that organic acid and mannan oligosaccharide significantly increased average egg weight. Also feed conversion ratio significantly improved by mannan oligosaccharide. Eggshell quality was not significantly affected by dietary treatments. Regarding gastrointestinal tract characteristics, pH value of different parts of GI tract were significantly affected by dietary treatments. Villi height in duodenum by probiotic and in ileum by mannan oligosaccharide significantly increased. Villi width in duodenum by antibiotic and probiotic and in ileum by mannan oligosaccharide significantly increased. The number of goblet cells in duodenum by addition of antibiotic and in ileum by mannan oligosaccharide significantly increased. It was concluded that the use of organic acids and mannan oligosaccharide could have positive effects on performance of laying hens. PMID:25610579

  11. Gamma-linolenic acid egg production enriched with hemp seed oil and evening primrose oil in diet of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Park, Sang-Oh; Hwangbo, Jong; Yuh, In-Suh; Park, Byung-Sung

    2014-07-01

    This study was carried out to find out the effect of supplying gamma linolenic acid (GLA) on laying performance and egg quality. A hundred twenty of 30 weeks old hyline brown laying hens with 98% of egg production were completely randomized to 4 different treatment groups by 30 hens (the control group fed with the diet containing beef tallow, 3 treatment groups fed with the diet containing corn oil, the diet containing hemp seed oil and the diet containing evening primrose oil, respectively), and their laying performance and egg production were investigated for 5 weeks. Intake of hemp seed oil or evening primrose helped to increase the retention rate of GLA, which was transmigrated into eggs from blood. GLA was not detected in the blood samples of control group and treatment group fed diet containing corn oil, while it was significantly increased in the blood samples of the treatment groups fed with diet containing hemp seed oil and diet containing evening primrose oil, respectively. GLA retention was not observed in the eggs produced respectively by control group and treatment group fed with diet containing corn oil, whereas it was significantly increased in the eggs produced by the treatment group fed with diet containing hemp seed oil by 1.09% and the treatment group fed with diet containing evening primrose oil by 4.87%. This result suggests that GLA-reinforced functional eggs can be produced by adding hemp seed oil and evening primrose oil to the feed for laying hens and feeding them with it. It is thought that further researches and clinical trials on biochemical mechanism related to atopic dermatitis should be conducted in future. PMID:25004746

  12. Effect of Olive Leaf (Olea europaea) Powder on Laying Hens Performance, Egg Quality and Egg Yolk Cholesterol Levels.

    PubMed

    Cayan, H; Erener, G

    2015-04-01

    This experiment was conducted to measure the effects of olive leaf powder on performance, egg yield, egg quality and yolk cholesterol level of laying hens. A total of 120 Lohmann Brown laying hens of 22 weeks old were used in this experiment. The birds were fed on standard layer diets containing 0, 1%, 2%, or 3% olive leaf powder for 8 weeks. Egg weight and yield were recorded daily; feed intake weekly; egg quality and cholesterol content at the end of the trial. Olive leaf powder had no effect on feed intake, egg weight, egg yield and feed conversion ratio (p>0.05) while olive leaf powder increased final body weight of hens (p<0.05). Dietary olive leaf powder increased yellowness in yolk color (p<0.01) without affecting other quality parameters. Yolk cholesterol content was tended to decrease about 10% (p>0.05). To conclude, olive leaf powder can be used for reducing egg yolk cholesterol content and egg yolk coloring agent in layer diets. PMID:25656181

  13. Anaemia, Serum Iron Concentrations and δ-Aminolevulinate Dehydratase Activity in Laying Hens Infected Naturally by Salmonella Gallinarum.

    PubMed

    Machado, A C; Boiago, M M; do Carmo, G M; Bottari, N B; Araujo, D N; Giuriatti, J; Morsch, V M; Schetinger, M R C; Casagrande, R A; Wisser, C S; Stefani, L M; Alves, M S; Da Silva, A S

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate anaemia, serum iron concentrations and δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase (ALA-D) activity in laying hens infected naturally by Salmonella Gallinarum and having severe hepatic lesions. Liver and serum samples were collected from 27 laying hens (20 infected and seven uninfected). The δ-ALA-D activity, haematocrit and serum iron concentrations were evaluated. There were significant decreases in δ-ALA-D activity, haematocrit and serum iron concentrations (P <0.01) in birds infected by S. Gallinarum when compared with uninfected birds. There was a positive correlation (P <0.001) between serum iron concentration, haematocrit (r(2) = 0.82) and δ-ALA-D activity (r(2) = 0.75). A positive correlation was also observed between δ-ALA-D activity and haematocrit (r(2) = 0.78; P <0.01). Liver samples showed moderate focal coagulative necrosis associated with infiltration of lymphoplasmacytic cells, macrophages and heterophils. The anaemia in the infected hens may be related to reduction in δ-ALA-D activity and serum iron concentrations, since both are important for haemopoiesis. PMID:27262503

  14. Effect of Olive Leaf (Olea europaea) Powder on Laying Hens Performance, Egg Quality and Egg Yolk Cholesterol Levels

    PubMed Central

    Cayan, H.; Erener, G.

    2015-01-01

    This experiment was conducted to measure the effects of olive leaf powder on performance, egg yield, egg quality and yolk cholesterol level of laying hens. A total of 120 Lohmann Brown laying hens of 22 weeks old were used in this experiment. The birds were fed on standard layer diets containing 0, 1%, 2%, or 3% olive leaf powder for 8 weeks. Egg weight and yield were recorded daily; feed intake weekly; egg quality and cholesterol content at the end of the trial. Olive leaf powder had no effect on feed intake, egg weight, egg yield and feed conversion ratio (p>0.05) while olive leaf powder increased final body weight of hens (p<0.05). Dietary olive leaf powder increased yellowness in yolk color (p<0.01) without affecting other quality parameters. Yolk cholesterol content was tended to decrease about 10% (p>0.05). To conclude, olive leaf powder can be used for reducing egg yolk cholesterol content and egg yolk coloring agent in layer diets. PMID:25656181

  15. Method for the preparation of mucosal flaps from the jejunum of laying hens for transporter studies in Ussing chambers.

    PubMed

    Ruhnke, Isabelle; Röhe, Ilen; Meyer, Wilfried; Kröger, Susan; Neumann, Konrad; Zentek, Jürgen

    2013-04-01

    Ussing chambers are frequently used for in vitro evaluation of intestinal transport physiology. The current study describes investigating the jejunal tissue from laying hens using a specific preparation method and evaluates the effect of glutamine in the maintenance buffer. Tunica mucosa was stripped from 104 jejunal samples from 10 hens and stabilised by a net device. Fifty samples were maintained with modified Krebs-Henseleit buffer (Control), 54 samples with additional 5 mM glutamine (Group Gln). The percentage of responding samples varied between 87 and 100%. Mean short circuit current (ΔI sc,) [µA/cm(2)] of samples exposed to 10 mM glucose in the Control group and Group Gln was 17.0 and 14.6 (p = 0.836), respectively, of samples exposed to 100 µM phloridzin -13.3 and -11.8 (p = 0.712), respectively, and of samples exposed to 100 µM carbachol 4.7 and 3.7 (p = 0.450), respectively. In conclusion, the net-supported method enabled a reliable investigation of jejunum from laying hens. Glutamine in the maintenance buffer was of no significant benefit. PMID:23521695

  16. Diet supplementation with a specific melon concentrate improves oviduct antioxidant defenses and egg characteristics in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Carillon, J; Barbé, F; Barial, S; Saby, M; Sacy, A; Rouanet, J-M

    2016-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of a specific melon concentrate on oviduct antioxidant defenses and egg characteristics of laying hens.Lohmann Brown hens were assigned to 2 treatment groups (n = 16 in each). One group was supplemented with the melon concentrate (26 mg/kg of feed) during 6 wk. The other group was composed of untreated hens, which served as control. Eggs were collected, weighed (yolk, albumen, shell), and analyzed (Haugh unit and albumen pH relevant for egg freshness) at the end of the supplementation period. Antioxidant status was evaluated in the oviduct measuring antioxidant enzymes by western blotting.This study demonstrated that the melon concentrate could ameliorate egg weight, and particularly yolk contribution to egg weight and egg shell weight. An increase in endogenous antioxidant defenses in the oviduct after this melon concentrate supplementation could explain the better egg characteristics. The improvement of egg quality, due to melon concentrate, may have important economic implications for future breeding programs, particularly if these effects generalize from hens to other poultry species, or even other livestock animal species. PMID:27143774

  17. Application of low-gossypol cottonseed meal in laying hens' diet.

    PubMed

    He, T; Zhang, H J; Wang, J; Wu, S G; Yue, H Y; Qi, G H

    2015-10-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the application of dietary low-gossypol cottonseed meal (LCSM) in layers' diets. A total of 432 40-week-old Hy-line W36 laying hens were allocated to one of the six dietary treatments with 6 replicates of 12 birds each. The control group was fed a corn-soybean meal basal diet, and the 4 experimental diets consisted of a basal diet with 50, 98.3, 144.2, or 189 g/kg LCSM, respectively (correspondingly 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% dietary protein provided by soybean meal were replaced by LCSM). The sixth group was fed a basal diet supplemented with free gossypol (FG group). The feeding trial lasted for 12 weeks. The results showed that no significant difference was observed on egg production or feed conversion ratio (FCR, feed/egg, g/g) among all groups, but feed intake and egg weight were significantly decreased in the 189 g/kg LCSM group in weeks 46 to 51 (P < 0.05). A significant decrease was not observed in shell strength, shell thickness, and yolk color in all periods, but Haugh unit, albumen height, and egg white protein content were reduced in 189 g/kg LCSM group in weeks 46 to 51 (P < 0.05). No significant differences were found between the control and FG group. There was no obvious difference on plasma levels of total protein, blood urea nitrogen, uric acid, and activities of albumen, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and the histopathology of liver, kidney, and oviduct in all groups. In conclusion, decreasing feed intake, egg weight, and egg quality were observed in the 189 g/kg LCSM group. However, the adverse effect was not relevant to the presence of FG in LCSM. Dietary LCSM supplementation of 98.3 g/kg was recommended with optimum FCR and without adverse effect on egg production, quality, and health of layers. PMID:26287003

  18. Assessing Activity and Location of Individual Laying Hens in Large Groups Using Modern Technology

    PubMed Central

    Siegford, Janice M.; Berezowski, John; Biswas, Subir K.; Daigle, Courtney L.; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G.; Hernandez, Carlos E.; Thurner, Stefan; Toscano, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary Tracking of individual animals within large groups is increasingly possible offering an exciting opportunity to researchers. Whereas previously only relatively indistinguishable groups of individual animals could be observed and combined into pen level data, we can now focus on individual actors and track their activities across time and space with minimal intervention and disturbance. We describe several tracking systems that are currently in use for laying hens and review each, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, as well as environments or conditions for which they may be most suited, and relevant issues to fit the best technology for the intended purpose. Abstract Tracking individual animals within large groups is increasingly possible, offering an exciting opportunity to researchers. Whereas previously only relatively indistinguishable groups of individual animals could be observed and combined into pen level data, we can now focus on individual actors within these large groups and track their activities across time and space with minimal intervention and disturbance. The development is particularly relevant to the poultry industry as, due to a shift away from battery cages, flock sizes are increasingly becoming larger and environments more complex. Many efforts have been made to track individual bird behavior and activity in large groups using a variety of methodologies with variable success. Of the technologies in use, each has associated benefits and detriments, which can make the approach more or less suitable for certain environments and experiments. Within this article, we have divided several tracking systems that are currently available into two major categories (radio frequency identification and radio signal strength) and review the strengths and weaknesses of each, as well as environments or conditions for which they may be most suitable. We also describe related topics including types of analysis for the data and concerns

  19. Sodium butyrate mitigates in vitro ammonia generation in cecal content of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wang, Anping; Wang, Yan; Di Liao, Xin; Wu, Yinbao; Liang, Juan Boo; Laudadio, Vito; Tufarelli, Vincenzo

    2016-08-01

    One of the environmental challenges that modern poultry industry faced is odor pollution caused by ammonia emission. The objectives of the study were to determine the effect of sodium butyrate on the production of ammonia in the cecal contents of laying hens using in vitro gas production study and to elucidate the mechanism behind it. The study consisted of a control (without sodium butyrate), and three experimental groups added with 10, 15, and 20 mg of sodium butyrate, respectively. Results showed that ammonia production in headspace of the syringe decreased by 8.2, 23, and 23 %, respectively, while ammonium production from the fermentation broth decreased by 6.3, 14.4, and 13.7 %, respectively. Sodium butyrate had no significant effect on the contents of uric acid and urea, nitrate-N, or total N in all treatments. However, sodium butyrate decreased the urease and uricase activities (P < 0.05) in the fermentation broth. Sodium butyrate also altered volatile fatty acids profile of the fermentation broth by decreasing the production of isovalerate (P < 0.05) and increasing those of acetate, butyrate, and isobutyrate (P < 0.05). The MiSeq System Sequencing results showed that sodium butyrate increased the relative abundance of Bacteroides and Faecalibacterium (P < 0.05) and decreased the relative abundance of Desulfovibrio, Helicobacter, and Campylobacter (P < 0.05).Our results concluded that sodium butyrate changes the diversity and relative abundance of the microbes which altered the fermentation characteristics leading to reduction in ammonia production. PMID:27154844

  20. Infection dynamics of Ascaridia galli in non-caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Höglund, Johan; Jansson, Désirée S

    2011-08-25

    The infection dynamics of Ascaridia galli in laying hens was investigated in six commercial non-caged flocks. Three flocks were managed in accordance with the regulations for organic production and had outdoor access, whereas three flocks were housed indoors in aviaries or traditional floor systems. Faecal egg counts and total worm burdens were determined at specified intervals during the first 50 weeks of the production period. In two conventional flocks the efficacy of flubendazole on lumenal stages was investigated. All flocks became infected following the arrival of the birds (post placement) with residual infective eggs derived from the previous flock. In four flocks (two organic and two conventional) parasite eggs were first detected in faeces 6-7 weeks post placement, whereas parasite eggs were not detected until after 17-18 weeks in two flocks. This delay was observed in two of three flocks that were housed in barns that had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by chlorocresol. In three flocks (two conventional and one organic) flubendazole was administered to the birds in the drinking water for approximately one week. Both conventional flocks were dewormed twice approximately 20 weeks apart, whereas the organic flock was dewormed only once about 40 weeks post placement. Parasite eggs reappeared after deworming in all flocks, often within 2-4 weeks, followed by a rapid increase in parasite egg expulsion. Our results suggested impairment of host immunity post treatment, as the egg counts exceeded pre-treatment levels after 7-8 weeks on both conventional farms. Accordingly, the way by which anthelmintics and/or disinfectants are used in non-caged chicken flocks must be refined. PMID:21514056

  1. [Total count of bacteria in the air of three different laying hen housing systems].

    PubMed

    Saleh, M; Seedorf, J; Hartung, J

    2003-09-01

    Bacteria in the air of animal housing is assumed to have an impact on the health of the humans and the animals in them and on the environment. The bacterial count in poultry housing systems is particularly high in comparison to those of pigs and cattle. Little is known about the bacteria in the air of new laying hen housing systems. We therefore made simple, simultaneous measurements in the air of three different systems (enriched cages, AK; conventional battery cages, BK; aviary, VOL), in the unheated scratching area of the VOL, and in the outside air over a period of one year (24-h samples were taken about once a month using polycarbonate filters) in order to determine the general bacterial count (using blood agar). The highest concentrations of bacteria were found all year long in the VOL, followed by the BK and the AK. In the VOL, there were on average 2.16 and 0.56 x 10(6) colony forming units (cfu)/m3 in the winter and summer, respectively; 0.25 and 0.38 in the BK; and 0.39 and 0.12 in the AK. These preliminary results show that air quality considerations should be included in the development and implementation of new housing systems, as should the impact on the respiratory system of the humans and animals in them and on the environment, because high concentrations of air contamination in the housing generally also lead to high emissions into the vicinity of the facility, the significance of which cannot always be estimated, as has recently been shown for antibiotics in the exhaust air from animal housing. PMID:14560449

  2. Colonization of internal organs by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens housed in enriched colony cages at different stocking densities.

    PubMed

    Gast, Richard K; Guraya, Rupa; Jones, Deana R; Anderson, Kenneth E; Karcher, Darrin M

    2016-06-01

    Epidemiologic analyses have linked the frequency of human infections with Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Enteritidis to the consumption of contaminated eggs and thus to the prevalence of this pathogen in commercial egg-laying flocks. Contamination of the edible contents of eggs by Salmonella Enteritidis is a consequence of the colonization of reproductive tissues in systemically infected hens. The animal welfare implications of laying hen housing systems have been widely debated, but no definitive consensus has yet emerged about the food safety significance of poultry housing options. The present study sought to determine the effects of two different bird stocking densities on the invasion of internal organs by Salmonella Enteritidis in groups of experimentally infected laying hens housed in colony cages enriched with perching and nesting areas. In two trials, groups of laying hens were distributed at two different stocking densities into colony cages and (along with a group housed in conventional cages) orally inoculated with doses of 1.0 × 10(7) cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis. At 5 to 6 d post-inoculation, hens were euthanized and samples of internal organs were removed for bacteriologic culturing. For both trials combined, Salmonella Enteritidis was recovered at a significantly (P < 0.05) greater frequency from hens in enriched colony cages at the higher stocking density than at the lower density from livers (75.0% vs. 51.4%) and ovaries (51.4% vs. 30.6%). However, spleens from hens in enriched colony cages at the higher stocking density were significantly less often positive for Salmonella Enteritidis than from hens in conventional cages at that same density (90.3% vs. 68.1%). These results suggest that stocking density can influence the susceptibility of hens to Salmonella Enteritidis, but other housing systems parameters may also contribute to the outcome of infections. PMID:26944976

  3. Rare earth element-enriched yeast improved egg production and egg quality in laying hens in the late period of peak egg production.

    PubMed

    Cai, L; Nyachoti, C M; Hancock, J D; Lee, J Y; Kim, Y H; Lee, D H; Kim, I H

    2016-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of rare earth element-enriched yeast (RY) on egg production, coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD), egg quality, excreta gas emission and excreta microbiota of laying hens. A total of 216 ISA brown laying hens of 52 weeks of age were used in a 5-week feeding trial and data were collected every week. Birds were randomly allotted to three dietary treatments each with six replicates and 12 hens per replicate. Each cage (38 cm width × 50 cm length × 40 cm height) contained one hen. Treatments consisted of corn-soya bean meal-based diet supplemented with 0, 500 or 1000 mg/kg of RY. From weeks 55 to 56, inclusion of RY linearly increased (p < 0.05) egg production. The CTTAD of nitrogen was increased (linear, p < 0.05) with increasing dietary level of RY. In week 55, yolk height and Haugh units were increased linearly (p < 0.05) with increasing dietary RY content. However, no significant effects were observed in terms of excreta emissions and excreta microbiota in laying hens. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with RY improved egg production and CTTAD of nitrogen and slightly improved egg quality in laying hens of the late period of peak egg production. PMID:26250098

  4. Responses of organic housed laying hens to dietary methionine and energy during a summer and winter season.

    PubMed

    Van Krimpen, M M; Binnendijk, G P; Ogun, M A; Kwakkel, R P

    2015-01-01

    1. The main dietary challenge in organic laying hen production is to fulfil the digestible methionine (MET) requirement in a diet consisting of ingredients of organic origin only. 2. The aim of the present experiment was to determine the response of organic housed laying hens (26-34 weeks of age) to dietary energy and MET during a summer and winter trial. Per trial, a total of 128 17-week-old Brown Nick hens were allotted to 16 pens, which were connected to an outdoor run. Each experiment comprised 8 dietary treatments according to a 4 × 2 factorial design. The factors were AFD MET level (2.3, 2.7, 3.1 and 3.5 g/kg) and energy content (10.9 and 12.1 MJ). 3. Dietary energy content did not affect energy intake (1361 kJ/d) in summer, whereas energy intake in winter was increased in hens that were fed on the 12.1-MJ diets (1514 vs. 1421 kJ/d). Maximal egg mass in summer was achieved if a diet with 3.5 g/kg MET was given, corresponding to a digestible MET intake of 421 mg/d. During winter, maximal egg mass was achieved with a digestible MET intake of 360 mg/d, which was already realised with a MET content of 2.7 g/kg. 4. Because digestible MET content for maximal egg performance differed between the summer and winter trial, dietary energy to MET ratio might be adjusted to seasonal conditions. PMID:25411118

  5. The effect of replacing soya bean oil with glycerol in diets on performance, egg quality and egg fatty acid composition in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Cufadar, Y; Göçmen, R; Kanbur, G

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this experiment was to replace soya bean oil with glycerol in laying hen diets and assess the change's effect on performance, parameters of egg quality and the egg fatty acid profile. A total of 60 44-week-old Hy-Line W36 laying hens were distributed according to a completely randomised experimental design into four treatments consisting of glycerol substitutions for soya bean oil dietary at varying inclusion levels (0%, 25%, 50% and 75%), with five replicates of three birds each. Dietary treatments had no significant effect on BW change, egg production, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, egg weight and egg mass of laying hens. The inclusion of glycerol in the diet of laying hens had no significant effect on egg specific gravity, eggshell breaking strength, eggshell weight, eggshell thickness, egg shape index, albumen index, yolk index, haugh unit, albumen pH, yolk pH and egg yolk colour values. The inclusion of glycerol in the diet of laying hens had no significant effect on palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic and linolenic acid contents of the egg yolk. The linoleic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid contents of the egg yolk significantly decreased with the higher levels of dietary glycerol supplementation (P<0.05). The results of this study show that it is possible to replace 75% of soya bean oil (4.5% in diet) with glycerol. PMID:26365705

  6. Influence of dietary copper proteinate on performance, selected biochemical parameters, lipid peroxidation, liver, and egg copper content in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Güçlü, Berrin Kocaoğlu; Kara, Kanber; Beyaz, Latife; Uyanik, Fatma; Eren, Meryem; Atasever, Ayhan

    2008-11-01

    This study was performed to determine the effects of copper proteinate on performance, blood chemistry, lipid peroxidation status, and organs as well as copper deposition in the liver and eggs of laying hens. Seventy-two 30-week-old Bovans laying hens were distributed into four groups with three replicates. Animals were fed basal diet containing at least 17% crude protein and 2,800 kcal/kg metabolizable energy supplemented with either 0, 150, 300, or 450 mg/kg copper as copper proteinate. Supplementation of 150 and 300 mg/kg copper increased egg production, whereas 450 mg/kg copper decreased (p < 0.001). Liver copper levels were elevated in 300 and 450 mg/kg copper-supplemented groups (p < 0.001). Egg copper contents increased in all treatment groups (p < 0.01). An increase in glucose (p < 0.001) and decreases in albumin (p < 0.01) and total cholesterol (p < 0.05) levels were determined with 300 and 450 mg/kg copper. Supplementation of 450 mg/kg copper increased alkaline phosphatase and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase activities (p < 0.05), malondialdehyde, and high-density lipoprotein levels (p < 0.01) but decreased alanine aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase activities (p < 0.01). No gross and microscopic changes were observed in the liver and kidneys. These results indicated that 150 and 300 mg/kg copper increased egg production without having marked adverse effects, but 450 mg/kg copper altered some blood chemistry variables and reduced egg production in laying hens. PMID:18536874

  7. Effects of cerium oxide supplementation to laying hen diets on performance, egg quality, some antioxidant enzymes in serum and lipid oxidation in egg yolk.

    PubMed

    Bölükbaşı, S C; Al-Sagan, A A; Ürüşan, H; Erhan, M K; Durmuş, O; Kurt, N

    2016-08-01

    This study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary cerium oxide levels (0, 100, 200, 300 or 400 mg/kg) on the laying performance, egg quality, some blood serum parameters and egg lipid peroxidation of laying hen. In total, one hundred and twenty 22-week-old brown Lohman LSL laying hens were randomly assigned to five groups equally (n = 24). Each treatment was replicated six times. Dietary supplementation of cerium oxide had no significant effect on feed intake and egg weight. The addition of cerium oxide to the laying hens' feed improved feed conversion ratio and increased (p < 0.05) egg production. Quality criteria of egg for except shell breaking strength were not affected by supplementing cerium oxide. In particular, supplementation of 200 and 300 mg/kg cerium oxide to the laying hens feed led to a significant (p < 0. 01) increase in egg shell breaking strength. Calcium and phosphorus concentration of serum increased significantly (p < 0.05) with supplementation of 100 mg/kg cerium oxide to laying hen diets. It was also observed that serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration decreased significantly with supplementation of cerium oxide in diets. Inclusion of cerium oxide resulted in a significant reduction in thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) values in egg yolk in this study. It can be concluded that the addition of cerium oxide had positive effects on egg production, feed conversion ratio and egg shelf life. Based on the results of this study, it could be advised to supplement laying hens feed with cerium oxide as feed additives. PMID:26847677

  8. Factors affecting ranging behaviour in young and adult laying hens.

    PubMed

    Gilani, A-M; Knowles, T G; Nicol, C J

    2014-01-01

    1. A study was conducted to investigate the effect of environment on ranging in 33 flocks reared with (16) or without (17) range access. Ranging was observed at 8, 16 and 35 weeks. Information on house layout, weather conditions and range characteristics was used to create models predicting the percentage of the flock out on the range and the percentage of ranging birds observed away from the house. 2. Three flocks had range access at 8 weeks. The percentage of birds ranging averaged 28%, with 22% of these ranging away from the house. For the 13 flocks with range access at 16 weeks, the percentage of pullets on the range was 12%, with 29% of these ranging away from the house. At 35 weeks, all flocks had range access and the average percentage of birds out on the range was 13%, with 42% of these ranging away from the house. 3. The percentage of birds seen using the range was higher with reduced flock size and stocking density, increased pop hole availability (cm/bird) and light intensity inside the house. More birds ranged on cooler days and on farms located in areas with fewer days of rain per year and lower average rainfall. The percentage of birds ranging varied with season and was lowest in May. More birds ranged away from the house when cover and more artificial structures were present on the range. The proportion of ranging birds located away from the house increased with lower outdoor humidity levels, higher air pressure, and on warmer days. Lastly, birds ranged away from the house more as they got older. PMID:24571397

  9. Influence of dietary inclusion of Bacillus licheniformis on laying performance, egg quality, antioxidant enzyme activities, and intestinal barrier function of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lei, K; Li, Y L; Yu, D Y; Rajput, I R; Li, W F

    2013-09-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary inclusion of Bacillus licheniformis on laying performance, egg quality, antioxidant enzyme activities, and intestinal barrier function of laying hens. Hy-Line Variety W-36 hens (n = 540; 28 wk of age) were randomized into 6 groups, each group with 6 replications (n = 15). The control group received the basal diet formulated with maize and soybean meal. The treatment groups received the same basal diets supplemented with 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.06, and 0.09% Bacillus licheniformis powder (2 × 10(10) cfu/g) for an 8-wk trial. The results showed that dietary supplementation with 0.01 and 0.03% B. licheniformis significantly increased egg production and egg mass. However, no significant differences were observed in egg weight, feed consumption, and feed conversion efficiency among the 6 groups. Supplementation with different levels of B. licheniformis was found to be effective in improvement of egg quality by increasing egg shell thickness and strength. Compared with control, d-lactate content, diamine oxidase activity, and adrenocorticotropic hormone level in serum decreased significantly, and the level of estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone increased significantly in plasma of all the experimental groups. Dietary supplementation with B. licheniformis increased the intestinal villus height and reduced the crypt depth. In conclusion, dietary inclusion of B. licheniformis could improve laying performance and egg quality significantly in a dose-dependent manner by decreasing the stress response, upregulating the growth hormone, and improving intestinal health. PMID:23960122

  10. Comparing responses to different selenium sources and dosages in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Delezie, E; Rovers, M; Van der Aa, A; Ruttens, A; Wittocx, S; Segers, L

    2014-12-01

    Developing new sources of organic Se has potential benefit for animal production and human nutrition via animal-based foods enriched in Se. The objectives of this trial were to compare L-selenomethionine with another organic Se source, Se-enriched yeast (SelPlex 2300), and sodium selenite, an inorganic Se source, against a commercial control diet. The effect of source and the dosage of Se supplementation on Se in eggs and blood variables was investigated. Ten treatments were used with 18 laying hens per group. In addition to the control diet, the control diet was supplemented with L-selenomethionine, Se-enriched yeast, or sodium selenite at 0.1, 0.3, or 0.5 mg/kg of Se. The feeding trial lasted 8 wk. Birds in the different treatment groups all showed good performance. At d 0 and 56, Se and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were analyzed in 10 blood samples per group. After supplementing the diets for 56 d, significantly higher Se levels in serum and egg contents were reached for the Se-supplemented groups compared with the control. Supplementing 0.3 and 0.5 mg/kg of L-selenomethionine or Se-enriched yeast instead of 0.1 mg/kg significantly increased the serum Se levels, whereas no significant increase was found for sodium selenite. No effect of Se source or dosage was observed on serum GPx levels. Selenium in eggs was significantly affected by dosage and source of Se. The Se supplementation level in the feed was reflected in the eggs, with the highest and lowest values for 0.5 and 0.1 mg/kg, respectively, and values in between for the 0.3 mg/kg supplementation level. A dose response was most pronounced for L-selenomethionine, followed by Se-enriched yeast, and was least when Se was added as sodium selenite. It can be concluded that Se from organic sources was more bioavailable than the inorganic Se source as evidenced by blood and egg Se levels. Within the organic Se sources, L-selenomethionine showed higher Se transfer to eggs than Se-enriched yeast. PMID:25352676