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Sample records for adult laying hens

  1. Comparative histomorphometrical study of genital tract in adult laying hen and duck.

    PubMed

    Mohammadpour, Ahmad-Ali; Zamanimoghadam, Abdolkarim; Heidari, Massoumeh

    2012-01-01

    This study was carried out to compare the histomorphological structures of oviductal regions of the apparently healthy adult laying hens (Gallus gallus dometicus) and ducks (Ansa ansa domesticus). For this purpose, 20 hens and 20 female ducks aged between 1-1.5 years were used. After euthanasia, the oviducts were dissected out and all of the gross morphometrical parameters including length, width and thickness as well as weight and length of them were recorded. For histological studies, after tissue preparation and staining with H&E, histological layers of isthmus, uterus and vagina were recognized and the size of them with micrometry method were determined. Our data analyses indicated that, the mean weight, length of oviduct as well as weight of isthmus, uterus in hen were significantly (P < 0.05) greater than that of duck, whereas the vaginal thickness and weight were greater in duck than the hen. In histological studies, epithelium and cilia were well developed in duck and lamina propria was filled with glands in the regions of the isthmus and uterus. The length of primary mucosal folds of isthmus and uterus in duck was more than hen. The longest mucosal fold has been seen in uterus. Most of the parameters in duck were greater than hen except the length of secondary fold of three parts of oviduct including isthmus, uterus, and vagina.

  2. 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.

  3. Physiological stress in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Mumma, J Odihambo; Thaxton, J P; Vizzier-Thaxton, Y; Dodson, W L

    2006-04-01

    Stress responses in laying hens were mediated by continuous infusion of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) via osmotic pumps. The ACTH was dissolved in saline solution (0.85%), and each pump delivered 8 IU of ACTH per kilogram of BW per day at the rate of 1 microL/h for 7 d. Control hens received pumps loaded with saline. Measurements were made at 6 d postpump implantation, unless otherwise indicated. The ACTH-treatment increased BW and total carcass, rear half of carcass, intestinal, and liver weights. Proximate analyses of liver showed increases in dry weight, moisture, protein, fat, carbohydrate, and ash content. Weights of the front half of the carcass, as well as weights of the abdominal fat pad, heart, head, feet, and skin were unaffected by ACTH-treatment. Plasma corticosterone, glucose, cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins were increased by ACTH, whereas triglycerides were decreased. Feed and water intake, total excreta, and excretory DM were all increased in ACTH-treated hens. The ACTH decreased carbohydrate in excreta, whereas ash, protein, fiber, and gross energy of excreta were unaffected. The ACTH did not affect digestibility of dry matter, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, or gross energy; however, absorption of ash, protein, carbohydrates, and gross energy were increased by ACTH. Antibody levels to sheep red blood cells, cell-mediated immunity (wattle index to phytohemagglutinin-phosphate), and relative spleen weight were reduced by ACTH, whereas heterophil:lymphocyte ratio was increased. Reproduction in hens was negatively affected by ACTH treatment, as measured by cessation of laying on the third day of treatment, atretic follicles, and decreased oviduct weight.

  4. 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.

  5. Demand for nest boxes in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Cooper, J J; Appleby, M C

    1996-04-01

    Domestic hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) from commercial laying strains have been selected for high egg yield and may lay over 300 eggs in their working lives. In conventional wire cages, there is little opportunity to perform either nest seeking or nest building activities, which may lead to frustration each time an egg is laid. To measure the demand for a well-defined nest-site, which may act as a consummatory stimulus for nest seeking behaviour and an appetitive stimulus for nest building behaviour, 16 hens were allowed to work to gain access to a pen containing two littered, enclosed nest boxes. The cost of access to the nest boxes was varied by changing the width of the vertical gap, which divided a home pen containing food, water and a perch from the pen containing the nest boxes (gaps of 220, 140, 125, 110 and 95 mm, compared with mean body width of 117 mm). The number of entries to the nest pen declined with narrowing gap, whilst the number of failed attempts to enter rose, but all 16 hens persevered with entering the nest pen prior to oviposition and laid in the nest boxes. Between 120 and 30 min to oviposition hens made many entries with the 220 mm gap (27.6), but this declined to no entries with 95 mm gap. Hens made few entries in the last half hour prior to ovipositoin (1.3) but there was no significant decline in entries as the gap narrowed (1.1 with 95 mm gap). The number of nest inspections and nest entries also declined with width of gap, but there was no effect on time spent in the nest boxes. Hens passed gaps of 220, and 140 mm to return to the nest pen following oviposition, but did not pass gaps of 125, 110 or 95 mm. We therefore conclude that the narrow gap width can be used to assess the demand for environmental requirements. Hens were willing to pay a high cost to gain access to a nest box prior to oviposition, so prelaying behaviour may be frustrated in hens without a well-defined, littered nest site.

  6. Investigating social discrimination of group members by laying hens.

    PubMed

    Abeyesinghe, Siobhan M; McLeman, Morven A; Owen, Rachael C; McMahon, Claire E; Wathes, Christopher M

    2009-05-01

    Social relationships in domestic fowl are commonly assumed to rely on social recognition and its pre-requisite, discrimination of group-mates. If this is true, then the unnatural physical and social environments in which commercial laying hens are typically housed, when compared with those in which their progenitor species evolved, may compromise social function with consequent implications for welfare. Our aims were to determine whether adult hens can discriminate between unique pairs of familiar conspecifics, and to establish the most appropriate method for assessing this social discrimination. We investigated group-mate discrimination using two learning tasks in which there was bi-directional exchange of visual, auditory and olfactory information. Learning occurred in a Y-maze task (p<0.003; n=7/8) but not in an operant key-pecking task (p=0.001; n=1/10). A further experiment with the operant-trained hens examined whether failure was specific to the group-mate social discrimination or to the response task. Learning also failed to occur in this familiar/unfamiliar social discrimination task (p=0.001; n=1/10). Our findings demonstrate unequivocally that adult laying hens kept in small groups, under environmental conditions more consistent with those in which sensory capacities evolved, can discriminate group members: however, appropriate methods to demonstrate discrimination are crucial.

  7. Heterosis in normal versus dwarf laying hens.

    PubMed

    Merat, P; Minvielle, F; Bordas, A; Coquerelle, G

    1994-01-01

    The effect of genotype at the sex-linked dwarf locus on heterosis in crosses between a White Leghorn and a brown egg line for body weight, egg production, and related traits was studied. Heterozygous Dw/dw males were used to produce normal and dwarf pullets in each of the pure lines and their reciprocal crosses (eight genotype-line combinations). There were 54 pullets per combination. Line differences were significant for shank length, body weights at 8, 17, and 52 wk, age at first egg, egg number, clutch length, rate of lay, and egg weight. Heterosis was observed for all of these traits. Body weight as a covariate was not important in analyses of egg number, clutch length, and egg weight. The egg production reduction associated with the dw gene in pure lines was smaller in F1 hens. This discovery may be adequate to warrant use of dwarf crossbred hens for egg production.

  8. 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

  9. The dopaminergic system and aggression in laying hens

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. Development of furnished cages for laying hens.

    PubMed

    Appleby, M C; Walker, A W; Nicol, C J; Lindberg, A C; Freire, R; Hughes, B O; Elson, H A

    2002-09-01

    1. A 3-year trial was carried out of cages for laying hens, occupying a full laying house. The main cage designs used were 5000 cm2 in area, 50 cm high at the rear and furnished with nests and perches. F cages had a front rollaway nest at the side, lined with artificial turf. FD cages also had a dust bath containing sand over the nest. H cages had two nest hollows at the side, one in front of the other. They were compared with conventional cages 2500 cm2 in area and 38 cm high at the rear. 2. Cages were stocked with from 4 to 8 ISA Brown hens per cage, resulting in varied allowances of area, feeder and perch per bird. No birds were beak trimmed. In F and FD cages two further treatments were applied: nests and dust baths were sometimes fitted with gates to exclude birds from dust baths in the morning and from both at night; elevated food troughs, with a lip 33 cm above the cage floor, were compared with standard troughs. 3. Management of the house was generally highly successful, with temperature control achieved by ventilation. Egg production was above breeders' standards and not significantly affected by cage design. More eggs per bird were collected when there were fewer birds per cage but food consumption also then tended to be higher. 4. The number of downgraded eggs was variable, with some tendency for more in furnished cages. Eggs laid in dust baths were often downgraded. Those laid at the back of the cage were frequently dirty because of accumulation of droppings. H nests were unsuccessful, with less than 50% of eggs laid in the nest hollows. However, up to 93% of eggs were laid in front rollaways, and few of these were downgraded. 5. Feather and foot damage were generally less in furnished than in conventional cages, greater where there were more birds per cage. With an elevated food trough there was less feather damage but more overgrowth of claws. In year 2, mortality was greater in cages with more birds. 6. Pre-laying behaviour was mostly settled in

  11. [Fatty liver syndrome in laying hens].

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, A; Antonov, S; Stoianov, P; Petrova, L; Aleksandrova, E

    1980-01-01

    Pathomorphological and biochemical investigations on liver and blood serum laying hens affected by the liver obesity syndrome were carried out. It was established that the mortality due to the liver obesity syndrome varies within the range of 3.1 and 3.7% for the entire period of exploitation. A rise in mortality is observed in case fodder mixtures with higher peroxide and aldehyde number are prepared. Besides the typical changes in the liver, the pathologo-anatomical investigation established varying in its expression duodenitis of rupture of the liver and hemorrhage. In hens suffering from advanced liver obesity an increased content of total protein in the blood serum was observed. The relative and absolute content of prealbumens and albumens was also higher, while the content of globulins was relatively lower. The content of beta-lipoproteins was raised and total lipids in the blood serum were considerably increased. The investigation on total lipids and lipid fractions in the liver established a correlation between the extent of obesity and the content of total lipids. A trend toward increasing the total and particularly the esterificated holesterin was evident in affected birds. The chemical investigation of various lots of fodder mixtures established often cases of rancid fats, which was manifested by high values of the peroxide and aldehyde number. The aminoacid composition of fodder also varied too much. It is assumed that besides the genetic control of liver obesity rancid fats and insufficient content of essential amino acids in the fodder mixtures also lead to an increased mortality percentage in the affected birds.

  12. Onion consumption and bone density in laying hens

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison of the coagulation profile of fatty liver haemorrhagic syndrome-susceptible laying hens and normal laying hens.

    PubMed

    Thomson, A E; Gentry, P A; Squires, E J

    2003-09-01

    1. The rate of thrombin generation in plasma from Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome-susceptible laying hens (FLHS, UCD-003) is more rapid than in plasma from age-matched normal Single Comb White Leghorn (SCWL) laying hens. 2. The rate of thrombin generation in plasma was determined by measuring the biological activity of the specific coagulation proteins, Factors V, VII, VIII, IX and X. 3. The higher activity of Factors V, VII and X in FLHS-susceptible laying hens compared with normal SCWL hens remained consistent after plasma lipid concentrations were reduced. 4. Analysis of the fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids showed that in normal SCWL laying hens phosphatidylethanolamine contained C18:3n3 whereas it contained C20:3n3 in FLHS-susceptible laying hens. 5. The results suggest that alterations in the composition of the phospholipids that are essential cofactors in the biochemical reactions involved in thrombin generation may be a contributing factor in the development of FLHS.

  15. Serological detection of experimental Salmonella enteritidis infections in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Gast, R K; Beard, C W

    1990-01-01

    The antibody response of laying hens to experimental Salmonella enteritidis infection was evaluated in microagglutination, tube agglutination, and rapid whole-blood plate agglutination assays. Hens of three different ages were infected by either oral inoculation or horizontal contact transmission. Blood was collected at weekly intervals, and the presence of specific antibodies was assessed by reaction with antigens prepared from strains of S. enteritidis and S. pullorum. The sensitivity of detection of infected hens did not vary significantly between the assays, as all three tests effectively identified most exposed hens as seropositive. Within each test, however, variation was observed in the detection sensitivity when different antigens were used. The microagglutination titers of serum samples were determined by serial dilution. Antibody titers peaked at 1 to 2 weeks postinoculation and declined steadily, although most birds were still identified as seropositive at 10 weeks postinoculation. The mean microtest titers obtained with S. enteritidis antigens were higher than with an S. pullorum antigen, indicating greater test sensitivity. However, use of the S. pullorum antigen resulted in fewer false positives when sera from uninfected control hens were tested. The titers of contact-exposed hens peaked later and at lower values than did those of inoculated hens, but these two groups of hens had similar antibody titers after the third week postinoculation.

  16. 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. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  17. Fucoxanthin metabolites in egg yolks of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Strand, A; Herstad, O; Liaaen-Jensen, S

    1998-04-01

    Feeding experiments were conducted with White leghorn laying hens fed a carotenoid depleted control diet (containing some zeaxanthin and lutein) or this diet supplemented with 15% seaweed meal of established carotenoid composition. Egg yolk colour was estimated by use of a Roche Yolk Colour Fan and by detailed quantitative and qualitative carotenoid analysis of individual eggs of three laying hens during 4 weeks. Identification of the carotenoids included HPLC. VIS, MS, 1H NMR data and partial synthesis. The results confirmed that fucoxanthin, the major carotenoid in seaweed meal, is not transferred to the yolk. However, fucoxanthin gave rise to the metabolites fucoxanthinol, fucoxanthinol 3'-sulphate and paracentrone, that are ascribed to enzymatic modifications occurring in the hens. The difuranoid auroxanthin encountered in the egg yolk was ascribed to violaxanthin and/or its furanoid derivatives present in the seaweed meal. Colour of individual yolks varied considerably. The pigmentation level is discussed.

  18. Metabolizable energy value of crude glycerin for laying hens

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. The effects of propolis on antibody production by laying hens.

    PubMed

    Freitas, J A; Vanat, N; Pinheiro, J W; Balarin, M R S; Sforcin, J M; Venancio, E J

    2011-06-01

    Propolis is a honeybee product showing several biological properties that enhance the immune response, depending on the concentration and intake period. Because propolis possesses an immunomodulatory action on mammals, the objective of our study was to investigate the effects of propolis on the humoral immune response of laying hens by evaluating antibody production. Laying hens (ISA Brown) were divided into 5 groups with 7 birds each. Group 1 was a nonimmunized control, whereas birds in group 2 were immunized intravenously with SRBC, and those in groups 3, 4, and 5 were treated intraperitoneally with propolis (2, 10, and 50 mg/kg, respectively) on 3 consecutive days and then inoculated intravenously with SRBC. Hematological and serological analyses were carried out on d 0, 3, and 38. Natural and specific antibody levels were determined by hemagglutination with rabbit red blood cells and SRBC, respectively. Propolis-treated birds (50 mg/kg) showed a significant decline in heterophils and in the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio. After SRBC immunization, significant increases in levels of IgG were observed in groups 4 and 5. Furthermore, higher levels of natural antibodies were observed in propolis-treated laying hens. The administration of propolis to laying hens increased the production of IgG specific to SRBC and natural antibodies, and could be used to increase antigen-specific antibody responses to vaccines.

  20. Dietary safflower phospholipid reduces liver lipids in laying hens.

    PubMed

    An, B K; Nishiyama, H; Tanaka, K; Ohtani, S; Iwata, T; Tsutsumi, K; Kasai, M

    1997-05-01

    This experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary safflower phospholipids (crude safflower phospholipid and purified safflower phospholipid) on performance and lipid metabolism of laying hens. Sixty-week-old Single Comb White Leghorn laying hens were divided into four groups of seven birds each, and were given one of four experimental diets containing 5% beef tallow (served as a control, tallow), a mixture of safflower oil and palm oil (SP-oil), crude safflower phospholipid (Saf-PLcrude), or purified safflower phospholipid (Saf-PL) for 7 wk. Egg production ratio and daily egg mass were significantly higher in hens fed Saf-PLcrude diets than in hens of the other diet groups. There were no significant differences in egg weight among groups. Liver cholesterol and triglyceride contents were significantly decreased in all treated groups as compared with the control. The activity of hepatic 3-hydroxy-3 methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase was the highest in hens fed the Saf-PLcrude diet. Serum esterified cholesterol concentration was decreased by feeding of SP-oil, Saf-PLcrude, or Saf-PL diets. Serum lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase activity was highest in hens fed the tallow diet. Excreta neutral steroid excretion was significantly increased in the Saf-PLcrude or Saf-PL diet groups, although acidic steroid excretion was not affected by dietary treatments. Total cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid contents in egg yolks were not different for any dietary treatments. The fatty acid compositions of egg yolks from hens fed Saf-PLcrude diets were not different with those fed the SP-oil diet, although eggs of hens fed the Saf-PL diet showed lower total polyunsaturated fatty acids. These results suggest that dietary safflower phospholipids may be a valuable ingredient to layers for reducing liver triglycerides and serum cholesterol without any adverse effects.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Effects of organic selenium and zinc on the aging process of laying hens

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objective of the study was to determine whether supplementing the diets of post-molted hens with organic selenium (Se) (Sel-Plex®) and/or organic Zinc (Zn) (Bio-Plex®) could improve laying hen performance. Prior to molting, 120-78 wk old laying hens were separated into four treatment groups of ...

  4. [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.

  5. [Amprolium residues in eggs following administration of amprolium/ethopabate in laying hens and breeding hens].

    PubMed

    Kan, C A; van Leeuwen, W; van Gend, H W

    1989-01-15

    Amprolium may be used as a coccidiostat in rearing hens and is a therapeutical agent used in laying hens. As a result of cross contamination, low amprolium levels may occur in feed. Feed containing a concentration of amprolium ranging from 5 to 250 mg/kg was therefore supplied to groups of laying hens. The amprolium residues in the yolks during and after treatment were subsequently determined. These levels varied from 1.75 mg/kg in the group fed 250 mg/kg to 0.2 mg/kg in the group fed 5 mg/kg. Amprolium levels in the whites of eggs were much lower than those in the yolks. The residues in yolks decreased below detectable levels (less than 0.005 mg/kg) within approximately ten days after treatment. Rearing hens in a tiered wire floor system were given amprolium in their feed until the first egg was laid. Amprolium residues in yolks were detected for well over a fortnight after the onset of laying. The amprolium residues determined in yolk did not exceed US tolerance levels of 8 mg/kg.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2009-04-06

    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.

  8. Nest use and patterns of egg laying and damage by 4 strains of laying hens in an aviary system.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, S; Ali, A B A; Campbell, D L M; Siegford, J M

    2017-09-01

    Laying hens are strongly motivated to use nests for egg laying, and alternative production systems (e.g., aviaries) provide artificial sites to meet this need and ensure efficient collection of clean, undamaged eggs. However, nests are typically not provided to allow simultaneous use by all hens; therefore, competition or mislaid eggs can result. To understand the influence of strain on laying eggs outside nests and damage to eggs, we compared daily patterns of nests use and egg laying among 4 laying hen strains (Hy-Line Brown (HB), Bovans Brown (BB), DeKalb White (DW), and Hy-Line W36 (W36)). Hens were observed over 3 consecutive days in aviaries with colony nests in the enclosure's top tier (2 nests/unit, 4 aviary units/strain, 144 hens/unit). The number and location of hens in nests and the number, location and condition of eggs throughout aviaries were recorded. Most eggs (90 to 95%) were laid in nests; however, brown hens consistently laid more non-nest eggs and damaged more eggs than white hens (P ≤ 0.05). Higher nest occupancy by brown hens was correlated with more non-nest and damaged eggs (P ≤ 0.05). In the morning, brown hens occupied more nest space and laid more nest eggs than white hens (e.g., HB vs. DW: 82.97 and 34.66% of space; 91.35 and 68.73% of nest eggs; P ≤ 0.05). At midday, white hens occupied more nest space and laid more nest eggs than brown hens (e.g., HB vs. DW: 28.47 and 15.81% of space; 27.39 and 8.29% of nest eggs; P ≤ 0.05). Brown hens preferred right nest compartments and laid more eggs there, whereas white hens preferred left compartments and W36 laid more eggs there (P ≤ 0.05). These findings indicate that different strains of hens have different patterns of nest use and laying behavior. In brown hens, heavy morning nest use was related to laying eggs outside nests and more damaged eggs, suggesting insufficient space for oviposition in nests. Specific facility design should be matched to hens' preferences to accommodate

  9. 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

  10. Air samplings in a Campylobacter jejuni positive laying hen flock.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Marwa Fawzy El Metwaly; Schulz, Jochen; Hartung, Joerg

    2013-01-01

    The air in laying hen houses contains high concentrations of airborne bacteria. The numbers of these bacteria can be influenced by the efficiency of the chosen sampling method. In the presented study, AGI-30 Impingers and the Coriolis(®)µ air Sampler were compared in terms of their efficiency in sampling aerobic mesophilic bacteria in a laying hen house. Measurements were conducted in a laying hen flock with high prevalences of C. jejuni in order to investigate if culturable cells of this organism can also be detected by the applied methods. Airborne dust was also analyzed for the presence of C. jejuni specific DNA to assess the possible occurrence of non-culturable C. jejuni in the hen house air. The numbers of mesophilic airborne bacteria ranged from 8 × 10(4) - 2 × 10(6) CFU/m(-3) when sampled using AGI-30 Impingers, and from 2 × 10(5) - 4 × 10(6) CFU/m -3 when sampled using a Coriolis(®)µ air Sampler. The concentrations detected simultaneously by both devices correlated well (rPearson = 0.755), but the Coriolis(®)µ air Sampler showed a significantly higher sampling efficiency (p<0.001). Although, the within flock prevalence of C. jejuni was high during the experiments (between 70-93%), neither of the air sampling methods could detect culturable C. jejuni from the air. However, C. jejuni specific DNA was detected in 15 out of 18 airborne dust samples by mapA PCR. Based on the results, it can be concluded that airborne culturable C. jejuni were not detectable, even with an efficient air sampler, because of their low concentration. Therefore, the risk of airborne infection to poultry workers on inhaling airborne C. jejuni seems negligible. Also, the transmission of culturable C. jejuni to neighboring farms by the airborne route is unlikely. Otherwise, the detection of airborne C. jejuni specific DNA suggests that non-culturable cells could appear in the hen house air, and in future it should be verified whether sampling stress of the air sampling methods

  11. Analysis on differential expressed genes of ovarian tissue between high- and low-yield laying hen.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei; Song, Ling-Jun; Zeng, Yong-Qing; Yang, Yun; Wang, Hui

    2013-01-01

    In order to elucidate molecular genetic mechanism of laying hen reproduction at the transcriptional level and the structure of significantly differential genes, the mRNA differential display and reverse northern dot-blot were used to detect the differential expression of genes in the ovary tissue of low-yield laying hens and high-yield laying hens in the present study. Sixteen 32-week-old CAU-pink laying hens divided into two groups were used and the laying performance was measured. The results showed that only the egg numbers were significantly different between the two groups; and from 15 primer pairs, a total of 336 bands were displayed of which 59 cDNA bands were found to be differentially expressed in both high-yield and low-yield laying hen. The sequence analysis indicated that the expression of such bands as H-AP5, H-P5, and H-P4 was significantly potentiated in high-yield laying hen using primer pairs AP5/HT11G, P5/HT11G and P4/HT11G and these transcripts had high homology (98%) to HoxDb, HoxCa, and HoxBa, respectively. The differentially expressed gene fragments may be relevant to the progression of the high-yield hens to the egg-laying stage. And further study is required to elucidate the molecular function to improve the productivity of laying hens.

  12. The dynamics of Salmonella occurrence in commercial laying hen flocks throughout a laying period.

    PubMed

    Schulz, J; Van Hoorebeke, S; Hald, B; Hartung, J; Van Immerseel, F; Radtke, I; Kabell, S; Dewulf, J

    2011-06-01

    Contaminated eggs and egg products have been recognized for many years as an important source of Salmonella infections in humans in the European Union and in the United States. Longitudinal studies can help to increase our knowledge about the dynamics of the occurrence of Salmonella in the course of a laying period. The total of 41 laying hen flocks-18 in Belgium, six in Denmark and 17 in Germany-were followed during an entire laying period. Samples taken from the empty cleaned and disinfected poultry houses were all negative for Salmonella. After hens arrived on the farms, five pooled faecal samples, one pooled dust sample and 40 cloacal swabs (Belgium and Germany) or 40 swabs from fresh droppings (Denmark) were taken four times from 18 flocks, three times from 21 flocks and two times from two flocks in the course of the laying period. Ten flocks (two Belgian and eight German flocks) tested up to three times positive for Salmonella. Forty-three out of 50 positive samples contained Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 4 (29 isolates) or phage type 8 (14 isolates). The probability of subsequent Salmonella-positive findings increased significantly in Salmonella-positive flocks (P<0.05, odds ratio = 6.4). However, the probability of finding Salmonella did not depend on the time of sampling in the laying period or the season.

  13. 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

  14. Effect of excess dietary fluoride on laying performance and antioxidant capacity of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Miao, L P; Zhou, M Y; Zhang, X Y; Yuan, C; Dong, X Y; Zou, X T

    2017-07-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of excess dietary fluoride (F) on laying performance and antioxidant capacity of laying hens. A total of 576 laying hens, 51 wk old, was randomly divided into 6 groups, each of which included 6 replicates of 16 hens. Graded amounts of sodium fluoride (NaF) were added to the basal diet to achieve concentrations of 16 (control), 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1,000 mg/kg F, respectively. Dietary F at 1,000 mg/kg significantly decreased ADFI, laying rate, and average egg weight, and increased feed conversion ratio (FCR) (P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in serum total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) level or catalase (CAT) concentration among all the treatments, while hens fed F at 800 and 1,000 mg/kg had higher activity of serum glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) and concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA) (P < 0.05) as compared to the control group. Compared with the control group, dietary F at 400 mg/kg increased liver MDA concentration (P < 0.001), and decreased CAT concentration of liver (P < 0.001); 600 mg/kg F decreased liver T-AOC levels (P < 0.001); and 800 mg/kg of F decreased liver total superoxide dismutases (T-SOD) activity (P < 0.001). Compared with the control group, feeding F at 600 mg/kg decreased kidney T-AOC levels and T-SOD activity (P < 0.001), and increased MDA concentration of kidney (P < 0.001), while dietary 1,000 mg/kg of F decreased kidney GSH-PX activity (P < 0.05) and CAT concentration (P < 0.001). In conclusion, these results indicated that excessive F ingestion had an adverse effect on laying performance by inducing oxidative stress and impairing the antioxidant system of laying hens. © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. The effects of housing systems for laying hens on egg safety and quality

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Transitions in laying hen management and housing systems have constantly occurred throughout the history of commercial egg production. Around the world, there has been a rapid shift in hen housing requirements since the turn of the current century. In most cases, the changes in hen housing require...

  17. Effects of dietary antioxidant on performance and physiological responses following heat stress in laying hens

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Heat stress (HS) causes oxidative damage, increasing mortality and reducing productivity in chickens. The objective of this study was to determine the benefits of antioxidant supplementation in laying hens during HS. Eighty 32-wk-old W-36 White Leghorn hens were used in this study. Hens were randoml...

  18. Influence of Fusarium-infected corn and F-2 on laying hens.

    PubMed

    Marks, H L; Bacon, C W

    1976-09-01

    Diets containing either Fusarium-infected corn supplying 25 and 100 p.p.m. of F-2 (zearalenone) or purified F-2 at these levels did not adversely influence the reproductive performance of laying hens. In trial 1, no deleterious effects were observed for 20- and 36-week body weights, age at first egg, egg weight, albumen height, shell deformation, fertility or hatchability when Fusarium-infected corn was fed to 20-week-old pullets for 28 days. Percent hen-day egg production of birds fed Fusarium-infected corn supplying 25 and 100 p.p.m. of F-2 was superior (P less than or equal to 0.5) to egg production of nontreated controls. In trial 2, three replications of ten adult Leghorn hens were evaluated under five dietary treatments: (1) 16.7% protein basal; (2) basal plus Fusarium-infected corn (25 p.p.m. of F-2); (3) basal plus 25 p.p.m. of (purified) F-2; (4) basal plus Fusarium-infected corn (100 p.p.m. of F-2); (5) basal plus 100 p.p.m. of (purified) F-2. Difference between dietary treatments for 14-day pre-treatment, treatment and post-treatment periods were nonsignificant for 42- and 44-week body weights, egg production, egg weights, fertility and hatchability. Body weights of chicks from hens fed F-2 diets were not significantly different from those of chicks from hens fed the basal diet.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. Individual differences in personality in laying hens are related to learning a colour cue association.

    PubMed

    de Haas, Elske N; Lee, Caroline; Hernandez, Carlos E; Naguib, Marc; Rodenburg, T Bas

    2017-01-01

    Personality can influence how animals perceive and learn cues. The behaviour and physiological responses animals show during stressful events is indicative of their personality. Acute induced stress prior to a cognitive test are known to affect the judgement of a stimulus, but personality of an individual could also affect learning of a specific cognitive paradigm. Here, we assessed if adult laying hens' behaviour and physiological responses, as indicators of their personality, were related to their cognitive performance. We assessed their behavioural responses to a tonic immobility test, an open field test, and a manual restraint test, and measured plasma corticosterone levels after manual restraint. After that, hens (n=20) were trained in a pre-set training schedule to associate a colour-cue with a reward. In a two-choice go-go test, hens needed to choose between a baited or non-baited food container displayed randomly on the left or right side of an arena. Success in learning was related to personality, with better performance of hens which showed a reactive personality type by a long latency to walk, struggle or vocalize during the tests. Only eight out of 20 hens reached the training criteria. The non-learners showed a strong side preference during all training days. Side preferences were strong in hens with high levels of plasma corticosterone and with a long duration of tonic immobility, indicating that fearful, stress-sensitive hens are more prone to develop side biases. Our results show that learning can be hindered by side biases, and fearful animals with a more proactive personality type are more sensitive to develop such biases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Performance and welfare of laying hens in conventional and enriched cages.

    PubMed

    Tactacan, G B; Guenter, W; Lewis, N J; Rodriguez-Lecompte, J C; House, J D

    2009-04-01

    Concerns regarding the welfare of laying hens raised in battery cages have led to the development of enriched cages that allow hens to perform natural behaviors including nesting, roosting, and scratching. This study was conducted to compare indices of production and welfare in birds housed in 2 different caging systems. Shaver White hens were housed from 21 to 61 wk in either conventional battery cages (n = 500; 10 cages; 5 hens/cage; floor space = 561.9 cm(2)/hen) or enriched cages (n = 480; 2 cages; 24 hens/cage; floor space = 642.6 cm(2)/hen) and were replicated 10 times. Enriched cages provided hens with a curtained nesting area, scratch pad, and perches. Production parameters and egg quality measures were recorded throughout the experiment. Plumage condition was evaluated at 37 and 61 wk. Bone quality traits and immunological response parameters were measured at 61 wk, and 59 and 61 wk, respectively. Hen-day egg production, feed consumption, egg weight, and percentage of cumulative mortality of laying hens were not affected by the cage designs. Specific gravity and the percentage of cracked and soft-shelled eggs were also similar between the 2 housing systems. The incidence of dirty eggs was, however, significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in enriched cages than in conventional cages. Feather scores were similar between birds except for the wing region, which was higher (P < 0.05) for hens housed in conventional cages. Bone quality measures tended to be higher for hens housed in enriched cages compared with hens in conventional cages. However, the increase was significant only for bone mineral density. Immunological response parameters did not reveal statistically significant differences. Overall, laying performance, exterior egg quality measures, plumage condition, and immunological response parameters appear to be similar for hens housed in the 2 cage systems tested. Enrichment of laying hen cages resulted in better bone quality, which could have resulted from

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of Octacosanol Extracted from Rice Bran on the Laying Performance, Egg Quality and Blood Metabolites of Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Kai; Long, Lei; Wang, Yuxi; Wang, Shunxi

    2016-01-01

    A 42-d study with 384 Hy-line brown laying hens was conducted to assess the effects of dietary octacosanol supplementation on laying performance, egg quality and blood metabolites of laying hens. Hens were randomly allocated into 4 dietary groups of 8 cages each, which were fed basal diet supplemented with 0 (Control), 9 (OCT9), 18 (OCT18), and 27 (OCT27) mg/kg diet of octacosanol isolated from rice bran, respectively. The experiment was conducted in an environmental controlled house and hens were fed twice daily for ad libitum intake. Laying performance was determined over the 42-d period, and egg quality as well as blood metabolites were estimated on d 21 and d 42. Diets in OCT18 and OCT27 increased (p<0.05) laying rate, egg weight, egg mass, egg albumen height, Haugh unit and eggshell strength on d 42, but decreased (p<0.05) feed conversion rate and levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in the serum as compared to those of Control. Feed intake, yolk color, yolk diameter, eggshell thickness and high density lipoprotein cholesterol were similar (p>0.05) among treatments. Results demonstrate that supplementing 18 to 27 mg/kg diet of rice bran octacosanol can improve laying rate and egg quality and reduce blood lipid of laying hens. PMID:27282970

  8. Effects of Octacosanol Extracted from Rice Bran on the Laying Performance, Egg Quality and Blood Metabolites of Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kai; Long, Lei; Wang, Yuxi; Wang, Shunxi

    2016-10-01

    A 42-d study with 384 Hy-line brown laying hens was conducted to assess the effects of dietary octacosanol supplementation on laying performance, egg quality and blood metabolites of laying hens. Hens were randomly allocated into 4 dietary groups of 8 cages each, which were fed basal diet supplemented with 0 (Control), 9 (OCT9), 18 (OCT18), and 27 (OCT27) mg/kg diet of octacosanol isolated from rice bran, respectively. The experiment was conducted in an environmental controlled house and hens were fed twice daily for ad libitum intake. Laying performance was determined over the 42-d period, and egg quality as well as blood metabolites were estimated on d 21 and d 42. Diets in OCT18 and OCT27 increased (p<0.05) laying rate, egg weight, egg mass, egg albumen height, Haugh unit and eggshell strength on d 42, but decreased (p<0.05) feed conversion rate and levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in the serum as compared to those of Control. Feed intake, yolk color, yolk diameter, eggshell thickness and high density lipoprotein cholesterol were similar (p>0.05) among treatments. Results demonstrate that supplementing 18 to 27 mg/kg diet of rice bran octacosanol can improve laying rate and egg quality and reduce blood lipid of laying hens.

  9. Cyclic changes in serum phosphorus of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Miller, E R; Harms, R H; Wilson, H R

    1977-03-01

    Three trials were conducted to measure changes in the serum phosphorus level of laying hens over a 24-hour period. Sixty-three-week-old hens were selected for blood sampling according to the criteria that: 1. they laid an egg the day prior to and the day of blood collection and 2. the oviposition time on both days was 10 a.m. +/- 2 hours. Blood samples were obtained via heart puncture. Serum was collected by centrifugation, deproteinized and analyzed colorimetrically for phosphorus content. Sampling times were as follows: Trial 1--6 p.m., 12 midnight, 6 a.m. and 12 noon; Trial 2--6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Trial 3--12 midnight, 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Hens used in this study received natural and/or artifical light from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. each day. Results indicated that serum phosphorus reached a peak of 6.08 mg.% at 7 a.m. At 8 a.m., the phosphorus level dropped to 4.88 mg.% and remained within 0.08 mg.% of this value until 12 noon. From 2 p.m. to 6 a.m. it gradually increased from 5.29 mg9% to 5.80 mg.%. Observed changes in serum phosphorus over time are related to changes in shell calcification, bone resorption and remineralization, and renal clearance.

  10. The effect of perch availability during pullet rearing and egg laying on the behavior of caged White Leghorn hens.

    PubMed

    Hester, P Y; Garner, J P; Enneking, S A; Cheng, H W; Einstein, M E

    2014-10-01

    Enriched cages, compared with conventional cages, allow egg laying strains of chickens to meet some behavioral needs, including a high motivation to perch. The objective of this study was to determine if perch availability during rearing affected perch use as adults and if perch presence affected eating and drinking in caged White Leghorn hens. Chickens were assigned to 14 cages each with and without 2 round metal perches from hatch to 16.9 wk of age. At 17 wk of age, pullets were assigned to laying cages consisting of 1 of 4 treatments. Treatment 1 chickens never had access to perches (controls). Treatment 2 chickens only had access to 2 round metal perches during the laying phase (17 to 71 wk of age). Treatment 3 chickens only had access to 2 round perches during the pullet phase (0 to 16.9 wk of age). Treatment 4 chickens had access to the perches during both the pullet and laying phase. Each treatment during the adult phase consisted of 9 cages with 9 birds/cage for a total of 36 cages. Automatic infrared cameras were used to monitor behavior of hens in each cage for a 24-h period at 19, 24, 29, 34, 39, 44, 49, 54, 59, 64, and 69 wk of age. Behavior was also recorded twice weekly by an observer in the room where the hens were housed during photophase from 25 to 68 wk of age. Behavioral data were analyzed using ANOVA with repeated measures and the MIXED model procedure. A greater proportion of hens without perches as pullets used the rear perch more during both photophase and scotophase than hens with prior pullet perching experience. Eating and drinking activities of caged adult Leghorns were not impaired by their prior experience to perches as pullets or by the presence of perches in laying cages. It is concluded that providing perches in cages to White Leghorns during pullet rearing did not facilitate use of perches as adults.

  11. Genetic improvement of laying hens viability using survival analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ducrocq, Vincent; Besbes, Badi; Protais, Michel

    2000-01-01

    The survival of about eight generations of a large strain of laying hens was analysed separating the rearing period (RP) from the production period (PP), after hens were housed. For RP (respectively PP), 97.8% (resp., 94.1% ) of the 109 160 (resp., 100 665) female records were censored after 106 days (resp., 313 days) on the average. A Cox proportional hazards model stratified by flock (= season) and including a hatch-within-flock (HWF) fixed effect seemed to reasonably fit the RP data. For PP, this model could be further simplified to a non-stratified Weibull model. The extension of these models to sire-dam frailty (mixed) models permitted the estimation of the sire genetic variances at 0.261 ± 0.026 and 0.088 ± 0.010 for RP and PP, respectively. Heritabilities on the log scale were equal to 0.48 and 0.19. Non-additive genetic effects could not be detected. Selection was simulated by evaluating all sires and dams, after excluding all records from the last generation. Then, actual parents of this last generation were distributed into four groups according to their own pedigree index. Raw survivor curves of the progeny of extreme parental groups substantially differed (e.g., by 1.7% at 300 days for PP), suggesting that selection based on solutions from the frailty models could be efficient, despite the very large proportion of censored records. PMID:14736405

  12. Experimentally induced "fatty liver syndrome" condition in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Harms, R H; Roland, D A; Simpson, C F

    1977-03-01

    Two experiments were conducted with aged laying hens to determine the influence of feeding 5,000 p.p.m. of iodine as potassium iodine (KI) and/or injecting 12 mg. of estradiol upon fat accumulation in the liver and serum cholesterol levels. The KI was fed for 8 days before making liver and blood determinations, and the estradiol was injected 3 days prior to making the determinations. The feeding of KI or injection of estradiol resulted in significantly increased liver weight. When the two treatments were combined a further significant increase in liver weights was obtained. The percent of fat in the liver was significantly increased by the injection of estradiol. However, the feeding of KI in the presence or absence of estradiol did not affect the percentage of fat in the liver. Neither of the treatments significantly affected the fatty acid composition of the liver fat. Feeding of KI or injection of estradiol significantly increased total serum cholesterol levels. When the two treatments were combined a further increase in serum cholesterol level was observed. Histological changes of the livers of hens treated with KI and estradiol were similar to those previously described for the "fatty liver syndrome."

  13. Different soil media for free-range laying hens.

    PubMed

    Sossidou, E N; Rose, S P; Silva, S S P; Hall, N W; Tserveni-Goussi, A; Christodoulou, V

    2008-07-01

    1. A replicated experiment compared bird use, soil structure, grass wear and free-moving nematode populations in 4 different soil media (recycled vegetable compost, 90% recycled vegetable compost and 10% sand, re-used topsoil and sterilised topsoil) all with established grass swards within the range area of a large free-range laying hen unit. 2. The birds initially spent a greater proportion of their time on the two topsoil swards in comparison to the two compost-based swards. However, once the whole flock of hens had prolonged access to the different swards (unfenced areas) there were no significant differences in the number of birds that frequented the different sward types. 3. The two compost-based soil media had 33% fewer nematodes per g of dry soil compared to the two topsoil-based media. However, the rate of loss of grass from the subplots was greater with the two compost-based soil media; this was probably due to the greater porosity of these types of soil media.

  14. Effects of photoperiod on broodiness, egg-laying and endocrine responses in native laying hens.

    PubMed

    Geng, A L; Xu, S F; Zhang, Y; Zhang, J; Chu, Q; Liu, H G

    2014-01-01

    1. The effects of photoperiod on broodiness, egg-laying and endocrine responses in native laying hens were investigated. A total of 648, 18-week-old native laying hens (Beijing You Chicken, BYC) were randomly allocated to 6 groups with 3 replicates. The birds were exposed to 1 of 6 different photoperiods, including 16L:8D (06:00 to 22:00 h) for group 1; 12L:2D:4L:6D for group 2; 8L:4D:4L:8D for group 3; 16L:8D (03:00 to 19:00 h) for group 4; 14L:10D for group 5; and 18L:6D for group 6. 2. The broodiness rate and egg-laying rate for weeks 20-26, 27-33, 34-40, 41-47, 48-54 and 55-61 were calculated, and serum prolactin (PRL), luteinising hormone (LH), 17-beta-oestradiol (E2), melatonin (Mel) and progesterone (P4) concentrations were measured at the end of each stage. 3. Significant effects were observed on the rate of broodiness by the photoperiod and stage, but the interaction of photoperiod and stage was not significant. The rate of broodiness for group 3 (5.9%) was significantly higher than other groups, with group 2 being the lowest (2.8%). Broodiness rate was the highest for weeks 41-47 (9.9%). Significant effects were observed on average egg-laying rate by photoperiod and stage: the rate of egg-laying of groups 2 and 5 were significantly higher than groups 1, 4 and 6. 4. There were no significant effects of photoperiod on PRL, LH and Mel concentrations at 26, 33, 40 and 54 weeks of age (P > 0.05), but at 47 weeks of age, PRL and LH concentrations of group 1 were significantly lower than those in other groups. 5. The study suggests that the photoperiod of group 2 (12L:2D:4L:6D) is optimal for the birds' performance to give the lowest broodiness rate and the highest egg-laying rate during the whole laying period, and 41-47 weeks may be a key stage for the photomodulation of broodiness.

  15. Litter lipid content affects dustbathing behavior in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Scholz, B; Kjaer, J B; Urselmans, S; Schrader, L

    2011-11-01

    Within the European Union, the provision of dustbathing material in layer housing systems will be compulsory beginning in 2012. In cage systems, food particles are mainly used as litter material and are provided on scratching mats by an automatic transporting system. However, because dustbathing is a means for hens to remove stale lipids from their plumage, lipid content of a substrate may be an important asset with regard to its adequacy. This study analyzes dustbathing behavior as affected by lipid content of feed used as litter material. A total of 72 laying hens of 2 genotypes (Lohmann Selected Leghorn, Lohmann Brown) were kept in 12 compartments (6 hens each). Compartments were equipped with a plastic grid floor (G) and additionally contained 3 different dustbathing trays (each 1,000 cm(2)/hen) holding low-lipid (0.82%; L), normal-lipid (4.2%; N), and high-lipid (15.7%; H) food particles. The experiment began at 20 wk of life, and video recordings were done at wk 23, 26, and 29. Number of dustbaths, time spent dustbathing, average dustbath duration, foraging, and single behaviors within dustbaths were analyzed during the light period over 2 d in each observation week. Dustbaths occurred most frequently in the L compared with the N, H, and G treatments (all P < 0.001). Total time spent dustbathing was longest in the L treatment compared with the N and H treatments (P < 0.001). No difference in the average duration of single dustbaths was found between the L, N, and H treatments. However, when dustbath interruptions (less than 10 min) were excluded, the duration of single dustbaths was longer in the H compared with the L (P = 0.009) and N (P = 0.024) treatments. Foraging was most frequently observed in the N compared with the L, H, and G treatments (all P < 0.001). More body wing shakes occurred in the L compared with the N treatment, and the number of vertical wing shakes was higher in the N compared with the H treatment (all P ≤ 0.05). Our results showed

  16. Use of guar by-products in high-production laying hen diets.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, O; Zhang, C; Cartwright, A L; Carey, J B; Bailey, C A

    2007-06-01

    A 5x5 Latin square experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of feeding low concentrations of guar germ or a combination of guar germ and hull (guar meal) in high-production laying hen diets. A total of 125 Lohmann laying hens (21 wk old) of similar BW were randomly assigned to 5 blocks. Each block was divided into 5 experimental units, consisting of 5 hens per unit. Hens were fed either a nonguar control diet, or 1 of 4 diets containing either 2.5 or 5% guar germ, or 2.5 or 5% guar meal over a 20-wk trial period (five 4-wk periods). No significant differences were observed when feeding either 2.5 or 5% guar germ or meal (P>0.05) on hen-day egg production or feed consumption. Significant differences in egg weight, total egg mass per hen, and feed conversion ratio were detected in hens fed 2.5% guar meal, whereas they remained unchanged for diets containing either level of guar germ or 5% guar meal. Feeding either level of guar germ or guar meal did not affect shell quality (shell thickness, egg breaking force, and specific gravity), Haugh units, or egg yolk color (L*, a*, b*). The results showed that both guar germ and guar meal can be fed to high-production laying hens at up to 5% without adverse effects on laying hen performance.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  1. Immune response of laying hens exposed to 30 ppm ammonia for 25 weeks

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ammonia is one of the most prominent aerial pollutants inside poultry production facilities, affecting chicken health and well-being based on its levels and exposure durations. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 30 ppm ammonia on the immune response of laying hens. Hens at 18 wk ...

  2. Lack of response of laying hens to relative humidity at high ambient temperature.

    PubMed

    Yahav, S; Shinder, D; Razpakovski, V; Rusal, M; Bar, A

    2000-12-01

    1. The effects of relative humidity (rh=40% to 70%) at high ambient temperature (Ta) on the performance of laying hens at different ages (8 to 10 months, Trial 1; and 16 to 18 months, Trial 2) was evaluated. Laying hens were exposed to 25 degrees C (control) for 3 weeks and thereafter acclimated for 1 week to 35 degrees C and 4 different rh. 2. Body weight declined significantly in young and older hens exposed to 60% or 70% and 70% rh, respectively: Food intake declined with increasing Ta, except in the case of older hens exposed to 60% rh, for which it remained relatively constant. Water consumption, however, increased with increasing Ta but the increase was significant in young hens exposed to 70% rh only. 3. Egg production was not affected by the changes in Ta. However, a decrease in egg production was observed in older hens exposed to 60% rh. 4. Egg weight (EW), shell weight (SW) and shell thickness (ST) were significantly reduced by exposure to elevated Ta, whereas % breakage significantly increased. In young hens, a response to rh was exhibited in ST which was significantly higher in hens exposed to the low rh (40% to 45%) than in those exposed to the highest rh (70% to 75%). 5. It can be concluded that Ta is the main environmental factor affecting young and older laying hens while the effect of rh is minor.

  3. The development of sausage including meat from spent laying hen surimi.

    PubMed

    Jin, S K; Kim, I S; Jung, H J; Kim, D H; Choi, Y J; Hur, S J

    2007-12-01

    The sausage samples were made from pork with spent laying hen breast surimi. The samples were divided into 4 groups [sausage made from pork (control) and sausage made from pork with 20% (T1), 40% (T2), and 60% (T3) of spent laying hen breast surimi]. In proximate compositions, the moisture and ash contents of the control were higher than sausage containing spent laying hen surimi samples in all storage periods. The pH and cooking loss were higher in T3 compared with other sausage samples. However, there was no significant difference in water-holding capacity among the sausage samples, whereas shear force was significantly higher in T2. In meat color, sausage containing spent laying hen surimi samples (T1, T2, and T3) have shown to have higher lightness (L) compared with control, and redness (a) was significantly higher in control and T1. Total amino acid content and essential amino acids were increased in sausage containing spent laying hen surimi samples at 0 d of storage. In fatty acid composition, saturated fatty acid was higher in control than sausage containing spent laying hen surimi samples. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances value was lower in sausage containing spent laying hen surimi samples than control at 2 and 4 wk of storage. Cholesterol content was lower in control compared with sausage containing spent laying hen surimi samples. In sensory evaluation, most test items were not significantly different among the sausage samples although tenderness was higher in T2 and T3 at 0 d of storage.

  4. The development of imitation crab sticks by substituting spent laying hen meat for Alaska pollack.

    PubMed

    Jin, S K; Hur, I C; Jeong, J Y; Choi, Y J; Choi, B D; Kim, B G; Hur, S J

    2011-08-01

    Imitation crab stick (ICS) samples were divided into 5 treatments, a control composed of commercial ICS containing no breast meat from spent laying hens, and treatments 1, 2, 3, and 4, in which 5, 10, 15, and 20% batter from breast meat of whole spent laying hens was substituted for Alaska pollack surimi, respectively. Imitation crab stick samples containing spent laying hen breast meat batter showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher moisture levels than the control sample. However, the myoglobin and metmyoglobin levels did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) among ICS samples. During storage, whiteness was greater in the control sample than in the ICS samples containing spent laying hen breast meat batter. The saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids increased, whereas the polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased in response to substituting surimi with spent laying hen breast meat batter. The moisture content and pH were increased as the amount of spent laying hen breast meat batter increased. The lipid oxidation value (TBA-reactive substances) and protein degradation value (volatile basic nitrogen) tended to increase during storage as the amount of spent laying hen breast meat batter increased. None of the sensory evaluation items differed among ICS samples during storage, although the color of the final products, mechanical color (by colorimeter), and textural properties did differ among samples. These results indicate that substituting laying hen breast meat batter for Alaska pollack surimi is a very useful method for the production of ICS because it enables the use of a simple production process that does not require steps, such as washing or pH adjustment, for myofibrillar protein recovery.

  5. Laying hen movement in a commercial aviary: Enclosure to floor and back again.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Many producers in the laying hen industry, including in North America, are phasing out conventional cages in response to consumer demands and sometimes subsequent legislation. Alternative housing systems such as aviaries are being implemented in an attempt to improve hen welfare. Aviaries provide additional space and resources to groups of hens, including a litter area on the floor. However, little is known about hen movement between tiered enclosures and floor litter areas in aviary systems. Diurnal rhythms and social attraction may result in peak times of movement that could lead to overcrowding of areas, or alternatively hen preferences may lead to some areas not being fully utilized. We monitored hen movement between tiered enclosures and litter areas, including movement on and off the outer perch, across the day at peak, mid and end of lay in a commercial aviary. Hens moved onto and off of the open litter area across the day, transitioning between tiered enclosures, outer perches, open litter areas, and litter areas under tiered enclosures. At certain times of day, there were periods of greater hen movement down to the open litter area and between litter areas. For example, more hens were typically observed exiting enclosures, jumping from perches to open litter, and traveling between open litter and litter under tiered enclosures in the morning (all P ≤ 0.001). In all but one instance, more hens were observed on open litter areas in the afternoon than at other times of day (all P ≤ 0.029). However, hen re-entry to tiered enclosures showed less circadian patterning. Hen movement was observed between areas of interest at all sampled time periods, indicating hens use all areas of the system. Further research should examine whether all individual hens do move between areas equally, including within levels of the tiered enclosure, or if crowding occurs on the outer perches or in the litter during times of peak movement.

  6. 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

    2016-06-07

    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.

  7. Effect of dietary fiber on egg yolk, liver, and plasma cholesterol concentrations of the laying hen.

    PubMed

    McNaughton, J L

    1978-11-01

    Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of dietary fiber source and level on egg yolk, liver, and plasma cholesterol concentrations of White Leghorn laying hens. Initially, dietary fiber levels of 2.05, 4.41, 6.68, and 8.79% furnished mainly by sunflower meal were fed to laying hens for 140 days. In the second experiment, alfalfa meal, ground whole oats, sunflower meal, rice mill feed, or wood shavings was added to a corn-soybean meal basal diet to furnish 2.00% added crude fiber and fed to laying hens for 84 days. Yolk cholesterol decreased 4.39, 10.38, and 13.29% by feeding crude dietary fiber levels of 4.41, 6.68, and 8.79%, respectively, to hens as compared to a corn-soybean meal basal diet containing 2.05% crude fiber. Egg yolk cholesterol was significantly decreased by feeding alfalfa meal, oats, sunflower meal, rice mill feed, or wood shavings to laying hens when compared to yolk cholesterol of hens fed the basal diet. The greatest reduction in egg yolk cholesterol was found by feeding either oats or wood shavings. No significant differences were found in plasma cholesterol due to dietary fiber level. Plasma triglycerides decreased and liver cholesterol increased as dietary fiber level increased in diets fed to laying hens. When laying hens were fed alfalfa meal, oats, rice mill feed, or wood shavings, plasma cholesterol significantly decreased. Liver cholesterol increased when hens were fed either alfalfa meal or rice mill feed as the primary fiber source.

  8. Disposition kinetics of albendazole and metabolites in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Bistoletti, M; Alvarez, L; Lanusse, C; Moreno, L

    2013-04-01

    An increasing prevalence of roundworm parasites in poultry, particularly in litter-based housing systems, has been reported. However, few anthelmintic drugs are commercially available for use in avian production systems. The anthelmintic efficacy of albendazole (ABZ) in poultry has been demonstrated well. The goal of this work was to characterize the ABZ and metabolites plasma disposition kinetics after treatment with different administration routes in laying hens. Twenty-four laying hens Plymouth Rock Barrada were distributed into three groups and treated with ABZ as follows: intravenously at 10 mg/kg (ABZ i.v.); orally at the same dose (ABZ oral); and in medicated feed at 10 mg/kg·day for 7 days (ABZ feed). Blood samples were taken up to 48 h posttreatment (ABZ i.v. and ABZ oral) and up to 10 days poststart feed medication (ABZ feed). The collected plasma samples were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography. ABZ and its albendazole sulphoxide (ABZSO) and ABZSO2 metabolites were recovered in plasma after ABZ i.v. administration. ABZ parent compound showed an initial concentration of 16.4 ± 2.0 μg/mL, being rapidly metabolized into the ABZSO and ABZSO2 metabolites. The ABZSO maximum concentration (Cmax ) (3.10 ± 0.78 μg/mL) was higher than that of ABZSO2 Cmax (0.34 ± 0.05 μg/mL). The area under the concentration vs time curve (AUC) for ABZSO (21.9 ± 3.6 μg·h/mL) was higher than that observed for ABZSO2 and ABZ (7.80 ± 1.02 and 12.0 ± 1.6 μg·h/mL, respectively). The ABZ body clearance (Cl) was 0.88 ± 0.11 L·h/kg with an elimination half-life (T1/2el ) of 3.47 ± 0.73 h. The T1/2el for ABZSO and ABZSO2 were 6.36 ± 1.50 and 5.40 ± 1.90 h, respectively. After ABZ oral administration, low ABZ plasma concentrations were measured between 0.5 and 3 h posttreatment. ABZ was rapidly metabolized to ABZSO (Cmax , 1.71 ± 0.62 μg/mL) and ABZSO2 (Cmax , 0.43 ± 0.04 μg/mL). The metabolite systemic exposure (AUC) values were 18.6 ± 2.0 and 10

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wistedt, Anna; Ridderstråle, Yvonne; Wall, Helena; Holm, Lena

    2014-05-27

    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). 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. A low continuous dose of estrogen improves

  11. The dopaminergic system and aggression in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Dennis, R L; Cheng, H W

    2011-11-01

    The dopaminergic system is involved in the regulation of aggression in many species, especially via dopamine (DA) D1 and D2 receptor pathways. To investigate heritable differences in this regulation, 2 high aggressive strains [Dekalb XL (DXL) and low group egg productivity and survivability (LGPS)] and one low aggressive strain (low group egg productivity and survivability; HGPS) of laying hens were used in the study. The HGPS and LGPS lines were diversely selected using group selection for high and low group production and survivability. The DXL line is a commercial line selected through individual selection based on egg production. Heritable differences in aggressive propensity between the strains have been previously assessed. The birds were pair housed within the same strain and labeled as dominant or subordinate based on behavioral observation. For both experiments 1 and 2, behavioral analysis was performed on all 3 strains whereas neurotransmitter analysis was performed only on the most aggressive (DXL) and least aggressive (HGPS) strains. In experiment 1, the subordinate birds were treated with D1 agonist, D2 agonist, or saline controls (n = 12). In experiment 2, the dominant birds from a separate flock were treated with D1 antagonist, D2 antagonist, or saline controls (n = 12). Treatment-associated changes in aggressive behaviors and central neurotransmitters were measured. Aggression was increased in all strains in response to D1 agonism but increased only in the less aggressive HGPS birds with D2 agonism. Aggression was decreased and hypothalamic serotonin and epinephrine were increased in birds from all strains treated with D2 receptor antagonist. The D1 receptor antagonism elicited different behavioral and neurotransmitter responses based on the aggressive phenotype of the genetic strains. Aggressive strains DXL and LGPS but not the HGPS strain decreased aggressiveness following antagonism of the D1 receptor. The data show evidence for distinct

  12. Effect of corticosterone and hen body mass on primary sex ratio in laying hen (Gallus gallus), using unincubated eggs.

    PubMed

    Aslam, Muhammad Aamir; Groothuis, Ton G G; Smits, Mari A; Woelders, Henri

    2014-04-01

    In various studies, chronic elevation of corticosterone levels in female birds under natural or experimental conditions resulted in female biased offspring sex ratios. In chicken, one study with injected corticosterone resulted in a male sex ratio bias. In the current study, we chronically elevated blood plasma corticosterone levels through corticosterone feeding (20 mg/kg feed) for 14 days using 30 chicken hens in each of treatment and control groups and studied the primary offspring sex ratio (here defined as the proportion of male fertile eggs determined in freshly laid eggs, i.e., without egg incubation). Mean plasma corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher in the treatment group but were not associated with sex ratio, laying rate, and fertility rate. Corticosterone treatment by itself did not affect egg sex but affected sex ratio as well as laying rate and fertility rate in interaction with hen body mass. Body mass had a negative association with sex ratio, laying rate, and fertility rate per hen in the corticosterone group, but a positive association with sex ratio in untreated hens. These interactions were already seen when taking the body mass at the beginning of the experiment, indicating intrinsic differences between light and heavy hens with regard to their reaction to corticosterone treatment. The effects on laying rate, fertility rate, and sex ratio suggest that some factor related to body mass act together with corticosterone to modulate ovarian functions. We propose that corticosterone treatment in conjunction with hen body mass can interfere with meiosis, which can lead to meiotic drive and to chromosomal aberrations resulting in postponed ovulation or infertile ova.

  13. 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.

  14. Estimating the purebred-crossbred genetic correlation for uniformity of eggshell color in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Han A; Visscher, Jeroen; Fablet, Julien

    2016-05-05

    Uniformity of eggs is an important aspect for retailers because consumers prefer homogeneous products. One of these characteristics is the color of the eggshell, especially for brown eggs. Existence of a genetic component in environmental variance would enable selection for uniformity of eggshell color. Therefore, the objective of this study was to quantify the genetic variance in environmental variance of eggshell color in purebred and crossbred laying hens, to estimate the genetic correlation between environmental variance of eggshell color in purebred and crossbred laying hens and to estimate genetic correlations between environmental variance at different times of the laying period. We analyzed 167,651 and 79,345 eggshell color records of purebred and crossbred laying hens, respectively. The purebred and crossbred laying hens originated mostly from the same sires. Since eggshell color records of crossbred laying hens were collected per cage, these records could be related only to cage and sire family. A double hierarchical generalized linear sire model was used to estimate the genetic variance of the mean of eggshell color and its environmental variance. Approximate standard errors for heritability and the genetic coefficient of variation for environmental variance were derived. The genetic variance in environmental variance at the log scale was equal to 0.077 and 0.067, for purebred and crossbred laying hens, respectively. The genetic coefficient of variation for environmental variance was equal to 0.28 and 0.26, for purebred and crossbred laying hens, respectively. A genetic correlation of 0.70 was found between purebred and crossbred environmental variance of eggshell color, which indicates that there is some reranking of sires for environmental variance of eggshell color in purebred and crossbred laying hens. Genetic correlations between environmental variance of eggshell color in different laying periods were generally higher than 0.85, except between

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  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

    2009-01-16

    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.

  17. Evaporative cooling of ventral regions of the skin in heat-stressed laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wolfenson, D; Bachrach, D; Maman, M; Graber, Y; Rozenboim, I

    2001-07-01

    Laying hens held in battery cages in naturally ventilated poultry houses in hot countries usually develop hyperthermia, which adversely affects their performance. The present means of cooling alleviate to some degree, but cannot eliminate, the stress imposed by heat. A new approach to cooling of laying hens was developed, based on wetting the skin and promoting evaporation of water from the ventral regions of the bird. The type of plumage in the ventral regions and the exposed skin of the apteria enable more efficient wetting than is possible with dorsal cooling. A ventral cooling regime, comprising an initial period of frequent wettings followed by intermittent wetting for 10 s every 30 min was able to maintain normothermia of laying hens subjected to a 10-h period of heat exposure. Dorsal cooling was less efficient; body temperature and respiration rate were higher and skin temperatures were lower than in ventrally cooled hens. During 10 d of heat exposure, ventrally cooled hens maintained egg weight and shell index (mg/cm2), whereas their food intake decreased moderately. In contrast, egg weight, shell index, and food intake all decreased markedly in uncooled or dorsally cooled hens. Transient alterations in plasma concentrations of corticosterone, progesterone, and estradiol were noted in uncooled and dorsally cooled hens but not in ventrally cooled hens. Results indicate that ventral cooling is an efficient method to alleviate heat stress in laying hens during summer. Successful implementation of ventral cooling in poultry houses will depend on optimal installation of sprinklers and on minimal wetting of manure.

  18. Microbiological impact of three commercial laying hen housing systems

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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.

  20. [Mycoplasma synoviae-associated egg-pole shell defects in laying hens].

    PubMed

    Ranck, Martin Frederick; Schmidt, Volker; Philipp, Hans-Christian; Voss, Matthias; Kacza, Johannes; Richter, Andreas; Fehlhaber, Karsten; Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth

    2010-01-01

    Hens laying eggs with egg-pole shell defects (EPS) were examined in a clinical prospective study. 86 hens with EPS and 72 hens without EPS from three flocks were selected for this study. It could be proven serologically that hens with EPS had significant (p < 0.05) higher titers against Mycoplasma (M.) synoviae then hens without EPS. PCR tested cloacal swabs for M. synoviae were more frequently positive from hens with EPS (87%; n=72) then from hens without EPS (18%; n=13). Furthermore, M. synoviae could be cultivated from the oviduct of five hens with EPS. Additionally, M. synoviae-DNA was detectable in the albumen of nearly all eggs with EPS (n=48; 98%), contrary to the eggs without EPS (n=11; 26%). Ultrastructural investigation revealed that eggs with EPS showed considerable differences of the egg shell structure as well as the cross section dimension according to eggs without EPS. Due to the significantly more frequent detection of M. synoviae-DNA from the cloaca of chickens with EPS, is an involvement of M. synoviae in laying of EPS in the surveyed herds likely. Further infection experiments with the isolated M. synoviae were not perfomed, therefore about the causal pathogenic role of M. synoviae in the development of eggs with EPS in the surveyed herds can only be speculated.

  1. Detection of jumping and landing force in laying hens using wireless wearable sensors.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, D; Daigle, C L; Dong, B; Wurtz, K; Newberry, R C; Siegford, J M; Biswas, S

    2014-11-01

    Increased mobility of hens in noncaged housing presents possibilities for bone breakage due to crash landings from jumps or flights between perches or housing infrastructure. Because bone breakage is a welfare and economic concern, understanding how movement from different heights affects hen landing impact is important. By tracking 3-dimensional bird movement, an automated sensor technology could facilitate understanding regarding the interaction between noncage laying hens and their housing. A method for detecting jumps and flight trajectories could help explain how jumps from different heights affect hen landing impact. In this study, a wearable sensor-based jump detection mechanism for egg-laying hens was designed and implemented. Hens were fitted with a lightweight (10 g) wireless body-mounted sensor to remotely sample accelerometer data. Postprocessed data could detect occurrence of jumps from a perch to the ground, time of jump initiation, time of landing, and force of landing. Additionally, the developed technology could estimate the approximate height of the jump. Hens jumping from heights of 41 and 61 cm were found to land with an average force of 81.0 ± 2.7 N and 106.9 ± 2.6 N, respectively, assuming zero initial velocity (P < 0.001). This paper establishes the technological feasibility of using body-mounted sensor technology for jump detection by hens in different noncage housing configurations. ©2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  2. Corticosterone metabolites in laying hen droppings-Effects of fiber enrichment, genotype, and daily variations.

    PubMed

    Alm, M; Holm, L; Tauson, R; Wall, H

    2014-10-01

    There is growing interest and concern for animal welfare in commercial poultry production. To evaluate stress and welfare in an objective and noninvasive way, fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) in droppings can be analyzed. However, the influence of diet, genotype, and daily variations in FCM and production of droppings in laying hens has been poorly investigated. This study examined the effect of insoluble fiber by adding 3% ground straw pellets to the feed to Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL) and Lohmann Brown (LB) hens housed in furnished cages between 20 and 40 wk of age. In total, 960 hens were included in the study. Droppings were collected 4 times per day for 3 consecutive days and analyzed by corticosterone immunoassay. Biological validation confirmed the ability of the assay to detect changes in FCM levels. Inclusion of straw pellets in the feed increased FCM concentration in both hen genotypes and increased excretion rate of FCM in LB hens. The LB hens also produced greater amounts of droppings than LSL hens. Both FCM levels and production of droppings varied during the day, although no distinct diurnal rhythm was found. These findings demonstrate that when using FCM to evaluate stress and welfare in laying hens, many factors (e.g., diet, genotype used, and so on) need to be taken into account to allow accurate interpretation of the results. In addition, under certain conditions, excretion rate of FCM might be more appropriate to use compared with FCM concentration.

  3. Differential abundance of egg white proteins in laying hens treated with corticosterone.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jimin; Choi, Yang-Ho

    2014-12-24

    Stressful environments can affect not only egg production and quality but also gene and protein abundance in the ovary and oviduct in laying hens. The oviductal magnum of laying hens is the organ responsible for the synthesis and secretion of egg white proteins. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary corticosterone as a stress model on the abundance of proteins in the egg white and of mRNA and proteins in the magnum in laying hens. After a 14-day acclimation, 40 laying hens were divided into two groups which were provided for the next 14 days with either control (Control) or corticosterone (Stress) diet containing at 30 mg/kg. Corticosterone treatment resulted in increased feed intake (P ≤ 0.05) and decreased egg production. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) with MALDI-TOF/TOF MS/MS using eggs obtained on days 0 and 5 revealed differential abundance of egg white proteins by Stress: transiently expressed in neural precursors (TENP), hemopexin (HPX), IgY-Fcυ3-4, and extracellular fatty acid-binding protein (Ex-FABP) were decreased while ovoinhibitor and ovalbumin-related protein X (OVAX) were increased on days 5 vs 0 (P ≤ 0.05). Expression of mRNAs and proteins was also significantly modulated in the magnum of hens in Stress on day 14 (P ≤ 0.05). In conclusion, the current study provides the first evidence showing that dietary corticosterone modulates protein abundance in the egg white in laying hens, and it suggests that environmental stress can differentially modify expression of egg white proteins in laying hens.

  4. 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.

  5. Outdoor stocking density in free-range laying hens: effects on behaviour and welfare.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Hinch, G N; Downing, J A; Lee, C

    2017-06-01

    Free-range laying hen systems are increasing within Australia and research is needed to determine optimal outdoor stocking densities. Six small (n=150 hens) experimental flocks of ISA Brown laying hens were housed with access to ranges simulating one of three outdoor stocking densities with two pen replicates per density: 2000 hens/ha, 10 000 hens/ha or 20 000 hens/ha. Birds were provided daily range access from 21 to 36 weeks of age and the range usage of 50% of hens was tracked using radio-frequency identification technology. Throughout the study, basic external health assessments following a modified version of the Welfare Quality® protocol showed most birds were in visibly good condition (although keel damage was increasingly present with age) with few differences between stocking densities. Toenail length at 36 weeks of age was negatively correlated with hours spent ranging for all pens of birds (all r⩾-0.23, P⩽0.04). At 23 weeks of age, there were no differences between outdoor stocking densities in albumen corticosterone concentrations (P=0.44). At 35 weeks of age, density effects were significant (P<0.001) where the eggs from hens in the highest outdoor stocking density showed the highest albumen corticosterone concentrations, although eggs from hens in the 10 000 hens/ha density showed the lowest concentrations (P<0.017). Behavioural observations of hens both on the range and indoors showed more dust bathing and foraging (scratching followed by ground-pecking) was performed outdoors, but more resting indoors (all P<0.001). Hens from the 2000 hens/ha densities showed the least foraging on the range but the most resting outdoors, with hens from the 20 000 hens/ha densities showing the least amount of resting outdoors (all P<0.017). Proportions of dust bathing outdoors tended to differ between the stocking densities (P=0.08). For each of the health and behavioural measures there were differences between pen replicates within stocking densities. These

  6. Therapeutic effect of flax-based diets on fatty liver in aged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Davis, J E; Cain, J; Small, C; Hales, D B

    2016-11-01

    This study examined the ability of flax-based ingredients to attenuate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease ( NAFLD: ) in aged laying hens-a novel and more physiologically relevant model of human disease. Our results showed only hens supplemented with whole flaxseed ( WFX: ) reduced steatosis and hepatocellular ballooning. Serum AST was also reduced in hens provided WFX and defatted flaxseed meal ( DFM: ). Hepatic ω-3 PUFA enrichment was improved with supplementation of WFX, DFM, and flaxseed oil ( FXO: ). However, this effect was more evident in the WFX group. In contrast, transcript abundance of genes linked to NAFLD were predominantly modified with FXO supplementation. Taken together, our data indicate a potential synergistic relationship between the fatty acid and lignan content in flaxseed which attenuated the progression of NAFLD in aged laying hens. Although more research is necessary, these findings demonstrate the potential use of whole flaxseed for the treatment and prevention of NAFLD in humans. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  7. 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

  8. Use of infrared thermography to assess laying-hen feather coverage.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Y; Xin, H; Dong, B

    2013-02-01

    Infrared thermography (IRT) was compared with the traditional 4-scale feather scoring (FS, with 1 representing the worst feather coverage and 4 the best) method for assessing feather coverage of laying hens. The feather coverage of 6 body parts (head, dorsal neck, front neck and crop, back, breast, and belly), body surface temperature distribution, and relative change in sensible heat loss of 60 laying hens (Lohmann SL white breed) at 28, 56, or 73 wk of age (20 hens per age group) were compared by using IRT. For all the 6 body parts and the area-weighted overall, the area of excellent feather (EF) determined by IRT was positively correlated with the 4-scale scores determined by FS (P < 0.05), whereas the areas of fair feather (FF), no feather (NF), and body surface temperature were negatively correlated with FS scores (P < 0.05). Feather deterioration occurred for elder hens at all body parts. Feather coverage of the hens was classified as 98.7% EF, 1.3% FF, and 0% NF at 28 wk of age; 70.2% EF, 20.6% FF, and 9.2% NF at 56 wk of age; and 35.4% EF, 17.1% FF, and 49.5% NF at 73 wk of age. As a result of less feather coverage and higher surface temperature, sensible heat loss was speculated to be higher for 56- and 73-wk-old hens than for 28-wk-old hens, potentially leading to higher feed-to-egg conversion for the elder hens. It was concluded that IRT is a promising technique or tool that may provide a more objective and quantitative evaluation of laying-hen feather conditions and delineation of bird thermoregulation.

  9. Effect of light-emitting diode vs. fluorescent lighting on laying hens in aviary hen houses: Part 1 - Operational characteristics of lights and production traits of hens.

    PubMed

    Long, H; Zhao, Y; Wang, T; Ning, Z; Xin, H

    2016-01-01

    Light-emitting diode (LED) lights are becoming more affordable for agricultural applications. Despite many lab-scale studies concerning impact of LED on poultry, little research has been documented under field production conditions, especially for laying hens. This 15-month field study was carried out to evaluate the effects of LED vs. fluorescent (FL) lights on laying hens (Dekalb white breed) using 4 (2 pairs) aviary hen houses each at a nominal capacity of 50,000 hens. The evaluation was done regarding operational characteristics of the lights and hen production traits. The results show that spatial distribution of the LED light was less uniform than that of the FL light. Light intensity of the LED light decreased by 27% after 3,360 h use but remained quite steady from 3,360 to 5,760 h use. Eleven out of 762 (1.44%) LED lamps (new at onset of the study) in the 2 houses failed during the 15-month experiment period. The neck area of the LED lamp was hottest, presumably the primary reason for the lamp failure as cracks were noticed in the neck region of all failed LED lamps. No differences were observed in egg weight, hen-day egg production, feed use, and mortality rate between LED and FL regimens. However, hens under the FL had higher eggs per hen housed and better feed conversion than those under the LED during 20 to 70 wk production (P < 0.05). Hens under the LED tended to have less feather uniformity and insulation than those under the FL (P < 0.05). Moreover, hens under the LED showed a larger median avoidance distance than those under the FL at 36 wk age (P < 0.05), indicating that hens under the LED were more alert; but no difference at 60 wk age. More comparative research to quantify behavioral and production responses of different breeds of hens to LED vs. FL lighting seems warranted. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  10. Effects of taurine and housing density on renal function in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zi-Li; Gao, Yang; Ma, Hai-Tian; Zheng, Liu-Hai; Dai, Bin; Miao, Jin-Feng; Zhang, Yuan-Shu

    This study investigated the putative protective effects of supplemental 2-aminoethane sulfonic acid (taurine) and reduced housing density on renal function in laying hens. We randomly assigned fifteen thousand green-shell laying hens into three groups: a free range group, a low-density caged group, and a high-density caged group. Each group was further divided equally into a control group (C) and a taurine treatment group (T). After 15 d, we analyzed histological changes in kidney cells, inflammatory mediator levels, oxidation and anti-oxidation levels. Experimental data revealed taurine supplementation, and rearing free range or in low-density housing can lessen morphological renal damage, inflammatory mediator levels, and oxidation levels and increase anti-oxidation levels. Our data demonstrate that taurine supplementation and a reduction in housing density can ameliorate renal impairment, increase productivity, enhance health, and promote welfare in laying hens.

  11. Effects of taurine and housing density on renal function in laying hens*

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Zi-li; Gao, Yang; Ma, Hai-tian; Zheng, Liu-hai; Dai, Bin; Miao, Jin-feng; Zhang, Yuan-shu

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the putative protective effects of supplemental 2-aminoethane sulfonic acid (taurine) and reduced housing density on renal function in laying hens. We randomly assigned fifteen thousand green-shell laying hens into three groups: a free range group, a low-density caged group, and a high-density caged group. Each group was further divided equally into a control group (C) and a taurine treatment group (T). After 15 d, we analyzed histological changes in kidney cells, inflammatory mediator levels, oxidation and anti-oxidation levels. Experimental data revealed taurine supplementation, and rearing free range or in low-density housing can lessen morphological renal damage, inflammatory mediator levels, and oxidation levels and increase anti-oxidation levels. Our data demonstrate that taurine supplementation and a reduction in housing density can ameliorate renal impairment, increase productivity, enhance health, and promote welfare in laying hens. PMID:27921400

  12. Risk factors for Salmonella prevalence in laying-hen farms in Japan.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Y; Murakami, M; Maruyama, N; Tsujiyama, Y; Kusukawa, M; Asai, T; Yamada, Y

    2012-06-01

    Human salmonellosis cases, particularly those caused by Salmonella Enteritidis, have been closely linked to egg consumption. This epidemiological survey was conducted to determine the baseline Salmonella prevalence and identify the risk factors for Salmonella prevalence in laying-hen farms in Japan. Caecal excrement samples and dust samples were obtained from 400 flocks in 338 laying-hen farms. Salmonella was identified in 20.7% of the farms and 19.5% of the flocks. The prevalence of Salmonella was significantly higher in flocks reared in windowless houses than in those reared in open houses. In addition, the risk of Salmonella presence was significantly higher when the windowless house farms implemented induced moulting or in-line egg processing. Efforts to reduce human salmonellosis in Japan should continue to focus on the establishment of control measures in laying-hen farms, especially those with windowless houses implementing induced moulting and equipped with in-line egg processing.

  13. 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. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  14. Perching behaviour and perch height preference of laying hens in furnished cages varying in height.

    PubMed

    Struelens, E; Tuyttens, F A M; Duchateau, L; Leroy, T; Cox, M; Vranken, E; Buyse, J; Zoons, J; Berckmans, D; Odberg, F; Sonck, B

    2008-07-01

    1. The objective was to investigate the effect of cage height on perch height preference and perching behaviour in laying hens. Twelve groups of two hens and 12 groups of 14 hens were tested in furnished cages equipped with two wooden perches. These stepwise perches were designed such that hens could choose between 7 different heights (6, 11, 16, 21, 26, 31 and 36 cm). Day- and night-time perching behaviour was observed on 4 consecutive days with a different cage height each day: 150, 55, 50 and 45 cm. 2. Given that a minimum perch-roof distance of 19 to 24 cm was available, hens preferred to roost on the highest perches at night. 3. Lowering cage height not only forced hens to use lower perches, but also reduced time spent on the perches during the day (two-hen and 14-hen test) and night (14-hen test). Moreover, it affected daytime behavioural activities (more standing and less preening) on the perches in the two-hen tests (but not in the 14-hen tests). 4. During the day lower perches were used more for standing and walking, higher perches more for sitting and sleeping. This behavioural differentiation was most pronounced in the highest cages. 5. Perch preference and perching behaviour depend on both the floor-perch distance and the perch-roof distance. Higher cages provide more opportunity for higher perches (which hens prefer), for better three-dimensional spacing (and consequently reduced density at floor level) and for behavioural differentiation according to perch height.

  15. Melatonin implantation improved the egg-laying rate and quality in hens past their peak egg-laying age.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yaxiong; Yang, Minghui; Zhu, Kuanfeng; Wang, Liang; Song, Yukun; Wang, Jing; Qin, Wenxiang; Xu, Zhiyuan; Chen, Yu; Liu, Guoshi

    2016-12-23

    The egg-laying rates of hens approximately 470 days of age exhibited a positive correlation to blood melatonin levels. The hens with an egg-laying rate <30%, 30~90% and ≥90% had blood melatonin levels of 5.8 ± 2.6, 74.0 ± 32.9 and 445.9 ± 115.3 ng/ml, respectively. When 10 mg of melatonin was implanted into the hens at 300, 360, 470 and 550 days of age, the egg-laying rates increased 4.63 ± 0.46%, 8.38 ± 1.45%, 4.93 ± 0.85% and 7.93 ± 0.91%, respectively, compared to that of the controls. Melatonin implantation in hens at 300-470 days of age was observed to enhance egg production and reduce the rate of appearance of sharpei eggs. Melatonin (10 mg) implanted in hens 360 days of age did not influence the blood levels of progesterone (P4) or the gene expression levels of ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), oestradiol receptor alpha (ERα), superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) or melatonin receptor 1 (MT1). In contrast, melatonin significantly elevated the serum oestradiol-17β (E2) content, down-regulated the gene expression of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone receptor (GnIHR), and enhanced the expression of melatonin receptor 2 (MT2). This result indicates that the improved egg-laying rate by melatonin was the result of increased serum oestradiol and decreased ovarian GnIHR. These alterations may be mediated by MT2 activation.

  16. Melatonin implantation improved the egg-laying rate and quality in hens past their peak egg-laying age

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yaxiong; Yang, Minghui; Zhu, Kuanfeng; Wang, Liang; Song, Yukun; Wang, Jing; Qin, Wenxiang; Xu, Zhiyuan; Chen, Yu; Liu, Guoshi

    2016-01-01

    The egg-laying rates of hens approximately 470 days of age exhibited a positive correlation to blood melatonin levels. The hens with an egg-laying rate <30%, 30~90% and ≥90% had blood melatonin levels of 5.8 ± 2.6, 74.0 ± 32.9 and 445.9 ± 115.3 ng/ml, respectively. When 10 mg of melatonin was implanted into the hens at 300, 360, 470 and 550 days of age, the egg-laying rates increased 4.63 ± 0.46%, 8.38 ± 1.45%, 4.93 ± 0.85% and 7.93 ± 0.91%, respectively, compared to that of the controls. Melatonin implantation in hens at 300–470 days of age was observed to enhance egg production and reduce the rate of appearance of sharpei eggs. Melatonin (10 mg) implanted in hens 360 days of age did not influence the blood levels of progesterone (P4) or the gene expression levels of ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), oestradiol receptor alpha (ERα), superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) or melatonin receptor 1 (MT1). In contrast, melatonin significantly elevated the serum oestradiol-17β (E2) content, down-regulated the gene expression of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone receptor (GnIHR), and enhanced the expression of melatonin receptor 2 (MT2). This result indicates that the improved egg-laying rate by melatonin was the result of increased serum oestradiol and decreased ovarian GnIHR. These alterations may be mediated by MT2 activation. PMID:28008984

  17. Varying antibody responses of laying hens housed in an aviary system and in furnished cages.

    PubMed

    Auerbach, Monika I; Glünder, Gerhard; Weber, Rita M

    2014-01-01

    Antibody titers after vaccination against Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) and after natural infection with Campylobacter were analyzed in five trials with Lohmann Silver laying hens kept in two different housing systems. In these studies it could be demonstrated that antibodies against IBV and Campylobacter were in 4 out of 5 respectively in 2 out of 5 trials significantly higher in hens housed in an aviary system compared to those kept in furnished cages. The opposite trend was observed for antibodies against NDV which were on average significantly higher in cages. The mean mortality rate was slightly higher in hens kept in the aviary system compared to the cage system.

  18. Comparison of bones of 4 strains of laying hens kept in conventional cages and floor pens.

    PubMed

    Silversides, F G; Singh, R; Cheng, K M; Korver, D R

    2012-01-01

    The maintenance of bone strength has been an important issue in the debate over cage use for laying hens. Bone strength depends on adequate mechanical load and cages restrict movement. Four laying crosses (Lohmann White, Lohmann Brown, H&N White, and Rhode Island Red × Barred Plymouth Rock cross hens) were housed in conventional cages or in floor pens equipped with perches and nest boxes to measure the effect of the housing system on bone strength. Approximately 15 hens of each genotype from each housing system were killed at 50 wk of age and the radius and tibia of each were removed for analysis. There were no differences between the Lohmann White and H&N White (White Leghorn) hens, likely because of their similar genetic background. The Lohmann Brown and the cross hens (brown-egg layers) were larger and they had heavier bones, but the bone density was not different from that of the other lines. The radius was heavier for hens kept in floor pens than for those kept in cages, but the tibia was not. When hens were kept in floor pens, both bones had greater cortical bone density and cross-sectional area, but the difference between housing systems in cortical bone cross-sectional area was much greater for the radius than it was for the tibia. Although the movement of hens in cages is limited, they spend a great deal of time standing, which puts a mechanical load on the tibia. Hens in floor pens are able to stretch their wings or fly, in contrast to hens kept in cages, which likely explains why the difference between housing systems in cortical bone was greater for the radius than for the tibia.

  19. Behavioural adaptation of laying hens to dilution of diets under mash and pellet form.

    PubMed

    Vilariño, M; Picard, M L; Melcion, J P; Faure, J M

    1996-12-01

    1. Two laying diets, control (A) and a low-energy (B) diet diluted by adding 450 g/kg wheat bran, were fed to semi-heavy hens in three different forms: mash, small pellets and large pellets. The behavioural adaptations and the production characteristics for these six regimens were studied on 72 individually caged hens, between 19 and 29 weeks of age, subjected to a lighting pattern of 14 h light/24 h. 2. Diet B, as mash, showed a lower apparent physical density than the others. The hardness and durability of the pelleted diets were similar. 3. Hens fed the mash diet B could not completely adjust their food intake to compensate for the dilution and showed reduced egg output and body weight gain compared to the other groups. 4. Video observation of each hen for 14 consecutive hours showed that mash-fed hens ate for longer periods than pellet-fed hens during the first 11 h (proportion of time spent eating: 41.3% mash B, 32.5% mash A and 20% to 25% for all the pelleted diets). These differences were less pronounced during the last 3 h of the photoperiod. 5. Trough-oriented stereotypies were noted in 14 out of 22 mash-fed hens and in 12 out of 47 pellet-fed hens. Dilution of the diet did not appear to exacerbate stereotyped behaviours under the conditions of the study. 6. This experiment demonstrates that the feeding behaviour of laying hens is affected by the physical characteristics of the diet and that this may lower their productivity. 7. Low-energy pelleted diets might be used to feed hens efficiently in tropical countries where cereal by-products are abundant.

  20. Effect of heat stress on production parameters and immune responses of commercial laying hens.

    PubMed

    Mashaly, M M; Hendricks, G L; Kalama, M A; Gehad, A E; Abbas, A O; Patterson, P H

    2004-06-01

    The present study was conducted to determine the adverse effects of high temperature and humidity not only on live performance and egg quality but also on immune function in commercial laying hens. One hundred eighty 31-wk-old laying hens at peak production were used in this study. Hens were housed in cages (15 cages of 4 birds/cage) in each of 3 environmental chambers and received 1 of 3 treatments. The 3 treatments were control (average temperature and relative humidity), cyclic (daily cyclic temperature and humidity), and heat stress (constant heat and humidity) for 5 wk. Different production and immune parameters were measured. Body weight and feed consumption were significantly reduced in hens in the heat stress group. Egg production, egg weight, shell weight, shell thickness, and specific gravity were significantly inhibited among hens in the heat stress group. Likewise, total white blood cell (WBC) counts and antibody production were significantly inhibited in hens in the heat stress group. In addition, mortality was higher in the heat stress group compared to the cyclic and control groups. Even though T- and B-lymphocyte activities were not significantly affected by any of the treatments, lymphocytes from hens in the heat stress group had the least activity at 1 wk following treatment. These results indicate that heat stress not only adversely affects production performance but also inhibits immune function.

  1. Airborne bacterial reduction by spraying slightly acidic electrolyzed water in a laying-hen house.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Weichao; Kang, Runmin; Wang, Hongning; Li, Baoming; Xu, Changwen; Wang, Shuang

    2013-10-01

    Spraying slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW) has been considered as a potential approach to reduce airborne bacteria in laying-hen houses. In this study, the effects of spraying SAEW on airborne bacterial reduction were investigated in a laying-hen house as compared with using diluted didecyl dimethyl ammonium bromide (DDAB). Averaged air temperature reduced by approximate 1 degrees C and average relative humidity increased by 3% at a stable ventilation rate (about 2.5 m3 hr(-1) per bird) in the laying-hen house 30 min after spraying (120 mL m(-2)). Compared with the control without spraying, the airborne bacterial concentration was reduced by about 0.70 and 0.37 log10 colony-forming units (CFU) m(-3) in the 4 hr after spraying 120 mL m(-2) SAEW (available chlorine concentration [ACC] of 156 mg L(-1)) and diluted DDAB (active compound concentration of 167 mg L(-1)), respectively. Compared with spraying diluted DDAB, spraying SAEW was determined to be more effective for reducing airborne bacterial in laying-hen houses. The effects of spraying SAEW and diluted DDAB on airborne bacterial reduction in the laying-hen house increased with the increasing available chlorine concentrations for SAEW (156, 206, 262 mg L(-1)) and increasing active compound concentrations for diluted DDAB (167, 333, 500 mg L(-1)), respectively. Spraying SAEW and diluted DDAB with two levels of spraying volumes (120 and 90 mL m(-2)) both showed significant differences on airborne bacterial reduction in the laying-hen house (P < 0.05).

  2. 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

  3. Rearing system affects prevalence of keel-bone damage in laying hens: a longitudinal study of four consecutive flocks.

    PubMed

    Casey-Trott, T M; Guerin, M T; Sandilands, V; Torrey, S; Widowski, T M

    2017-07-01

    High flock-level prevalence of keel-bone fractures and deviations in laying hens are commonly reported across various housing systems; however, few longitudinal studies exist, especially for furnished and conventional cage systems. Load-bearing exercise improves bone strength and mineral composition in laying hens and has the potential to reduce keel-bone damage, especially if exercise is allowed during critical periods of bone growth throughout the pullet rearing phase. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of keel-bone damage in laying hens housed in furnished and conventional cages, and assess whether opportunities for exercise during the pullet rearing phase influenced the prevalence of keel-bone damage throughout the laying period. Four flock replicates of 588 Lohmann Selected Leghorn-Lite pullets/flock were reared in either conventional cages (Conv) or an aviary rearing system (Avi) and placed into conventional cages (CC), 30-bird furnished cages (FC-S) or 60-bird furnished cages (FC-L) for adult housing. Keel-bone status was determined by palpation at 30, 50, and 70 wk of age. Age (P < 0.001) and rearing system (P < 0.001) had an effect on the presence of keel-bone fractures. The presence of fractures increased with age, and hens raised in the Avi system had a lower percentage of fractures (41.6% ± 2.8 SE) compared to hens reared in the Conv system (60.3% ± 2.9 SE). Adult housing system did not have an effect on the percentage of keel fractures (P = 0.223). Age had an effect on the presence of deviations (P < 0.001), with deviations increasing with age. Rearing system (P = 0.218) and adult housing system (P = 0.539) did not affect the presence of deviations. Keel fractures and deviations were strongly associated with each other at all ages: 30 wk: (P < 0.001); 50 wk: (P < 0.001); and 70 wk: (P < 0.001). Increased opportunities for exercise provided by an aviary rearing system reduced the prevalence of keel

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. Effect of artificial structuring on the use of laying hen runs in a free-range system.

    PubMed

    Zeltner, E; Hirt, H

    2003-09-01

    1. This study examined whether a free range with roofed boxes with sand to structure the hen run had an effect on the numbers of hens going outside and on the distribution of the hens in the hen run. 2. On a poultry farm with 8 flocks of laying hens of roughly 500 birds per flock, each flock was observed with and without roofed boxes with sand. 3. There was no difference in the number of hens on free range with and without roofed boxes but there was an influence on the distribution. 4. In free range with structures there was a higher percentage of the hens outside in the furthest quarter where the structures were located. 5. We conclude that structures in the free range have an effect on the distribution of laying hens.

  6. 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.

  7. The effects of husbandry system on the grass intake and egg nutritive characteristics of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Mugnai, Cecilia; Sossidou, Evangelia N; Dal Bosco, Alessandro; Ruggeri, Silvia; Mattioli, Simona; Castellini, Cesare

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of husbandry system and season on the grass intake and egg quality in laying hens considering that characteristics of organic eggs obtained in a system with no grass in the external area are similar conventional ones. Three hundred and sixty Ancona hens were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group (C), with the hens kept in cages under standard housing conditions; the organic group (O), with the hens kept under an organic production system (4 m² per hen) and the organic-plus group (OP), with the hens maintained under organic conditions but with a larger grass paddock availability (10 m² per hen). The estimated intake of forage, carotenoids and flavonoids of the OP hens was very high as the amounts deposited in eggs, mainly in the spring season. The fatty acid composition of the yolk was significantly affected by pasture. The OP eggs showed lower concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) n-6 and a higher percentage of PUFA n-3. The results showed that the grass intake was largely affected by the husbandry system and highlighted the seasonal effect of grass availability on the nutritional quality of eggs produced in organic systems. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Effect of superdosing phytase on productive performance and egg quality in laying hens

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jong Hyuk; Pitargue, Franco Martinez; Jung, Hyunjung; Han, Gi Ppeum; Choi, Hyeon Seok; Kil, Dong Yong

    2017-01-01

    Objective An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of superdosing phytase on productive performance and egg quality in laying hens. Methods A total of 200 42-wk-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens were allotted into 1 of 5 dietary treatments with 5 replicates consisting of 8 hens per replicate. The positive control (PC) and negative control diets (NC) were prepared based on the recommended P levels in layer diets. Supplemental phytase was added to the negative control diet at 10,000 (SD10), 20,000 (SD20), or 30,000 (SD30) fytase units (FTU)/kg. Productive performance was summarized for 6 weeks from 42 weeks to 47 weeks of age. Egg quality was assessed from 4 eggs per replicate randomly collected at the conclusion of the experiment. Results The SD20 treatment had greater (p<0.05) hen-day egg production than PC, NC, and SD10 treatment groups. There was no difference in hen-day egg production between SD20 and SD30 treatment groups. However, SD30 treatment had greater (p<0.05) hen-day egg production than PC treatment, but showed no difference in hen-day egg production as compared to NC and SD10 treatment groups. However, egg weight, egg mass, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were not affected by dietary treatments. Egg quality including eggshell strength, eggshell color, egg yolk color, and haugh unit was not influenced by dietary treatments. Conclusion Superdosing level of 20,000 FTU/kg phytase in diets has a positive effect on egg production rate, but no beneficial effect on egg quality in laying hens. PMID:28427256

  9. Effect of superdosing phytase on productive performance and egg quality in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong Hyuk; Pitargue, Franco Martinez; Jung, Hyunjung; Han, Gi Ppeum; Choi, Hyeon Seok; Kil, Dong Yong

    2017-07-01

    An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of superdosing phytase on productive performance and egg quality in laying hens. A total of 200 42-wk-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens were allotted into 1 of 5 dietary treatments with 5 replicates consisting of 8 hens per replicate. The positive control (PC) and negative control diets (NC) were prepared based on the recommended P levels in layer diets. Supplemental phytase was added to the negative control diet at 10,000 (SD10), 20,000 (SD20), or 30,000 (SD30) fytase units (FTU)/kg. Productive performance was summarized for 6 weeks from 42 weeks to 47 weeks of age. Egg quality was assessed from 4 eggs per replicate randomly collected at the conclusion of the experiment. The SD20 treatment had greater (p<0.05) hen-day egg production than PC, NC, and SD10 treatment groups. There was no difference in hen-day egg production between SD20 and SD30 treatment groups. However, SD30 treatment had greater (p<0.05) hen-day egg production than PC treatment, but showed no difference in hen-day egg production as compared to NC and SD10 treatment groups. However, egg weight, egg mass, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were not affected by dietary treatments. Egg quality including eggshell strength, eggshell color, egg yolk color, and haugh unit was not influenced by dietary treatments. Superdosing level of 20,000 FTU/kg phytase in diets has a positive effect on egg production rate, but no beneficial effect on egg quality in laying hens.

  10. Keeping laying hens in furnished cages and an aviary housing system enhances their bone stability.

    PubMed

    Leyendecker, M; Hamann, H; Hartung, J; Kamphues, J; Neumann, U; Sürie, C; Distl, O

    2005-10-01

    1. Tibia and humerus breaking strength of Lohmann Silver hybrids kept in conventional cages, furnished cages and an aviary with outdoor run were examined in two production cycles. Each trial lasted a full laying period; feeding, management and healthcare were identical for all hens. In both trials bone strength was investigated at the end of laying months 6, 9 and 14. 2. The objective was to determine if bone strength increases when hens are kept in alternative housing systems, especially in furnished cages, and whether hen age affects bone stability. 3. The results indicated that housing system influenced bone breaking strength, which was consistently higher for hens in the aviary compared to hens in conventional and furnished cages. Furthermore, humerus breaking strength was higher for hens in furnished cages compared to conventional cages. No significant difference regarding tibia breaking strength was found between conventional and furnished cages. 4. Our results showed that lack of exercise contributed to the problem of weak bones more than did calcium depletion from eggshell formation. 5. Tibia breaking strength increased during the last third of the production cycle, whereas humerus breaking strength remained unaffected by hen age. 6. Genetic group affected only tibial bone breaking strength, which was lower overall in genetic group A than in group B, which in turn was lower than group C. 7. The increased bone strength in the aviary and in the furnished cages probably reduced the incidence of recently broken bones in these systems compared to the conventional cages. This increase in bone strength can be regarded as an improvement in welfare. Furnished cages, like the aviary system, might be considered an alternative housing system for laying hens, because both resulted in enhanced bone strength.

  11. 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.

  12. Performance of commercial laying hen genotypes on free range and organic farms in Switzerland, France and The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Leenstra, F; Maurer, V; Bestman, M; van Sambeek, F; Zeltner, E; Reuvekamp, B; Galea, F; van Niekerk, T

    2012-01-01

    1. A total of 257 farmers with free ranging laying hens (organic and conventional) in Switzerland, France and The Netherlands with 273 flocks were interviewed to determine the relationships between the genotype of the hens, management conditions and performance. 2. Almost 20 different genotypes (brands) were present on the farms. In France, all birds were brown feathered hens laying brown eggs. In Switzerland and The Netherlands, there were brown, white (white feathered hens laying white eggs) and silver (white feathered hens laying brown eggs) hens. In Switzerland, mixed flocks were also present. 3. The overall effect of system (organic vs. conventional free range) on egg production and mortality was significant, with higher mortality and lower egg production among organic hens. In pair wise comparisons within country, the difference was highly significant in The Netherlands, and showed a non-significant tendency in the same direction in Switzerland and France. 4. White hens tended to perform better than brown hens. Silver hens appeared to have a higher mortality and lower production per hen housed at 60 weeks of age. 5. There were no significant relationships between production, mortality, feather condition and use of outside run or with flock size. 6. There was more variation in mortality and egg production among farms with a small flock size than among farms with a large flock size.

  13. Outer membrane vesicles of Gallibacterium anatis induce protective immunity in egg-laying hens.

    PubMed

    Pors, Susanne E; Pedersen, Ida J; Skjerning, Ragnhild Bager; Thøfner, Ida C N; Persson, Gry; Bojesen, Anders M

    2016-11-15

    Gallibacterium anatis causes infections in the reproductive tract of egg-laying hens and induce increased mortality and decreased egg production. New prophylactic measures are needed in order to improve animal welfare and production efficiency. Bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) have previously shown promising results in protection against infections and we hypothesized that OMVs could serve as an immunogen to protect egg-laying hens against G. anatis. To investigate the immunogenic potential of G. anatis OMVs, two in vivo studies in egg-laying hens were made. The trials assessedthe degree of protection provided by immunization with G. anatis OMV against challenge and the IgY responses in serum after immunization and challenge, respectively. A total of 64 egg-laying hens were included in the trials. OMVs for immunization were produced and purified from a high-producing G. anatis ΔtolR mutant. Challenge was done with G. anatis 12656-12 and evaluated by scoring lesions and bacterial re-isolation rates from peritoneum. Finally, levels of OMV-specific IgY in sera were assayed by ELISA. Immunization with OMVs decreased the lesions scores significantly, while the bacterial re-isolation remained unchanged. Furthermore, a high OMV-specific IgY response was induced by immunization and subsequent challenge of the hens. The results strongly indicate that immunization with G. anatis OMVs provides significant protection against G. anatis challenge and induces specific antibody responses with high titers of OMV-specific IgY in serum. The results therefore show great promise for OMV based vaccines aiming at providing protecting against G. anatis in egg-laying hens. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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.

  15. Leptin receptor signaling inhibits ovarian follicle development and egg laying in chicken hens

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Nutrition intake during growth strongly influences ovarian follicle development and egg laying in chicken hens, yet the underlying endocrine regulatory mechanism is still poorly understood. The relevant research progress is hindered by difficulties in detection of leptin gene and its expression in the chicken. However, a functional leptin receptor (LEPR) is present in the chicken which has been implicated to play a regulatory role in ovarian follicle development and egg laying. The present study targeted LEPR by immunizing against its extracellular domain (ECD), and examined the resultant ovarian follicle development and egg-laying rate in chicken hens. Methods Hens that have been immunized four times with chicken LEPR ECD were assessed for their egg laying rate and feed intake, numbers of ovarian follicles, gene expression profiles, serum lipid parameters, as well as STAT3 signaling pathway. Results Administrations of cLEPR ECD antigen resulted in marked reductions in laying rate that over time eventually recovered to the levels exhibited by the Control hens. Together with the decrease in egg laying rate, cLEPR-immunized hens also exhibited significant reductions in feed intake, plasma concentrations of glucose, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein. Parallelled by reductions in feed intake, mRNA gene expression levels of AgRP, orexin, and NPY were down regulated, but of POMC, MC4R and lepR up-regulated in Immunized hen hypothalamus. cLEPR-immunization also promoted expressions of apoptotic genes such as caspase3 in theca and fas in granulosa layer, but severely depressed IGF-I expression in both theca and granulosa layers. Conclusions Immunization against cLEPR ECD in egg-laying hens generated antibodies that mimic leptin bioactivity by enhancing leptin receptor transduction. This up-regulated apoptotic gene expression in ovarian follicles, negatively regulated the expression of genes that promote follicular development

  16. Effects of fish oil and conjugated linoleic acids on carnitine homeostasis in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Shibani, M; Keller, J; König, B; Kluge, H; Hirche, F; Stangl, G I; Ringseis, R; Eder, K

    2012-01-01

    1. The effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) on genes involved in carnitine homeostasis were compared in laying hens. Three groups of laying hens were fed on a control diet or a diet with either 3% of fish oil or CLA for 4 weeks. 2. Feed intake and egg production rate did not differ between the three groups. Diets with fish oil or CLA had only a weak effect on mRNA levels of PPARα target genes (ACO, CPT-I) in the liver and did not influence mRNA concentrations of the most important carnitine transporter OCTN2, enzymes of involved in carnitine synthesis (TMLD, TMABA-DH, BBD) or concentrations of carnitine in plasma, liver and total egg contents. 3. Hens fed the CLA diet had lower concentrations of free and total carnitine in egg yolk but higher concentrations of carnitine in albumen than control hens (P < 0·05), whereas the amount of free and total carnitine in whole egg did not differ. 4. In conclusion, the study showed that feeding fish oil or CLA causes only a weak activation of PPARα in tissues of laying hens that probably explained the lack of effect on carnitine homeostasis. The results contrast with those in humans and mice that show a significant effect of synthetic PPARα agonists on carnitine homeostasis in humans and mice.

  17. Rapid increase of carbonate in cortical bones of hens during laying period.

    PubMed

    Li, Z; Li, Q; Wang, S-J; Zhang, L; Qiu, J-Y; Wu, Y; Zhou, Z-L

    2016-12-01

    The incorporation of carbonate has been recognized as an evident change in bone mineral (bioapatite) during aging. Laying hens (Gushi layer) at 4 stages of age (8 hens each stage) were studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray radiography to investigate the mineralogical changes and bone density, respectively. Cortical bones of the humerus and femur show a rapid increase of carbonate (∼1.9 wt.%) from sexual maturity to the peak of hens' laying period, while the densities of the cortical bones are relatively stable. Before sexual maturity, the density of the cortical bones increases considerably during aging. However, after the peak of the laying period, only femoral density continues elevating. Carbonate contents in the cortical bones reach the maximum at the peak of the laying period. Two pathways (halted growth of density and Ca-release due to the CO3 incorporation) could both contribute to the intense Ca requirement for egg laying. Crystallization, however, has no significant changes during aging and the laying period. This study could shed light on the mechanism of mineral losses due to CO3 incorporation, and also shows the advantages of Raman spectroscopy in tracking mineral loss in poultry bone.

  18. Effects of drinking water treatment on susceptibility of laying hens to Salmonella enteritidis during forced molt.

    PubMed

    Kubena, L F; Byrd, J A; Moore, R W; Ricke, S C; Nisbet, D J

    2005-02-01

    Feed deprivation is used in the layer industry to induce molting and stimulate multiple egg-laying cycles in laying hens. Unfortunately, the stress involved increases susceptibility to Salmonella enteritidis (SE), the risk of SE-positive eggs, and incidence of SE in internal organs. Leghorn hens over 50 wk of age were divided into 4 treatment groups of 12 hens each in experiment 1 and 3 treatment groups of 12 hens in experiments 2 and 3; hens were placed in individual laying hen cages. Treatment groups were 1) nonmolted (NM) and received feed and distilled water for 9 d, 2) force molted by feed removal for 9 d and received distilled water, 3) force molted by feed removal for 9 d and received 0.5% lactic acid (LA) in distilled water. An additional group (4) in experiment 1 only was force molted by feed removal for 9 d and received 0.5% acetic acid in distilled water. Seven days before feed removal hens were exposed to an 8L:16D photoperiod, which was continued throughout the experiment. Individual hens among all treatments were challenged orally with 10(4) SE on d 4 of feed removal. When compared with the NM treatments, weight losses were significantly higher in the M treatments, regardless of water treatments. When compared with NM treatments, crop pH was significantly higher in the M treatment receiving distilled water. Crop pH was reduced to that of the NM controls by 0.5% acetic acid in the drinking water. No consistent significant changes were observed for volatile fatty acids. The number of hens positive for SE in crop and ceca after culture and the number of SE per crop and per gram of cecal contents were higher in the M treatments, when compared with the NM treatments, but there was no effect of addition of either of the acids to the drinking water. Additional research using different acid treatment regimens may provide a tool for reducing the incidence of SE in eggs and internal organs during and following molting of laying hens.

  19. Safety evaluation of phytosterols in laying hens: effects on laying performance, clinical blood parameters, and organ development.

    PubMed

    Shi, S R; Shen, Y R; Chang, L L; Zhou, C J; Bo, Z; Wang, Z Y; Tong, H B; Zou, J M

    2014-03-01

    Phytosterols are intended for use as a novel food ingredient with plasma cholesterol-lowering activity. Although phytosterols are naturally present in the normal diet, daily consumption is insufficient to ensure plasma cholesterol-lowering levels. Therefore, phytosterols may be added to the diets to achieve the desired cholesterol-lowering activity. A subchronic laying hen safety study was conducted to examine if high-dose phytosterols could affect the safety of hens. Three hundred sixty 21-wk-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens were randomly assigned to 5 groups with 6 replicates of 12 birds each; after 3 wk, birds were fed diets supplemented with 0, 20, 80, 400, and 800 mg/kg of phytosterols for 12 wk. Throughout the study, clinical observations and laying performance were measured. At the end of the study, birds were subjected to a full postmortem examination: blood samples were taken for clinical pathology, selected organs were weighed, and specified tissues were taken for subsequent histological examination. No treatment-related changes that were considered to be of toxicological significance were observed. Therefore, a nominal phytosterol concentration of 800 mg/kg was considered to be the no-observed-adverse-effect level.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. Effect of four processed animal proteins in the diet on digestibility and performance in laying hens.

    PubMed

    van Krimpen, M M; Veldkamp, T; Binnendijk, G P; de Veer, R

    2010-12-01

    An experiment was performed to investigate the effect of animal vs. vegetable protein sources in the diet of laying hens on the development of hen performance. A diet containing protein sources of only vegetable origin was compared with 4 diets, each containing 1 of 4 processed animal proteins (PAP). Two PAP (Daka-58 and Sonac-60) were classified as meat meals, and the remaining 2 (Daka-40 and Sonac-50) were classified as meat and bone meals. First, fecal digestibility of nutrients in the PAP was determined in Lohmann Brown layers. Hens (n = 132) were housed in 22 cages (6 hens/cage) and allotted to 5 dietary treatments. In the PAP diets (4 replicates/treatment), 100 g/kg of CP of animal origin was added, replacing soybean meal and corn (Zea mays) in the basal diet (6 replicates/treatment). The PAP sources differed largely in chemical composition and digestibility coefficients. Energy content (AME(n)) varied from 1,817 (Daka-40) to 3,107 kcal/kg (Sonac-60), and digestible lysine varied from 15.4 (Daka-40) to 28.3 g/kg (Sonac-50). Subsequently, the effect of a control diet (without PAP) vs. 4 PAP diets (50 g/kg of CP of animal origin from the same batches as used in the digestibility study) on performance was determined. All diets were isocaloric (AME(n) = 2,825 kcal/kg) and isonitrogenous (digestible lysine = 6.8 g/kg). Hens were housed in 40 floor pens (12 hens/pen, 8 pens/treatment) from 20 to 40 wk of age. Feed intake levels of the hens fed the meat and bone meal diets were reduced compared with those of hens fed the meat meal diets, whereas the feed intake level of hens fed the control diet was intermediate. Laying hen performance differed between treatments, being was most favorable for the Sonac-50 treatment and most adverse for the Daka-40 treatment. Differences in laying hen performance seemed to be related partly to differences in feed intake and corresponding amino acid intake.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. Tissue colonization and circulating T lymphocytes in laying hens upon oral challenge with Salmonella enterica serovars.

    PubMed

    Balan, Kannan V; Bigley, Elmer C; Gaines, Dennis W; Babu, Uma S

    2016-12-01

    Evaluating the potential of Salmonella serovars for tissue colonization and egg contamination in laying hens is critical due to widespread consumption of poultry and egg-containing products. The 2009 FDA Egg Rule was implemented to target the eradication of Salmonella enterica Enteritidis (SE) from layers; however, other Salmonella serovars, such as Heidelberg (SH) and Typhimurium (ST), have also been associated with poultry-related outbreaks. We conducted this study to see if serovars other than SE could colonize in laying hens, cause egg contamination, and modulate circulating T-cell populations. Laying hens were orally gavaged with 10(7) colony forming units (CFU) of SE, SH, or ST and assessed for colonization in spleen, ovaries, and oviduct 10 d postchallenge. Splenic colonization was similar for all the serovars; however, colonization of ovaries and oviducts was significantly higher with SH compared to SE and ST. Furthermore, SH challenge resulted in egg contamination, while SE and ST did not result in contaminated eggs. Phenotypic evaluation of peripheral blood lymphocytes showed significant reduction in CD4 cells in SH-challenged birds and lower CD8α and CD8β cells in SE-challenged birds compared to controls. Our data showed that non-SE serovars have equal or higher potential to colonize reproductive tissues of laying hens and may be accompanied by altered lymphocyte populations.

  5. Colonization of mature laying hens with salmonella enteritidis by oral or intracloacal inoculation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A major route of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infection is the fecal-oral route. Evidence of SE in internal organs of laying hens once they are inoculated via the oral (OR) or intracloacal (IC) route has not been reliably demonstrated. The current study evaluated OR or IC route of inoculation of a na...

  6. Influence of Protamone on fatty liver syndrome in commercial laying hens.

    PubMed

    Harms, R H; Arafa, A S; Simpson, C F; Miles, R D

    1982-12-01

    Two experiments were conducted to determine the influence of Protamone on fatty liver syndrome in commercial laying hens. The addition of either 110 or 220 mg of protamone per kilogram of diet significantly lowered liver fat and also significantly reduced body weight. From histological examination of livers of hens fed Protamone it was found that the hepatocytes contained little or no lipid, whereas hepatocytes of hens fed the control diet were turgid with lipid. The addition of Protamone to the diet resulted in a significant reduction in egg production without effecting feed efficiency in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, egg production was significantly reduced and feed efficiency improved during Days 1 to 28. However, feed efficiency was poorer during Days 29 to 56 for hens receiving the Protamone.

  7. Pathogenicity and distribution of egg-drop syndrome-1976 virus (JPA-1) in inoculated laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, S; Imada, T; Kawamura, H; Taniguchi, T; Kawakami, M

    1981-01-01

    Rhode Island Red laying hens that lacked hemagglutination-inhibition antibody were inoculated orally with the JPA-1 strain of adenovirus isolated from a flock affected with egg-drop syndrome-1976 in Japan and observed for 80 days. Inoculated hens laid abnormal eggs, such as shell-less, soft-shelled, and cracked eggs and those with loss of pigmentation, from 8 days postinoculation (PI). Fifteen out of 16 hens laid abnormal eggs. Egg-production rte fell from 94% to 50% between 13 and 16 days PI. When the abnormal eggs were excluded, egg production was 17%; then it recoverd slowly, reaching 67% by the end of the experiment. The virus was recovered from various organs of inoculated hens from 3 to 7 days PI. Fluorescent antigens of the virus were observed in the epithelial cells and desquamated cells from the epithelium of the uterus and isthmus 10 and 14 days PI.

  8. Temporal and sequential structure of behavior and facility usage of laying hens in an enriched environment.

    PubMed

    Mishra, A; Koene, P; Schouten, W; Spruijt, B; van Beek, P; Metz, J H M

    2005-07-01

    Improved housing for laying hens may start from the translation of their behavioral needs into welfare-based design parameters for laying hen houses. The objective of our research was to gain insights into the facility usage and behavioral needs of the hen over 24 h when there are no obvious restraints. Twenty ISA Brown commercial laying hens (Gallus domesticus) that were 18 wk old and not beak trimmed, were accommodated in a pen (4 x 6 m) at 19 + 2 degrees C on a light-dark cycle of 10L:14D. The pen providing nest boxes, drinkers, feeders, perches, sand, and wood shaving was designed to accommodate the hens for the experimental period. Video recordings were made for 10 d. Behavioral analyses were conducted on 5 birds for 5 d. Time spent on each behavior, log survivor analysis of events and inter-event intervals, bout analysis, diurnal pattern in events and bouts, occurrence of behavior in different segments and the corridor of the pen, and sequence analysis were performed to gain insights into the temporal and sequential structures of behavior. Hens spent 97% of the day on nest use, preening, drinking, feeding, still, walking, perching, and resting; 43% on commodity-dependent behavior; and 57% not on commodity-oriented behaviors. Behavioral events were short (around 70% event <2 min) and frequent (around 70% inter-event intervals <40s). The pen corridor was the preferred place for attack, escape, flying, resting, walking, and wing flapping. Feeding-drinking-feeding, preening-resting-preening, scratching-resting-scratching, dust bathing-resting-preening, or dust bathing-resting-wing stretching-dust bathing were the preferred sequences of behavior. Although hens interrupted ongoing behaviors and changed behaviors frequently, they nonetheless clustered behavioral events.

  9. Salmonella enteritidis deposition in eggs after experimental infection of laying hens with different oral doses.

    PubMed

    Gast, Richard K; Guraya, Rupa; Guard, Jean

    2013-01-01

    The continuing attribution of human Salmonella Enteritidis infections to internally contaminated eggs has necessitated the commitment of substantial public and private resources to Salmonella Enteritidis testing and control programs in commercial laying flocks. Cost-effective risk-reduction requires a detailed and comprehensive understanding of how Salmonella Enteritidis infections in hens result in deposition of the pathogen inside eggs. The present study sought to resolve some incompletely defined aspects of the relationship between Salmonella Enteritidis oral-exposure dose levels in experimentally infected laying hens and the frequency and location of subsequent egg contamination. In two trials, groups of specific-pathogen-free hens were experimentally inoculated with oral doses of 10(4), 10(6), or 10(8) CFU of a phage type 4 Salmonella Enteritidis strain. Eggs were collected 5 to 23 days postinoculation, and the yolk and albumen of each egg were cultured separately to detect Salmonella Enteritidis contamination. Larger oral doses of Salmonella Enteritidis administered to hens were associated with significant increases in the frequencies of both yolk and albumen contamination. Moreover, Salmonella Enteritidis was found in the albumen of a far-higher proportion of contaminated eggs from hens given the largest dose than from the other two groups. Salmonella Enteritidis contamination was detected in 0.7% of yolk and 0.2% of albumen samples after inoculation of hens with 10(4) CFU, 4.0% of yolk and 1.7% of albumen samples after inoculation with 10(6) CFU, and 6.5% of yolk and 10.8% of albumen samples after inoculation with 10(8) CFU. These results demonstrate that oral-exposure doses of Salmonella Enteritidis for laying hens can significantly affect both the frequency and location of deposition of this pathogen inside eggs.

  10. Effects of Chinese herbal mixture on performance, egg quality and blood biochemical parameters of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Li, X L; He, W L; Wang, Z B; Xu, T S

    2016-12-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of Chinese herbal mixture (CHM) in laying hen diets on performance, egg quality and egg nutrition components, as well as selected blood biochemical parameters. A total of 270 Lohmann Brown laying hens, 24 week of age, were randomly distributed into three dietary treatments and fed for 6 week. The CHM was used at the levels of 0%, 0.5% and 1.0% in the diets of the control and two treatment groups respectively. Each dietary treatment was divided into five replicates, comprising of 18 hens each. Hens were housed in a 3-tier battery system. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Blood samples and eggs were collected at the end of the experiment. The results showed that dietary treatments did not affect egg weight, mortality, eggshell thickness, albumen height, Haugh units, eggshell-breaking strength and egg-shape index. Dietary supplementation of CHM significantly improved (p < 0.05) laying rate and the lowest feed conversion ratio were observed with 1.0% CHM supplementation diets. CHM supplementation decreased (p < 0.05) cracked-egg rate, egg yolk cholesterol, blood serum levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and increased blood serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). No differences in serum total protein, serum albumen, serum glucose and aspartate amino transferase (AST) were observed in hens fed CHM. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with CHM improved egg production and egg quality and reduced serum cholesterol concentrations in laying hens. Dietary supplementation of 1.0% CHM in layer diets may be a feasible means of producing eggs with lower cholesterol and higher egg yolk phospholipid contents for health conscious consumers.

  11. Horizontal transmission of Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    The majority of human illnesses caused by Salmonella Enteritidis are attributed to contaminated eggs, and the prevalence of this pathogen in commercial laying flocks has been identified as a leading epidemiologic risk factor. Flock housing and management systems can affect opportunities for the introduction, transmission, and persistence of foodborne pathogens in poultry. The animal welfare implications of different types of housing for laying hens have been widely discussed in recent years, but the food safety consequences of these production systems remain incompletely understood. The present study assessed the effects of 2 different housing systems (conventional cages and colony cages enriched with perching and nesting areas) on the horizontal transmission of experimentally introduced Salmonella Enteritidis infection within groups of laying hens. In each of 2 trials, 136 hens were distributed among cages of both housing systems and approximately one-third of the hens in each cage were orally inoculated with doses of 10(8) cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis (phage type 13a in one trial and phage type 4 in the other). At regular intervals through 23 d postinoculation, cloacal swabs were collected from all hens (inoculated and uninoculated) and cultured for Salmonella Enteritidis. Horizontal contact transmission of infection was observed for both Salmonella Enteritidis strains, reaching peak prevalence values of 27.1% of uninoculated hens in conventional cages and 22.7% in enriched cages. However, no significant differences (P > 0.05) in the overall frequencies of horizontal Salmonella Enteritidis transmission were evident between the 2 types of housing. These results suggest that opportunities for Salmonella Enteritidis infection to spread horizontally throughout laying flocks may be similar in conventional and enriched cage-based production systems.

  12. 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

  13. Effect of dietary phytase transgenic corn on physiological characteristics and the fate of recombinant plant DNA in laying hens.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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

  15. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae contamination in the poultry house environment during erysipelas outbreaks in organic laying hen flocks.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Helena; Bagge, Elisabeth; Båverud, Viveca; Fellström, Claes; Jansson, Désirée S

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated organic laying hen farms for the presence of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in the house environment and from potential carriers (i.e. insects and mice) during ongoing erysipelas outbreaks, and compared the obtained isolates with those from laying hens. The samples were investigated by selective culture followed by species-specific polymerase chain reaction on cultures. E. rhusiopathiae was isolated from the spleen, jejunal contents, manure, dust and swabs from water nipples. Three more samples from the house environment tested positive by polymerase chain reaction compared with selective culture alone. Selected isolates were investigated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). One farm was represented by isolates from laying hens only, and one of these isolates differed in one PFGE band from the others. Different banding patterns were observed for isolates from laying hens and manure on one farm. On the remaining two farms, the isolates from the house environment and laying hens were identical but differed between farms. Outbreaks reoccurred in the next flock on two of the farms, and different PFGE types were isolated from consecutive flocks. Our results suggest an external source of infection, which would explain the previously reported increased risk of outbreaks in free-range flocks. Contaminated manure and dust may represent sources of transmission. For the isolates, MALDI-TOF MS and biochemical typing results were in agreement but, since the type strain of Erysipelothrix tonsillarum was typed as E. rhusiopathiae using MALDI-TOF MS, further studies into this method are needed.

  16. Effects of colored light-emitting diode illumination on behavior and performance of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Huber-Eicher, B; Suter, A; Spring-Stähli, P

    2013-04-01

    The best method for lighting poultry houses has been an issue for many decades, generating much interest in any new systems that become available. Poultry farmers are now increasingly using colored LED (light-emitting diodes) to illuminate hen houses (e.g., in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and England). In Switzerland all newly installed systems are now equipped with LED, preferably green ones. The LED give monochromatic light from different wavelengths and have several advantages over conventional illuminants, including high energy efficiency, long life, high reliability, and low maintenance costs. The following study examines the effects of illumination with white, red, and green LED on behavior and production parameters of laying hens. Light intensities in the 3 treatments were adjusted to be perceived by hens as equal. Twenty-four groups of 25 laying hens were kept in identical compartments (5.0 × 3.3 m) equipped with a litter area, raised perches, feed and drinking facilities, and nest boxes. Initially, they were kept under white LED for a 2-wk adaptation period. For the next 4 wk, 8 randomly chosen compartments were lit with red LED (640 nm) and 8 others with green LED (520 nm). Behavior was monitored during the last 2 wk of the trial. Additionally weight gain, feed consumption, onset of lay, and laying performance were recorded. The results showed minor effects of green light on explorative behavior, whereas red light reduced aggressiveness compared with white light. The accelerating effect of red light on sexual development of laying hens was confirmed, and the trial demonstrated that this effect was due to the specific wavelength and not the intensity of light. However, an additional effect of light intensity may exist and should not be excluded.

  17. 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).

  18. Relation between social order and use of resources in small and large furnished cages for laying hens.

    PubMed

    Shimmura, T; Azuma, T; Hirahara, S; Eguchi, Y; Uetake, K; Tanaka, T

    2008-09-01

    1. The objective was to determine the relation between social rank and use of resources in a small furnished cage with sufficient resources per hen (SF) and a commercial large one with less adequate allowance of facilities per hen (LF). 2. Ninety-two cross layers were used. At the age of 16 weeks, the hens were divided at random into two groups. There were 4 furnished cages with 5 birds per cage and 4 large furnished cages with 18 birds per cage. The dominance hierarchy was determined, in which highest, medium and lowest ranking hens in each cage were identified. Behaviour, use of facilities and physical conditions of these hens were measured (one in each rank category in SF, two in each in LF). 3. Dustbathing and litter scratching were more frequent in the high ranking hens than the medium and low ranked hens in LF, while no significant difference was found between them in SF. 4. No significant difference between SF and LF was found in use of nest boxes. However, pre-laying sitting tended to be less frequent in low ranking than medium and high ranking hens in LF (Social order x Cage design). In the nest box most of time was spent in pre-laying sitting by SF hens, LF high and medium ranked hens (average 94.9%). However, LF low ranking hens spent their time escaping (33.1%), pre-laying sitting (27.7%) standing (25.7%) and moving (13.5%) in the nest. 5. In the large furnished cages with less facilities per hen, high ranking hens may be expected to have priority using the dust bath. In contrast, low ranking hens rarely performed nesting behaviour fully, and spend more time using the nest box as a refuge than for laying.

  19. Interaction of hen production type, age, and temperature on laying pattern and egg quality.

    PubMed

    Tumová, E; Gous, R M

    2012-05-01

    The effect of production type (layer vs. broiler breeder), age (onset and end of laying cycle), and temperature (20 and 28°C) on various aspects of the egg production process and quality was evaluated. Highly significant differences were detected between laying hens and broiler breeders (P ≤ 0.001) in all production parameters. Similarly, age significantly affected rate of lay (P ≤ 0.001; 75.4% for young vs. 62.6% for old), mean sequence length (P ≤ 0.001; 7.7 d for young vs. 2.6 d for old), and time of oviposition (P ≤ 0.001). However, there was no effect of temperature on rate of lay, sequence length, or feed intake. Significant interactions between hen type and age were apparent in rate of lay (P ≤ 0.001), sequence length (P ≤ 0.001), and time of oviposition (P ≤ 0.001). A significant interaction between production type and age (P ≤ 0.015) was evident in egg weight, but egg component proportions were dependent only on hen type. Egg shape index was significantly affected by age (P ≤ 0.004), by temperature (P ≤ 0.028), and an interaction between type and age (P ≤ 0.001). Specific gravity declined with age (P ≤ 0.035) and increasing temperature (P ≤ 0.013).

  20. 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. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Poultry Science Association 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  1. Nutrient digestibility and mass balance in laying hens fed a commercial or acidifying diet.

    PubMed

    Wu-Haan, W; Powers, W J; Angel, C R; Hale, C E; Applegate, T J

    2007-04-01

    The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the effect of an acidifying diet (gypsum) combined with zeolite and slightly reduced crude protein (R) vs. a control diet (C) on nutrient retention in laying hens and compare 3 approaches to estimating nutrient excretion from hens: 1) mass balance calculation (feed nutrients - egg nutrient), 2) use of an indigestible marker with analyzed feed and excreta nutrient content, and 3) an environmental chamber that allowed for capturing all excreted and volatilized nutrients. Hens (n = 640) were allocated randomly to 8 environmental chambers for 3-wk periods. Excreta samples were collected at the end of each trial to estimate apparent retention of N, S, P, and Ca. No diet effects on apparent retention of N were observed (53.44%, P > 0.05). Apparent retention of S, P, and Ca decreased in hens fed R diet (18.7, - 11.4, and 22.6%, respectively) compared with hens fed the C diet (40.7, 0.3, and 28.6%, respectively; P < 0.05). Total N excretion from hens fed the C and R diet was not different (1.16 g/hen/d); however, mass of chamber N remaining in excreta following the 3-wk period was less from hens fed the C diet (1.27 kg) than from hens fed the R diet (1.43 kg). Gaseous emissions of NH(3) over the 3-wk period from hens fed the C diet (0.74 kg per chamber) were greater than emissions from hens fed the R diet (0.45 kg). The 3-wk S excretion mass (estimated using the calculation, indigestible marker, and environmental chamber methods, respectively) was greater from hens fed the R diet (1.85, 1.54, and 1.27 kg, respectively) compared with hens fed the C diet (0.24, 0.20, and 0.14 kg, respectively). The 3-wk P excretion was similar between diets (0.68 kg). Results demonstrate that feeding the acidified diet resulted in decreased N emissions, but because of the acidulant fed, greatly increased S excretion and emissions.

  2. 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

    2015-01-26

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Effects of aflatoxin chronic intoxication in renal function of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Martínez-de-Anda, A; Valdivia, A G; Jaramillo-Juárez, F; Reyes, J L; Ortiz, R; Quezada, T; de Luna, M C; Rodríguez, M L

    2010-08-01

    Aflatoxins (AF) have a high impact in both human and animal health, causing significant economic losses in the poultry industry, especially by diminution of avian growth, feed efficiency, and product quality. Aflatoxins affect the whole organism, particularly liver and kidney. The objective of this study was to evaluate renal function alterations in laying hens during chronic AF ingestion. Randomly, 84 Leghorn Hy-Line laying hens (13 wk old) were assigned into 4 experimental groups (n = 21): 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mg of AF/kg of feed. The AF (B(1), B(2), G(1), and G(2)) was obtained from 2 toxicogenic local strains of Aspergillus flavus grown in corn grains; the grain was sterilized, ground, and added to basal diets to achieve the selected AF concentrations. Hens ingested, during 17 and 42 wk, feed contaminated with AF. Data were analyzed in a 4 x 2 factorial arrangement. Hens were anesthetized, ureteral urine samples were collected, and arterial blood samples were taken. The renal functional tests were evaluated by spectrophotometric and flame photometric methods, including a) Na, K, Ca, and phosphate fractional excretions; b) renal hemodynamic studies, glomerular filtration rate and renal plasma flow by inulin and p-aminohippurate clearances, respectively; and c) identification of macroscopic and histopathologic lesions. The hens intoxicated at all levels of AF showed significant (P < 0.05) increases in Ca, Na, and phosphate fraction excretions. Sodium and phosphates were excreted in a pattern of response time-dose. However, glomerular filtration rate exhibited a significant reduction (P < 0.05). The K fractional excretion and renal plasma flow remained unchanged. These results suggest that AF chronic ingestion affects renal functions of laying hens and induces Ca(++), (-3)PO(4), and Na(+) losses, which are of great concern to the poultry industry.

  5. Outdoor stocking density in free-range laying hens: radio-frequency identification of impacts on range use.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Hinch, G N; Dyall, T R; Warin, L; Little, B A; Lee, C

    2017-01-01

    The number and size of free-range laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) production systems are increasing within Australia in response to consumer demand for perceived improvement in hen welfare. However, variation in outdoor stocking density has generated consumer dissatisfaction leading to the development of a national information standard on free-range egg labelling by the Australian Consumer Affairs Ministers. The current Australian Model Code of Practice for Domestic Poultry states a guideline of 1500 hens/ha, but no maximum density is set. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology was used to measure daily range usage by individual ISA Brown hens housed in six small flocks (150 hens/flock - 50% of hens tagged), each with access to one of three outdoor stocking density treatments (two replicates per treatment: 2000, 10 000, 20 000 hens/ha), from 22 to 26, 27 to 31 and 32 to 36 weeks of age. There was some variation in range usage across the sampling periods and by weeks 32 to 36 individual hens from the lowest stocking density on average used the range for longer each day (P<0.001), with fewer visits and longer maximum durations per visit (P<0.001). Individual hens within all stocking densities varied in the percentage of days they accessed the range with 2% of tagged hens in each treatment never venturing outdoors and a large proportion that accessed the range daily (2000 hens/ha: 80.5%; 10 000 hens/ha: 66.5%; 20 000 hens/ha: 71.4%). On average, 38% to 48% of hens were seen on the range simultaneously and used all available areas of all ranges. These results of experimental-sized flocks have implications for determining optimal outdoor stocking densities for commercial free-range laying hens but further research would be needed to determine the effects of increased range usage on hen welfare.

  6. Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth infections in free-range laying hens under mountain farming production conditions.

    PubMed

    Wuthijaree, K; Lambertz, C; Gauly, M

    2017-09-11

    1. A cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2015 to July 2016 in South Tyrol, Northern Italy to examine the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths in free-range laying hens under mountain farming production conditions. 2. A total of 280 laying hens from 14 free-range mountain farms (4 organic, 10 conventional) were randomly collected at the end of the laying period. Faecal samples were taken to analyse faecal egg counts (FEC) and faecal oocyst counts (FOC). The gastrointestinal tracts were removed post mortem and examined for the presence of helminths. 3. In faeces, FEC values averaged 258 eggs per g of faeces, which were dominated by Ascaridia galli and Heterakis gallinarum. Mean FOC was 80 oocysts/g. In the gastrointestinal tract, at least one nematode species was found in 99.3% of the examined hens. H. gallinarum was the most prevalent nematode (95.7%), followed by Capillaria spp. (66.8%) and A. galli (63.6%). Thirty percent of the chickens were infected with cestodes (tapeworms). Correlation coefficients between worm counts of H. gallinarum, Capillaria spp. and A. galli ranged from 0.41 to 0.51. 5. The helminth prevalence did not differ between conventional and organic farms, whereas total worm burden was higher in organic when compared to conventional farms (318.9 vs 112.0). Prevalence and infection intensity did not differ between farms that used anthelmintic treatments and those that did not. 6. In conclusion, free-range laying hens under the studied mountain farming conditions are at high risk of nematode infection, especially in organic systems. The vast majority of hens are subclinical infected with at least one helminth species.

  7. Effect of excess dietary sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus on excreta moisture of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Smith, A; Rose, S P; Wells, R G; Pirgozliev, V

    2000-12-01

    1. Four experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of dietary concentrations of sodium, potassium, calcium or phosphate on the water intake and excreta moisture of laying hens. A fifth experiment examined the effect on these variables of increasing amounts of 2 different sodium salts (chloride or bicarbonate) and the interactions with 2 levels of dietary phosphorus. 2. All experiments involved individually caged laying hens fed on diets varying in 1 or 2 minerals in replacement for washed sand. The experimental diets contained mineral concentrations that either met or exceeded the expected requirement of the hens. The diets were given for a 7 or 8 d feeding period and food and water intakes were measured and excreta were collected for the last 48 h of each feeding period. These data were corrected for evaporative water loss to the environment during the collection period. 3. Increasing dietary concentrations of sodium, potassium or phosphorus gave linear increases (P<0.001) in the water intake of the laying hens and linear increases (P<0.01) in the moisture content of their excreta. Each 1 g/kg increase in dietary mineral increased the moisture content of the excreta by 9.04 (+/- 1.57), 11.95 (+/- 2.02) and 5.59 (+/- 0.31) g/kg (+/- standard error) for sodium, potassium and phosphorus, respectively. Increasing concentrations of dietary calcium did not significantly affect the water intakes or excreta moisture levels of the laying hens. 4. The fifth experiment showed that, although there was a sodium x phosphorus interaction (P<0.05), the effects of the 2 mineral additions were approximately additive. There were no significant differences (P>0.05) in water intakes or excreta moisture contents due to the 2 different sodium salts (chloride or bicarbonate).

  8. 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.

  9. The synthesis of phosvitin in vitro by slices of liver from the laying hen

    PubMed Central

    Heald, P. J.; McLachlan, Patricia M.

    1965-01-01

    1. Slices of liver from laying hens incorporated Na214CO3 and NaH232PO4 into phosvitin. Slices of liver from immature birds did not do so to any appreciable extent. The 32P was incorporated into O-phosphorylserine in the phosvitin molecule. 2. Kidney, spleen, muscle, large and small intestine, ovary and oviduct from laying birds did not incorporate Na214CO3 into phosvitin. 3. Slices of liver from laying hens carried out a net synthesis of phosphoprotein under the standard conditions of incubation. Slices from the livers of immature pullets did not do so. 4. Liver from the laying hen incorporated [2-14C]glycine, [3-14C]serine and [2-14C]glutamic acid into phosvitin. Part of the glycine was shown to be present as serine in the final product. 5. Slices of liver from immature birds treated with oestradiol synthesized phosvitin from [2-14C]glycine, but the addition of oestrogens in vitro to slices from untreated immature birds did not promote synthesis during a 3 hr. incubation period. PMID:14342245

  10. Feed Supplementation with Red Seaweeds, Chondrus crispus and Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii, Reduce Salmonella Enteritidis in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Kulshreshtha, Garima; Rathgeber, Bruce; MacIsaac, Janice; Boulianne, Martine; Brigitte, Lehoux; Stratton, Glenn; Thomas, Nikhil A.; Critchley, Alan T.; Hafting, Jeff; Prithiviraj, Balakrishnan

    2017-01-01

    Salmonella Enteritidis is vertically transmitted to eggs from laying hens through infected ovaries and oviducts. S. Enteritidis can also penetrate the eggshell from contaminated feces. Reducing S. Enteritidis in laying hens is vital to provide safer eggs and minimize the spread of salmonellosis to humans. Antibiotics have been widely used to control bacterial diseases in broilers and laying hens. However, there is a major concern that the use of antibiotics leads to the development of antibiotic resistance and adverse effects on microbiota of the treated birds. Thus, there is an interest in developing alternatives to antibiotics, such as dietary prebiotics. In the present study, feed supplemented with the red seaweeds: Chondrus crispus (CC) or Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii (SG), was offered to laying hens late in production to control S. Enteritidis. Diets contained one of the following; 2% or 4% Chondrus crispus (CC2, and CC4, respectively) or Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii (SG2 and SG4, respectively). Chlortetracycline was used in the positive control diet. During week-4, 48 birds were orally challenged with 2 × 109 CFU/mL of S. Enteritidis. Eggs and fecal samples were collected 1, 3, 5, and 7 days’ post inoculation. Birds were euthanized and organs (ceca, ovary, liver, and spleen) were sampled and analyzed for the presence of S. Enteritidis, 7 days’ post inoculation. Results showed that seaweed reduced the negative effect on body weight and egg production in S. Enteritidis-challenged laying hens. Analysis of fecal samples showed that the antibiotic (CTC) reduced S. Enteritidis in the intestinal tract and fecal samples, 3 days’ post inoculation. Fecal samples from Chlortetracycline and CC4 supplemented birds tested negative for S. Enteritidis on days 5 and 7 post inoculation (lowest detection limit = 10-1). S. Enteritidis colonization in the ceca was also significantly reduced in birds fed CC (4%) and Chlortetracycline. Blood serum profiles revealed that there

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The effect of feeding hemp seed meal to laying hens.

    PubMed

    Silversides, F G; Lefrançois, M R

    2005-04-01

    Seed of the hemp cultivar Unika-b was cold-pressed to obtain hemp seed meal (HSM) containing 307 g/kg crude protein and 164 g/kg ether extract (60 g/kg linoleic acid, 120 g/kg alpha-linolenic acid, 160 g/kg oleic acid, lesser amounts of palmitic, stearic, and gamma-linolenic acids). For 4 weeks, 102 43-week-old DeKalb Sigma hens were fed on isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets containing 0, 50, 100 or 200 g/kg HSM. Eggs were collected for fatty acid analysis during the fourth week of feeding these diets. No significant differences were found between feed treatments for egg production, feed consumption, feed efficiency, body weight change or egg quality. Increasing dietary inclusion of HSM produced eggs with lower concentrations of palmitic acid and higher concentrations of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids.

  14. 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

  15. GENETIC CORRELATIONS BETWEEN BEHAVIOURAL RESPONSES AND PERFORMANCE TRAITS IN LAYING HENS.

    PubMed

    Rozempolska-Rucińska, Iwona; Zięba, Grzegorz; Kibała, Lucyna; Próchniak, Tomasz Paweł; Łukaszewicz, Marek

    2017-02-23

    The aim of the study was to evaluate genetic correlations between the behavioural profile and performance in laying hens as an indirect answer to the question whether the observed behavioural responses are associated with increased levels of stress in these birds. The assessment of birds' temperament was carried out using the Novel Objects Test. The behavioural test was conducted in two successive generations comprising 9483 Rhode Island White birds (approx. 4700 individuals per generation) and 4326 Rhode Island Red birds (approx. 2100 individuals per generation). Based on the recorded responses, the birds were divided into two groups: a fearful profile (1418 RIW hens and 580 RIR hens) and a brave/curious profile (8065 RIW hens and 3746 RIR hens). The birds were subjected to standard assessment of their performance traits, including SM- age at sexual maturity, ST - shell thickness, SG - egg specific gravity, EW - mean egg weight, IP - initial egg production, and PW/HC - number of hatched chicks. The lineage comprised a three-generation population of birds. Estimation of the components of variance of the behavioural traits was performed with Gibbs sampling (300000 rounds with 100000 burn-in rounds) based on the multi-trait animal model. The analyses revealed negative correlations between the performance traits of the laying hens and the behavioural profile defined as fearful. In the group of fearful RIW birds, delayed sexual maturation (0,22) as well as a decrease in the initial egg production (-0,30), egg weight (-0,54), egg specific gravity (-0,331), shell thickness (-0,11), and the number of hatched chicks (-0,24) could be expected. These correlations were less pronounced in the RIR breed, in which the fearful birds exhibited a decline in hatchability (-0,37), egg specific gravity (-0,11), and the number of hatched chicks (-0,18). There were no correlations in the case of the other traits or they were positive but exhibited a substantial standard error, as for

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Environmental contamination by Aspergillus spp. in laying hen farms and associated health risks for farm workers.

    PubMed

    Cafarchia, Claudia; Camarda, Antonio; Iatta, Roberta; Danesi, Patrizia; Favuzzi, Vincenza; Di Paola, Giancarlo; Pugliese, Nicola; Caroli, Anna; Montagna, Maria Teresa; Otranto, Domenico

    2014-03-01

    Data on the occurrence and epidemiology of Aspergillus spp. in laying hens farms are scant. With the aims of determining levels of airborne contamination in laying hen farms and evaluating the potential risk of infection for workers and animals, 57 air samples from 19 sheds (Group I), 69 from faeces (Group II), 19 from poultry feedstuffs (Group III) and 60 from three anatomical sites (i.e. nostrils, pharynx, ears) of 20 farm workers (Group IV) were cultured. The Aspergillus spp. prevalence in samples ranged from 31.6% (Group III) to 55.5% (Group IV), whereas the highest conidia concentration was retrieved in Group II (1.2 × 10(4) c.f.u. g(-1)) and in Group III (1.9 × 10(3) c.f.u. g(-1)). The mean concentration of airborne Aspergillus spp. conidia was 70 c.f.u. m(-3) with Aspergillus fumigatus (27.3%) being the most frequently detected species, followed by Aspergillus flavus (6.3%). These Aspergillus spp. were also isolated from human nostrils (40%) and ears (35%) (P<0.05) (Group IV). No clinical aspergillosis was diagnosed in hens. The results demonstrate a relationship between the environmental contamination in hen farms and presence of Aspergillus spp. on animals and humans. Even if the concentration of airborne Aspergillus spp. conidia (i.e. 70 c.f.u. m(-3)) herein detected does not trigger clinical disease in hens, it causes human colonization. Correct management of hen farms is necessary to control environmental contamination by Aspergillus spp., and could lead to a significant reduction of animal and human colonization.

  1. Aflatoxins, hydroxylated metabolites, and aflatoxicol from breast muscle of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Zaragoza, M; Carvajal-Moreno, M; Méndez-Ramírez, I; Chilpa-Galván, N C; Avila-González, E; Flores-Ortiz, C M

    2014-12-01

    Aflatoxins (AF) are toxic fungal secondary metabolites that are pathological to animals and humans. This study identified and quantified AF (AFB(1), AFB(2), AFG(1), AFG(2)) and their hydroxylated metabolites (AFM(1), AFM(2), AFP(1)) and aflatoxicol (AFL) from laying hen breast muscles. Aflatoxins pass from cereal feed to the laying hen tissues, causing economic losses, and from there to humans. To detect the passage of AF from feed to hen breast muscle tissues, an experiment that included 25 Hy-Line W36 121-wk-old hens was performed for 8 d. Hens in individual cages were distributed into 3 groups: a control group, with feed free of AFB(1), and 2 experimental groups, with feed spiked with 2 AFB(1) dosages: 30 µg·kg(-1) (low) or 500 µg·kg(-1) (high). The daily feed consumption per hen was recorded and afterward hens were euthanized and breast muscles were collected, weighed, and dried individually. Aflatoxins were extracted by 2 chemical methods and quantified by HPLC. Both methods were validated by lineality (calibration curves), recovery percentage (>80%), limit of detection, and limit of quantification. The AF (µg·kg(-1)) averages recovered in control breast muscles were as follows: AFB(1) (18); AFG(1), AFM(2), and AFL (0); AFG(2) (1.3); AFM(1) (52), and AFP1 (79). Hens fed with feed spiked with 30 µg·kg(-1) of AFB(1) had AFG(1) (16); AFG(2) (72); AFM(1) (0); AFM(2) (18); AFP(1) (145); and AFL (5 µg·kg(-1)). Hens with feed spiked with 500 µg·kg(-1) of AFB(1) had AFG(1) (512); AFG(2) (7); AFM(1) (4,775); AFM(2) (0); AFP(1) (661); and AFL (21 µg·kg(-1)). The best AF extraction method was Qian and Yang's method, modified by adding additional AF from both Supelclean LC18 SPE columns; its limit of detection (0.5 ng·mL(-1)) was lower compared with that of Koeltzow and Tanner, which was 1 ng·mL(-1).

  2. Porous concrete block as an environmental enrichment device increases activity of laying hens in cages.

    PubMed

    Holcman, A; Gorjanc, G; Stuhec, I

    2008-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to consider the influence of simple and cheap environmental enrichment such as porous concrete on the behavior of laying hens in conventional cages. Forty brown laying hens were housed in individual wire mesh cages: 20 in experimental cages with porous concrete block provided for pecking and 20 in a control group without concrete block provided. Porous concrete block (5 cm length x 5 cm width x 5 cm height) was mounted on the side wall at the height of the hen's head. Behavior was studied from 42 to 48 wk of age. A group of 8 hens was filmed for 24 h, and the camera was moved each day so that all 40 hens were recorded over 5 d each wk. Videotaping was performed in wk 1, 3, 5, and 7 of the experiment. States (long-term behavior) were observed with 5-min interval recording (feeding, preening, resting, and remaining inactive), whereas events (short-term activities) were observed with instantaneous recording (drinking, pecking concrete, pecking neighbors, pecking cage, and attempting to escape). Data were analyzed with generalized linear mixed model with binomial distribution for states, and Poisson distribution for events. Monte Carlo Markov Chain methods were used to estimate model parameters. Because posterior distributions of quantities of interest were skewed, medians and standard errors are reported. Hens in experimental cages were more active in long-term behavior than controls (64.9 +/- 1.9 and 59.3 +/- 1.9% of the light period, respectively). Correspondingly, hens in the control group showed more long-term inactivity. In addition to pecking the porous concrete block, hens in experimental cages also showed other short-term activities with greater frequency (4.10 +/- 0.31 and 3.51 +/- 0.25 events per h, respectively). Our hypothesis that hens in enriched cages would have a greater level of activity was confirmed. Provision of a piece of porous concrete block as a pecking substrate enriched the environment of the birds at negligible

  3. 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

  4. Effects of diets containing different concentrations of propolis on hematological and immunological variables in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Cetin, E; Silici, S; Cetin, N; Güçlü, B K

    2010-08-01

    To evaluate the effect of 4 different levels of propolis supplementation on the hematological and immunological parameters of laying hens, a trial was conducted with 60 White Leghorn layer hens. The experiment was conducted by using a randomized design with 5 treatments, 4 replicates, and 3 hens in each replicate. Treatments included basal diet (control) and basal diet plus 0.5, 1, 3, and 6 g of propolis/kg of diet, respectively. At the end of the 12-wk treatment period, samples of blood were collected to determine hematological and immunological values. The results showed that the addition of propolis at 3 g/kg in the diet resulted in significant increases (P < 0.05) in the serum IgG and IgM levels and significant decreases (P < 0.05) in the peripheral blood T-lymphocyte percentage compared with those of the control and other treatment groups. In addition, the level of 3 g/kg of propolis supplementation significantly increased (P < 0.05) erythrocyte count (red blood cells) compared with the other treatments. On the other hand, hemoglobin and hematocrit values and total leucocyte (white blood cells) and differential leucocytes counts were not influenced by propolis supplementation. These results indicate that the inclusion of propolis at the level of 3 g/kg of diet may have a positive effect on humoral immunity of laying hens.

  5. 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.

  6. The effect of vitamin E on laying performance and egg quality in laying hens fed corn dried distillers grains with solubles.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Wen; Zhang, Licong; Shan, Anshan

    2013-11-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of vitamin E on laying performance, egg quality, egg fatty acid composition, antioxidant capacity, and several biochemical parameters of laying hens fed corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) during the laying period (40 to 63 wk of age). A total of 360 Hy-Line Variety Brown hens were randomly assigned to 6 groups, consisting of 6 replicates with 10 hens each. Hens were allocated to diets 1 through 6 in a 3 × 2 factorial design. The dietary treatments included 3 levels of DDGS (0, 10, and 20%) and 2 levels of vitamin E (0 and 200 mg/kg). The results indicated that yolk color and eggshell thickness increased with increasing DDGS (P < 0.05). However, increasing DDGS to 20% in laying hen diets significantly reduced feed conversion (P < 0.05). Supplementation with 200 mg/kg of vitamin E significantly improved egg production and yolk percentage (P < 0.05). Increasing the dietary levels of vitamin E caused a decrease in cholesterol and an increase in the α-tocopherol concentration of the egg yolk and serum (P < 0.05). Diets supplemented with DDGS decreased the proportion of saturated fatty acids (P < 0.05) and increased the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids in egg yolk (P < 0.05). Supplementation with high levels of vitamin E decreased malondialdehyde and increased glutathione peroxidase and total superoxide dismutase concentrations of the egg yolk and serum (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our results showed that DDGS was successfully fed to laying hens at levels up to 10% without adverse effects on laying performance. Additionally, vitamin E supplementation improved egg production and egg quality and provided health benefits to laying hens.

  7. Influence of laying hen systems on the mite fauna (Acari) community of commercial poultry farms in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Horn, Tamara Bianca; Körbes, Júlia Horn; Granich, Juliana; Senter, Malena; Ferla, Noeli Juarez

    2016-01-01

    Intensive production of confined laying hens affects their welfare and increases the risk of epidemics. Ectoparasites as hematophagous and feather mites cause low productivity and decreased egg quality. This study aimed to determine the diversity of mites captured with traps in different commercial systems of laying hens (Gallus gallus L.) (Phasianidae) in Taquari Valley, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Samplings were conducted from August 2013 to August 2014, totaling 21 sampling events in three different commercial laying hen systems: automatic production systems (A(1), (2), (3)), semiautomatic systems (S(1), (2)), and free-range system (FR). A total of 9981 mites belonging to 21 families, 31 genera, and 35 species were found. Acaridae, Caligonellidae, and Cheyletidae showed the highest richness with four species each. Megninia ginglymura (Mégnin, 1877) (Analgidae) was the most abundant ectoparasite species with 1328 specimens and was present in all commercial laying hen systems. No hematophagous mites were found. Cheyletus malaccensis(Cheyletidae) (3503), Typhlodromus transvaalensis (Phytoseiidae) (304), and Blattisocius keegani (Blattisocidae) (181) were the predators present in all systems. The similarity with control system (S(1)--without pesticide) was low (36.5 %) when compared to all other commercial laying hen systems, and it had the highest richness. In FR, low populations of mites and highest diversity were observed. The commercial laying hen system and the management influence the mite fauna in poultry farms.

  8. Effect of feeding clinoptilolite (zeolite) on the performance of three strains of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Olver, M D

    1997-05-01

    1. One hundred and twenty 16-week-old single combed pullets of three strains were fed on a diet containing 135 g protein/kg with or without 50 g clinoptilolite/kg in a trial with 20 hens per treatment. Sterile river sand replaced clinoptilotile in the control diet in order to keep the diets isoenergetic. The hens were individually caged in a naturally ventilated laying house and fed one of the two diets for ten 28-d periods. 2. Significant dietary effects of feeding clinoptilolite were observed with number of eggs laid per hen, shell thickness, efficiency of food utilisation and droppings moisture content. No significant dietary effects between treatments were observed with body weight, age at first egg, egg weight. Haugh units, food intake/hen and rate of amino acid absorption of radioactive lysine and methionine into the bloodstream. Significant differences between strains were observed with regard to all parameters except food intake/hen. There were no significant strain X clinoptilolite interactions.

  9. 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

  10. 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%.

  11. Effects of Dietary Bacillus licheniformis on Gut Physical Barrier, Immunity, and Reproductive Hormones of Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Du, Wei; Lei, Kai; Wang, Baikui; Wang, Yuanyuan; Zhou, Yingshan; Li, Weifen

    2017-01-13

    Previous study showed that dietary Bacillus licheniformis (B. licheniformis) administration contributes to the improvement of laying performance and egg quality in laying hens. In this study, we aimed to further evaluate its underlying mechanisms. Three hundred sixty Hy-Line Variety W-36 hens (28 weeks of age) were randomized into four groups, each group with six replications (n = 15). The control group received the basal diet and the treatment groups received the same basal diets supplemented with 0.01, 0.03, and 0.06% B. licheniformis powder (2 × 10(10) cfu/g) for an 8-week trial. The results demonstrate that B. licheniformis significantly enhance the intestinal barrier functions via decreasing gut permeability, promoting mucin-2 transcription, and regulating inflammatory cytokines. The systemic immunity of layers in B. licheniformis treatment groups is improved through modulating the specific and non-specific immunity. In addition, gene expressions of hormone receptors, including estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β, and follicle-stimulating hormone receptor, are also regulated by B. licheniformis. Meanwhile, compared with the control, B. licheniformis significantly increase gonadotropin-releasing hormone level, but markedly reduce ghrelin and inhibin secretions. Overall, our data suggest that dietary inclusion of B. licheniformis can improve the intestinal barrier function and systemic immunity and regulate reproductive hormone secretions, which contribute to better laying performance and egg quality of hens.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. CYP1B1 expression in ovarian cancer in the laying hen Gallus domesticus

    PubMed Central

    Zhuge, Yan; Lagman, Jo Ann J.; Ansenberger, Kristine; Mahon, Cassandra J.; Daikoku, Takiko; Dey, Sudhansu K.; Bahr, Janice M.; Hales, Dale B.

    2009-01-01

    expression of CYP1B1 in the hen ovary is associated with ovarian cancer and our data suggest that CYP1B1 may play an important role in the initiation of ovarian cancer and may prove to be a target for intervention. Moreover, the results of this study further confirm that the laying hen is a good model to study human ovarian cancer. PMID:18973935

  15. 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. © 2014 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  16. Influence of dietary taurine and housing density on oviduct function in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Dai, Bin; Zhang, Yuan-shu; Ma, Zi-li; Zheng, Liu-hai; Li, Shuang-jie; Dou, Xin-hong; Gong, Jian-sen; Miao, Jin-feng

    2015-06-01

    Experiments were conducted to study the effects of dietary taurine and housing density on oviduct function in laying hens. Green-shell laying hens were randomly assigned to a free range group and two caged groups, one with low-density and the other with high-density housing. Each group was further divided into control (C) and taurine treatment (T) groups. All hens were fed the same basic diet except that the T groups' diet was supplemented with 0.1% taurine. The experiment lasted 15 d. Survival rates, laying rates, daily feed consumption, and daily weight gain were recorded. Histological changes, inflammatory mediator levels, and oxidation and anti-oxidation levels were determined. The results show that dietary taurine supplementation and reduced housing density significantly attenuated pathophysiological changes in the oviduct. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) DNA binding activity increased significantly in the high-density housing group compared with the two other housing groups and was reduced by taurine supplementation. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) mRNA expression in the high-density and low-density C and T groups increased significantly. In the free range and low-density groups, dietary taurine significantly reduced the expression of TNF-α mRNA. Supplementation with taurine decreased interferon-γ (IFN-γ) mRNA expression significantly in the low-density groups. Interleukin 4 (IL-4) mRNA expression was significantly higher in caged hens. IL-10 mRNA expression was higher in the high-density C group than in the free range and low-density C groups. Supplementation with taurine decreased IL-10 mRNA expression significantly in the high-density group and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the free range hens. We conclude that taurine has important protective effects against oviduct damage. Reducing housing density also results in less oxidative stress, less inflammatory cell infiltration, and lower levels of inflammatory mediators in the oviduct

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Effect of dietary supplementation of bacteriophage on performance, egg quality and caecal bacterial populations in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Kim, J H; Kim, J W; Shin, H S; Kim, M C; Lee, J H; Kim, G-B; Kil, D Y

    2015-01-01

    1. Bacteriophages (BP) have gained increasing attention as a treatment of bacterial infection for animals. However, the data pertaining to dietary application of BP for laying hens have been limited. 2. This study aimed to investigate the effect of dietary BP on laying performance, egg quality and caecal bacterial populations in laying hens. 3. The dietary BP used in this experiment was a mixture of individual BP targeting Salmonella gallinarum, Salmonella pullorum, Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella derby and Staphylococcus aureus. 4. A total of 360 Hy-Line Brown laying hens of 32 weeks of age were allotted to one of three dietary treatments with 6 replicates in a completely randomised design. The basal diet was prepared, and 0.4 or 0.8 g/kg BP mixture was supplemented to the basal diet. Diets were fed to hens for 8 weeks. 5. Laying performance and egg quality were not affected by dietary treatments. As inclusion levels of BP mixture in diets were increased, the DNA copy numbers for Salmonella spp. in the caecal contents decreased linearly, whereas the DNA copy numbers for Escherichia coli in the caecal contents increased linearly. 6. Results indicate that dietary supplementation of BP mixture decreases the target Salmonella spp. populations but increases Escherichia coli populations in the gastrointestinal tract of laying hens with little impact on laying performance and egg quality.

  1. Application phenomena and efficacy of concentrated acaricide dusts for northern fowl mite control on caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hall, R D; Foehse, M C; Vandepopuliere, J M

    1981-06-01

    Fluorescent pigments were used to measure plumage coverage when caged laying hens were dusted for northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini and Fanzago), control. Carriage type electrostatic or high velocity backpack equipment produced superior coverage 2 hr posttreatment when the rates of 454 g (1 lb) dust per 100 or 500 hens was employed. A redistribution of dust was noted 48 hr posttreatment, and a subsequent experiment demonstrated that this phenomenon resulted from intracage cross contamination dependent upon bird caging density. Carbaryl 80% wettable powder (WP) at 454 g/1600 hens and tetrachlorvinphos 50% WP at 454 g/1000 hens provided northern fowl mite control for 11 and 5 weeks posttreatment, respectively.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Cage hygiene, laying location, and egg quality: the effects of linings and litter provision in furnished cages for laying hens.

    PubMed

    Guinebretière, M; Huneau-Salaün, A; Huonnic, D; Michel, V

    2012-04-01

    This study investigates the influence of litter provision and linings used for nests and pecking and scratching areas on cage hygiene, laying location, and egg quality. Research was carried out in furnished cages, each housing 60 beak-trimmed ISA Brown hens. Four different treatments were compared in a factorial arrangement, including 2 different nest linings (artificial turf vs. plastic mesh), either used alone or combined with the use of litter (wheat bran) spread over the rubber mat in the pecking and scratching area (PSA). An additional treatment, using artificial turf mat in the PSA and nests (as commonly used in commercial flocks), was used to compare the effect of PSA lining in the other treatments. We observed laying location, the number of dirty and broken eggs, the microbiological contamination of eggshells according to laying location, and general cage hygiene. The use of nests for laying decreased when they were lined with plastic mesh. Eggs laid outside the nest were of lower quality than those laid inside it, and this was particularly true for eggs laid in the PSA. Although hygiene was low on artificial turf mats, eggs laid on PSA covered with a rubber mat were dirtier and had a higher count of mesophilic bacteria on the eggshell than those laid on PSA covered with an artificial turf mat. Rubber mats in PSA were rapidly destroyed and proved to be unsuitable. The provision of litter had no effect on cage hygiene but substantially increased wear on mats. This study shows nest lining and litter provision methods to be key factors that need to be taken into account to encourage the use of nest boxes for laying, and hence, to ensure good egg quality. Further research into new linings for PSA is needed for the future improvement of egg-laying conditions.

  5. Salmonella enteritidis and other Salmonella in laying hens and eggs from flocks with Salmonella in their environment.

    PubMed Central

    Poppe, C; Johnson, R P; Forsberg, C M; Irwin, R J

    1992-01-01

    Seven Canadian layer flocks with Salmonella enteritidis in their environment were investigated to determine the numbers of hens infected with S. enteritidis, the localization of S. enteritidis in organs of infected hens and the numbers of S. enteritidis-infected eggs produced by two affected flocks. By a microagglutination test (MAT) using S. pullorum antigens, these flocks had more seropositive hens (mean 51.9 +/- 16.9%) than two Salmonella-free flocks (mean 13.0 +/- 4.2%). Culture of tissues of 580 hens (433 seropositive) from the seven flocks detected 26 (4.5%) S. enteritidis-infected hens from two flocks. In one flock, 2/150 hens were infected with S. enteritidis phage type (PT) 8, which was confined to the ceca, and no Salmonella spp. were isolated from 2520 eggs (one day's lay). In the second flock, where 24/150 hens were infected with S. enteritidis PT13, extraintestinal infection was found in nine hens and involved the ovaries and/or oviduct in two hens. Salmonella enteritidis PT13 was isolated from one sample of egg contents and from one sample of cracked shells from among 14,040 eggs (one day's lay) from this flock. The overall prevalence of S. enteritidis-contaminated eggs from the two flocks with infected hens was less than 0.06%. Other Salmonella spp. isolated were S. heidelberg from 58 hens (10%), and S. hadar, S. mbandaka and S. typhimurium from one hen (0.2%) each. The MAT with antigens of S. pullorum had a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 24% for detecting S. enteritidis-infected hens.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1423059

  6. The potential of blue lupins as a protein source, in the diets of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael R F; Parkinson, Sarah; Fleming, Hannah R; Theobald, Vince J; Leemans, Dave K; Burgess, Tony

    2016-12-01

    Layers diets typically contain 15-20% soya due to its high crude protein content (ca. 36%). Reliance on soya for protein can result in large increases in cost of feed due to the law of supply and demand as a global commodity. Lupin grains have high protein content (35-40%) but previous experience with white lupins has shown toxic effects in poultry due to high levels alkaloids and poor performance due to anti-nutritional Non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Here blue lupins either processed or whole were trialled for their potential as a protein source. Point of lay chickens (64) at 16 weeks of age were weighed and allocated to 16 coops of four hens. Coops, as the experimental unit, were randomly allocated to four treatments: layers mash with soya (Control); or layers mash with 150 g of lupin/kg diet with the lupin either: whole (Whole); dehulled (Dehulled) or dehulled + a solid state fermentation enzyme extract (SSF; 150 g/tonne DM). All diets were ground and formulated to be balanced for energy, crude protein and essential amino acids using NIRS. No difference in growth rate, final hen weight, DM and water intake, eggs per day, mean egg weight, yellowness of yolk or chroma was found between treatments. There was a trend (P<0.1) for the SSF treatment to produce less heavy shells and a significant effect for the lupin treatments to have redder yolks (P<0.001). Fecal DM and bacterial counts were not different and there was no sign of enteritis or intestinal tissue hyperplasia from hen autopsies. Inclusion of blue lupins in the diet of laying hens at a rate of 150 g/kg DM resulted in no adverse effects in production or hen health and could be used as part of a balanced ration with inclusion of NSP degrading enzymes to reduce reliance on soya protein.

  7. Carnitine supplementation modulates high dietary copper-induced oxidative toxicity and reduced performance in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Güçlü, Berrin Kocaoğlu; Kara, Kanber; Çakır, Latife; Çetin, Ebru; Kanbur, Murat

    2011-12-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of L-carnitine on performance, egg quality and certain biochemical parameters in laying hens fed a diet containing high levels of copper proteinate. Forty-eight 42-week-old laying hens were divided into four groups with four replicates. The laying hens were fed with a basal diet (control) or the basal diet supplemented with either 400 mg carnitine (Car)/kg diet, 800 mg copper proteinate (CuP)/kg diet or 400 mg carnitine + 800 mg copper (Car+CuP)/kg diet, for 6 weeks. Supplemental CuP decreased feed consumption (p < 0.01), feed efficiency and egg production (p < 0.001), as compared to control. The combination of Car and CuP increased (p < 0.001) egg production and feed efficiency as compared to CuP. The activities of alanine aminotransferase (p < 0.05) and alkaline phosphatase (p < 0.01) were increased, while lactate dehydrogenase activity was decreased (p < 0.001) by supplemental CuP and Car+CuP. Supplemental CuP caused an increase in plasma malondialdehyde (p < 0.01) and nitric oxide levels (p < 0.05). In the Car+CuP group, this increase was observed to have been reduced significantly (p < 0.05). Furthermore, Car+CuP increased (p < 0.05) glucose level. These results indicate that the carnitine and copper combination may prevent the possible adverse effects of high dietary copper on performance and lipid peroxidation in hens.

  8. Biliary ochratoxin A as a biomarker of ochratoxin exposure in laying hens: An experimental study after administration of contaminated diets.

    PubMed

    Armorini, Sara; Al-Qudah, Khaled Mefleh; Altafini, Alberto; Zaghini, Anna; Roncada, Paola

    2015-06-01

    To evaluate the levels of ochratoxin (OTA) in kidney, liver and bile of laying hens, forty-five laying hens were enrolled in this study and divided into three equal groups: a control group D₀, and two experimental groups, D₁ fed with 10 µg/kg OTA diet and D₂ fed with 200 µg/kg OTA diet for 6 weeks. Kidneys, livers, and bile from all hens were collected and analyzed by HPLC method for the presence of OTA. Eggs collected 2 days before the start of the experiment and 2 days after its end were also analyzed for the presence of OTA. Results show a relevant biliary excretion of the mycotoxin, with high levels of OTA in the bile after administration of the toxin. OTA level in eggs was below the limit of detection (LOD). These results suggest the suitability of using bile as a matrix for screening measurements of OTA in laying hens.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    More human illnesses caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar 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 reproductive organs. In recent years, the consequences of different housing systems for laying flocks have become the focus of international attention from both animal welfare and public health perspectives. Nevertheless, many questions remain unresolved regarding the food safety implications of various laying hen production systems. The present study assessed the effects of 2 different housing types (conventional cages and colony cages enriched with perching, nesting, and scratching areas) on the invasion of internal organs by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens. In 2 trials, groups of laying hens housed in each cage system were orally inoculated with doses of 1.0 × 10(7) cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis. At 5 to 6 d postinoculation, hens were euthanized and samples of internal organs were removed for bacteriologic culturing. For both trials combined, Salmonella Enteritidis was recovered from 95.3% of cecal samples, with no significant differences observed between housing systems. However, Salmonella Enteritidis was detected at significantly (P < 0.05) higher frequencies from hens in conventional cages than from hens in enriched cages for samples of livers (96.9 vs. 75.0%), spleens (93.8 vs. 53.1%), ovaries (25.0 vs. 10.4%), and oviducts (19.8 vs. 2.1%). These results demonstrate that differences in housing systems for egg-laying flocks can affect the susceptibility of hens to colonization of internal organs by Salmonella Enteritidis.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Deposition rule of yolk cholesterol in two different breeds of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yang, P K; Tian, Y D; Sun, G R; Jiang, R R; Han, R L; Kang, X T

    2013-11-22

    The objective of this study was to investigate the deposition rule of yolk cholesterol in Lushi Green-shelled and Silky Fowl layers. A total of 90 layers of each breed were selected at an age of 15 to 51 weeks. Productive performance was recorded on a weekly basis, whereas yolk cholesterol was determined at 4-week intervals from 21 to 51 weeks of age. The average yolk cholesterol content of Silky Fowl layers during the laying period was higher than that of Lushi Green-shelled layers (58.16 and 49.67%, P > 0.05). Yolk cholesterol content decreased at 21 to 31 weeks of the laying period, whereas a non-significant increasing trend was observed during 31 to 51 weeks of laying period. In conclusion, yolk cholesterol content is not only dependent on the age of hen but also the breed of layers.

  13. Equations of prediction for abdominal fat in brown egg-laying hens fed different diets.

    PubMed

    Souza, C; Jaimes, J J B; Gewehr, C E

    2016-12-03

    The objective was to use noninvasive measurements to formulate equations for predicting the abdominal fat weight of laying hens in a noninvasive manner. Hens were fed with different diets; the external body measurements of birds were used as regressors. We used 288 Hy-Line Brown laying hens, distributed in a completely randomized design in a factorial arrangement, submitted for 16 wk to 2 metabolizable energy levels (2,550 and 2,800 kcal/kg) and 3 levels of crude protein in the diet (150, 160, and 170 g/kg), totaling 6 treatments, with 48 hens each. Sixteen hens per treatment of 92 wk age were utilized to evaluate body weight, bird length, tarsus and sternum, greater and lesser diameter of the tarsus, and abdominal fat weight, after slaughter. The equations were obtained by using measures evaluated with regressors through simple and multiple linear regression with the stepwise method of indirect elimination (backward), with P < 0.10 for all variables remaining in the model. The weight of abdominal fat as predicted by the equations and observed values for each bird were subjected to Pearson's correlation analysis. The equations generated by energy levels showed coefficients of determination of 0.50 and 0.74 for 2,800 and 2,550 kcal/kg of metabolizable energy, respectively, with correlation coefficients of 0.71 and 0.84, with a highly significant correlation between the calculated and observed values of abdominal fat. For protein levels of 150, 160, and 170 g/kg in the diet, it was possible to obtain coefficients of determination of 0.75, 0.57, and 0.61, with correlation coefficients of 0.86, 0.75, and 0.78, respectively. Regarding the general equation for predicting abdominal fat weight, the coefficient of determination was 0.62; the correlation coefficient was 0.79. The equations for predicting abdominal fat weight in laying hens, based on external measurements of the birds, showed positive coefficients of determination and correlation coefficients, thus

  14. Reducing ammonia emissions from laying-hen houses through dietary manipulation.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong; Xin, Hongwei; Burns, Robert T; Roberts, Stacey A; Li, Shuhai; Kliebenstein, James; Bregendahl, Kristjan

    2012-02-01

    Feed additives can change the microbiological environment of the animal digestive track, nutrient composition of feces, and its gaseous emissions. This 2-yr field study involving commercial laying-hen houses in central Iowa was conducted to assess the effects of feeding diets containing EcoCal and corn-dried distillers grain with solubles (DDGS) on ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions. Three high-rise layer houses (256,600 W-36 hens per house) received standard industry diet (Control), a diet containing 7% EcoCal (EcoCal) or a diet containing 10% DDGS (DDGS). Gaseous emissions were continuously monitored during the period of December 2007 to December 2009, covering the full production cycle. The 24-month test results revealed that mean NH3 emission rates were 0.58 +/- 0.05, 0.82 +/- 0.04, and 0.96 +/- 0.05 g/hen/day for the EcoCal, DDGS, and Control diet, respectively. Namely, compared to the Control diet, the EcoCal and DDGS diets reduced NH3 emission by an average of 39.2% and 14.3%, respectively. The concurrent H2S emission rates were 5.39 +/- 0.46, 1.91 +/- 0.13, and 1.79 +/- 0.16 mg/ hen/day for the EcoCal, DDGS, and Control diet, respectively. CO2 emission rates were similar for the three diets, 87.3 +/- 1.37, 87.4 +/- 1.26, and 89.6 +/- 1.6 g/hen/day for EcoCal, DDGS, and Control, respectively (P = 0.45). The DDGS and EcoCal houses tended to emit less CH4 than the Control house (0.16 and 0.12 vs. 0.20 g/hen/day) during the monitored summer season. The efficacy of NH3 emission reduction by the EcoCal diet decreased with increasing outside temperature, varying from 72.2% in February 2009 to -7.10% in September 2008. Manure of the EcoCal diet contained 68% higher ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) and 4.7 times higher sulfur content than that of the Control diet. Manure pH values were 8.0, 8.9, and 9.3 for EcoCal, DDGS, and Control diets, respectively. This extensive field study verifies that dietary manipulation

  15. Effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acids on lipid metabolism and antioxidant capacity in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Qi, Xiaolong; Wu, Shugeng; Zhang, Haijun; Yue, Hongyuan; Xu, Shaohui; Ji, Feng; Qi, Guanghai

    2011-10-01

    To examine the effects of dietary conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) on lipid metabolism and antioxidant capacity in laying hens, Hy-Line Brown layers (n = 384, 52 weeks old) were randomly allocated to one of four dietary treatments. Each treatment had six replicates of 16 hens each. All birds were assigned to a corn-soybean meal-based diet containing a mixture of CLA at 0%, 1%, 2% or 4% for six weeks. With increasing dietary CLA, egg weight and feed intake decreased, and yolk colour was darkened. Feed efficiency was improved at 1% and 2% dietary CLA. Serum triglyceride concentration was significantly reduced by CLA in a dose dependent manner. A linear decrease in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were observed after CLA supplementation. With increasing dietary CLA, the deposition of two major isomers of CLA (c9, t11; t10, c12) in yolk lipids increased linearly, the proportion of saturated fatty acids increased and monounsaturated fatty acids decreased significantly. The proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids was highest at 1% CLA. Compared to the control, CLA supplementation significantly increased the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, inhibited hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anion production, and decreased the malonaldehyde concentrations in both serum and liver. The results demonstrated that dietary CLA meliorated serum lipid profiles and enhanced the antioxidant capacity of laying hens.

  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. Transfer of pyrrolizidine alkaloids from various herbs to eggs and meat in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Patrick P J; de Witte, Susannah L; Stoopen, Geert M; van der Meulen, Jan; van Wikselaar, Piet G; Gruys, Erik; Groot, Maria J; Hoogenboom, Ron L A P

    2016-12-01

    To investigate the potential transfer of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), laying hens were fed for 14 days with diets containing 0.5% of dried common ragwort, common groundsel, narrow-leaved ragwort or viper's bugloss, or 0.1% of common heliotrope. This resulted in total PA levels in feed of respectively 5.5, 11.1, 53.1, 5.9 and 21.7 mg kg(-)(1), with varying composition. PAs were transferred to eggs, in particular yolk, with steady-state levels of respectively 12, 21, 216, 2 and 36 µg kg(-)(1). Overall transfer rates for the sum of PAs were estimated between 0.02% and 0.23%, depending on the type of PAs in the feed. In animals slaughtered shortly after the last exposure, levels in meat were slightly lower than those in eggs, levels in livers somewhat higher. When switched to clean feed, levels in eggs gradually decreased, but after 14 days were still above detection limits in the hens exposed to higher PA levels. Similar was the case for meat and especially kidneys and livers. It is concluded that the intake of PA containing herbs by laying hens may result in levels in eggs and meat that could be of concern for consumers, and as such should be avoided.

  18. 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.

  19. Short-term effects of lower oil dried distillers grains with solubles in laying hen rations.

    PubMed

    Purdum, Sheila; Hanford, Kathy; Kreifels, Brett

    2014-10-01

    Extraction of oil from dried distillers grains has become a common practice among US ethanol producers. The valuable oil has been diverted to markets other than poultry feed, leaving new dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) products higher in fiber and purportedly lower in ME. This study compared 3 DDGS products with 10.3, 7.3, or 5.2% ether extract, respectively, with a corn-soy control ration in young Bovan laying hens for a feeding period from 20 to 33 wk of age. The DDGS was fed at the rate of 20% of the ration. Lower oil content of DDGS had no effect on short-term egg production parameters: feed intake, egg production, egg weight or mass, and hen weight gain. The diets containing lower fat DDGS (5.2%) did have reduced AME and kilocalories per day intake for laying hens. For each percent reduction in oil from a normal DDGS sample (10.3%) to medium oil (7.3%) DDGS, AME decreased 42.3 kcal/kg of diet. However, total kilocalories per day intake did sustain good egg production during this short trial.

  20. Effect of dietary pomegranate seed oil on laying hen performance and physicochemical properties of eggs.

    PubMed

    Kostogrys, Renata B; Filipiak-Florkiewicz, Agnieszka; Dereń, Katarzyna; Drahun, Anna; Czyżyńska-Cichoń, Izabela; Cieślik, Ewa; Szymczyk, Beata; Franczyk-Żarów, Magdalena

    2017-04-15

    The objective of the study was to determine the effects of pomegranate seed oil, used as a source of punicic acid (CLnA) in the diets of laying hens, on the physicochemical properties of eggs. Forty Isa Brown laying hens (26weeks old) were equally subjected to 4 dietary treatments (n=10) and fed a commercial layer diet supplying 2.5% sunflower oil (control) or three levels (0.5, 1.0 and 1.5%) of punicic acid in the diets. After 12weeks of feeding the hens, eggs collection began. Sixty eggs - randomly selected from each group - were analysed for physicochemical properties. Eggs naturally enriched with CLnA preserve their composition and conventional properties in most of the analysed parameters (including chemical composition, physical as well as organoleptic properties). Dietary CLnA had positive impact on the colour of the eggs' yolk, whereas the hardness of hard-boiled egg yolks was not affected. Additionally, increasing dietary CLnA led to an increase not only the CLnA concentrations, but also CLA in egg-yolk lipids.

  1. The effect of phenyl mercury on reproductive performance in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Pribilincová, J; Marettová, E; Kosucký, J; Maretta, M

    1996-01-01

    The effect of phenyl mercury with and without selenium on the egg production of laying hens and on the fertility, hatchability and properties of eggs was studied. Mercury was administered via the feed at dosages of 5 ppm, 30 ppm, and 30 ppm Hg + 4 ppm Se, for 56 days. After two months, egg production decreased by 8.18% and 7.74% in hens fed 30 ppm Hg, and 30 ppm Hg + 4 ppm Se, respectively. Egg weight decreased in all experimental groups. In comparison to the controls, these results were highly significant (P < 0.01) in hens fed 30 ppm Hg and 30 ppm Hg + 4 ppm Se and significant (P < 0.05) between hens fed 5 ppm Hg and 30 ppm Hg. Fertility rate and hatchability were not affected. Mercury exposure did not affect egg shape, egg-white height, egg-shell hardness or yolk colour. Both egg-shell thickness and weight decreased in all experimental groups. In the group supplemented with selenium there was a nonsignificant improvement in egg production, hatchability and all qualitative properties of eggs in comparison with the group without selenium supplementation. Residual mercury levels in egg yolk greatly surpassed the level found in the egg white: the highest values were measured in the group fed 30 ppm Hg. The addition of selenium had a protective effect upon residual Hg deposits in the yolk, but not in the egg-white.

  2. 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

  3. Effect of dietary threonine on laying performance and intestinal immunity of laying hens fed low-crude-protein diets during the peak production period.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-30

    Threonine (Thr) may be a limiting amino acid for laying hens fed diets with lowered protein level. An experiment was conducted to examine laying performance, and the intestinal immune function of laying hens provided diets varying in digestible Thr levels. Lohmann Brown laying hens (n = 480), 28 weeks of age, were allocated to six dietary treatments, each of which included five replicates of 16 hens. Dietary crude protein (CP) 16.18% diet was offered as the positive control diet. L-Thr was added to the negative diet (14.16% CP) by 0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 g/kg, corresponding 0.44%, 0.43%, 0.49%, 0.57%, 0.66% and 0.74% digestible Thr. At 40 weeks, a reduction in CP level decreased laying performance (p < 0.05). In the low CP, increasing dietary Thr increased (p < 0.05) egg production and egg mass and rose to a plateau between 0.57% and 0.66%. The hens fed 0.66% Thr showed the lowest value (p < 0.05) of feed conversion ratio (FCR). Serum level of uric acid showed the lowest values (p < 0.05) at 0.57-0.66%. In addition, serum-free Thr maximized (p < 0.05) between 0.66% and 0.74%. Digestive trypsin activity decreased (p < 0.05) when hens fed the low-CP diet compared with hens fed CP (16.18%) and hens fed 0.57-0.66%. Expressions of ileal MUC2 mRNA maximized (p < 0.05) at 0.66% Thr. Occludin mRNA increased with increasing Thr level (p < 0.05). sIgA mRNA reached to the maximum level (p < 0.05) at 0.66% and 0.74% Thr. INF-γ mRNA reached to the lowest level (p < 0.05) at 0.65%. Expressions of ileal IL-2, IL-6, IL-1β mRNA decreased with increasing Thr level (p < 0.05). In conclusion, Thr supplementation resulting in optimal laying performance and stimulated the mucosal immune system, suggesting that it is a limiting amino acid in the low-crude-protein diet of laying hens during the peak production period.

  4. Fatty haemorrhagic liver syndrome in laying hens on diets supplemented with rapeseed products.

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, S; Bhatnagar, M K; Scott, J R; Slinger, S J

    1975-11-01

    Livers of laying hens of Hy-Line No 934E on low erucic acid rapeseed meals and rapeseed oil were studied. Gross lesions in the livers of hens on experimental diets were moderate to severe fatty degeneration, focal necrosis and moderate to severe haemorrhage. Histological examination revealed oedematous foci and lysis of hepatocytes along with large amounts of lipid droplets in the necrotic lesions. Necrotic lesions were not always associated with large haemorrhages. Connective tissue infiltration of older degenerative and haemorrhagic lesions was not extensive. Abdominal haemorrhage from livers occurred when extensive necrosis in the form of hepatocyte lysis and some vascular changes were present, suggesting hepatocytic degeneration caused by toxic products or their metabolites present in rapeseed by-products.

  5. The effect of rapeseed meal on the energy metabolism of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Smith, W K; MacLeod, M G; Tullett, S G; Klandorf, H

    1979-09-01

    1. The effect of 100 g rapeseed meal (RSM)/kg diet on the energy metabolism of hybrid laying hens was examined by indirect calorimetry. Thyroid hormone concentrations, thyroid weight, liver weight and body weight, egg production and food intake were also measured. 2. Fasting heat production was significantly lower in hens receiving RSM than in controls, but this difference disappeared when the birds were fed. 3. Thyroid hormone concentrations decreased, while thyroid and liver weights increased slightly; none of these effects was significant. Body weight, egg production and food intake were unaffected and no liver haemorrhages were noted. 4. The maintenance metabolisable energy (ME) requirement of control and treated birds, estimated from short-term energy balance measurements, was 474 kJ/kg0.75 d; net availability of ME in both treatments was 0.85.

  6. Tomato powder in laying hen diets: effects on concentrations of yolk carotenoids and lipid peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Akdemir, F; Orhan, C; Sahin, N; Sahin, K; Hayirli, A

    2012-01-01

    1. The effects of tomato powder supplementation on performance, egg quality, serum and egg yolk carotenoids, vitamins and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations in were investigated in laying hens in mid-lay. 2. A total of 90 laying hens, 49 weeks old, were divided into 3 groups consisting of 6 replicate cages, 5 birds per cage. Birds were randomly fed on one of three diets: basal diet and basal diet added with 5 or 10 g tomato powder per kg diet. 3. As tomato powder concentration increased, there were linear increases in feed intake, egg production, egg weight and yolk colour and a linear decrease in feed conversion. Shell weight, shell thickness and Haugh unit remained unchanged in response to dietary treatments. 4. Concentrations of serum and egg yolk lycopene, β-carotene, lutein and vitamin A increased for both diets including tomato powder, whereas MDA decreased linearly with increasing supplemental tomato powder concentration. 5. Tomato powder supplementation increased egg production persistency and increased carotenoids and vitamin A contents in egg yolk, accompanied by reduced yolk lipid peroxidation.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-06

    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.

  10. Acaricide residues in laying hens naturally infested by red mite Dermanyssus gallinae.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Parents and early life environment affect behavioral development of laying hen chickens.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Learning and Judgment Can Be Affected by Predisposed Fearfulness in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    de Haas, Elske N; Lee, Caroline; Rodenburg, T Bas

    2017-01-01

    High fearfulness could disrupt learning and likely affects judgment in animals, especially when it is part of an animals' personality, i.e., trait anxiety. Here, we tested whether high fearfulness affects discrimination learning and judgment bias (JB) in laying hens. Based on the response to an open field at 5 weeks of age, birds were categorized as fearful (FC) by showing no walking or vocalizing or non-fearful (NFC) by showing walking and vocalizing. At adult age, birds (n = 24) were trained in a go-go task to discriminate two cues (white or black) with a small or large reward. Birds that reached training criteria were exposed to three unrewarded ambiguous cues (25, 50, and 75% black) to assess JB. Task acquisition took longer for FC birds than for NFC birds, due to a left side bias, and more sessions were needed to unlearn this side bias. Changes in trial setup increased response latencies for FC birds but not for NFC birds. A larger number of FC birds than NFC birds chose optimistically in the last ambiguous trial (25% black). FC birds had a longer latency to choose in the ambiguous trial (75% black) compared to NFC birds. Prior choice in ambiguous trials and a preceding large or small trial affected latencies and choices for both types of birds. Our study showed that fearfulness was associated with differences in discrimination learning ability and JB. It appeared that FC birds used a rigid response strategy during early learning phases by choosing a specific side repeatedly irrespective of success. FC birds were more affected by changes in the setup of the trials in comparison to NFC birds. We speculate that FC birds are more sensitive to changes in environmental cues and reward expectancy. These factors could explain how high fearfulness affects learning.

  15. Learning and Judgment Can Be Affected by Predisposed Fearfulness in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    de Haas, Elske N.; Lee, Caroline; Rodenburg, T. Bas

    2017-01-01

    High fearfulness could disrupt learning and likely affects judgment in animals, especially when it is part of an animals’ personality, i.e., trait anxiety. Here, we tested whether high fearfulness affects discrimination learning and judgment bias (JB) in laying hens. Based on the response to an open field at 5 weeks of age, birds were categorized as fearful (FC) by showing no walking or vocalizing or non-fearful (NFC) by showing walking and vocalizing. At adult age, birds (n = 24) were trained in a go–go task to discriminate two cues (white or black) with a small or large reward. Birds that reached training criteria were exposed to three unrewarded ambiguous cues (25, 50, and 75% black) to assess JB. Task acquisition took longer for FC birds than for NFC birds, due to a left side bias, and more sessions were needed to unlearn this side bias. Changes in trial setup increased response latencies for FC birds but not for NFC birds. A larger number of FC birds than NFC birds chose optimistically in the last ambiguous trial (25% black). FC birds had a longer latency to choose in the ambiguous trial (75% black) compared to NFC birds. Prior choice in ambiguous trials and a preceding large or small trial affected latencies and choices for both types of birds. Our study showed that fearfulness was associated with differences in discrimination learning ability and JB. It appeared that FC birds used a rigid response strategy during early learning phases by choosing a specific side repeatedly irrespective of success. FC birds were more affected by changes in the setup of the trials in comparison to NFC birds. We speculate that FC birds are more sensitive to changes in environmental cues and reward expectancy. These factors could explain how high fearfulness affects learning. PMID:28798918

  16. Standardized ileal amino acid digestibility of meat and bone meal and soybean meal in laying hens and broilers.

    PubMed

    Adedokun, S A; Jaynes, P; Abd El-Hack, M E; Payne, R L; Applegate, T J

    2014-02-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the standardized ileal amino acid digestibility (SIAAD) of 7 meat and bone meal (MBM) and 3 soybean meal (SBM) samples in broilers (Ross 708) and laying hens (Hy-line W36). All 10 feed ingredients were evaluated in 21-d-old broiler chickens and 30- or 50-wk-old laying hens. Standardization was accomplished by correcting for basal ileal endogenous amino acid losses using a nitrogen-free diet. Broilers were reared in cages from d 0 to 16 on a standard broiler starter diet adequate in all nutrients and energy; thereafter, they were allotted to treatments using a randomized complete design with 6 replicate cages of 8 birds each. For the laying hens, 6 replicate cages of 6 birds each (542 cm(2)/bird) were used. Each treatment diet, which was fed for 5 d, was semipurified, with MBM or SBM being the sole source of amino acids in each diet. Ileal endogenous amino acid losses were not different between broilers and the 2 groups of laying hens. Meat and bone meal from different locations varied widely in digestibility. Broilers had higher (P < 0.05) SIAAD in 4 of the 7 MBM samples. In 2 of the 3 SBM samples, broilers had higher (P < 0.05) SIAAD for most of the nonessential amino acids. Generally, hens had 6.4 and 7.7% units less Met and Lys digestibility of all MBM samples after standardization. Dry matter digestibility values of the SBM samples were higher (P < 0.05) in broilers. Likewise, broilers had 4.1 and 1.5% units more Met and Lys digestibility of all the SBM samples evaluated compared with those from laying hens. The results of these experiments suggest that differences exist in the digestive capabilities of laying hens and broilers, which indicates that species-specific nutrient digestibility values or adjustments may be needed.

  17. Arsenic in eggs and excreta of laying hens in Bangladesh: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Amalendu; Awal, M A; Majumder, Shankar; Mostofa, Mahbub; Khair, Abul; Islam, M Z; Rao, D Ramkishan

    2012-12-01

    The aim of this study was to detect arsenic concentrations in feed, well-water for drinking, eggs, and excreta of laying hens in arsenic-prone areas of Bangladesh and to assess the effect of arsenic-containing feed and well-water on the accumulation of arsenic in eggs and excreta of the same subject. One egg from each laying hen (n = 248) and its excreta, feed, and well-water for drinking were collected. Total arsenic concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer, coupled with hydride generator. Effects of arsenic-containing feed and drinking-water on the accumulation of arsenic in eggs and excreta were analyzed by multivariate regression model, using Stata software. Mean arsenic concentrations in drinking-water, feed (dry weight [DW]), egg (wet weight [WW]), and excreta (DW) of hens were 77.3, 176.6, 19.2, and 1,439.9 ppb respectively. Significant (p < 0.01) positive correlations were found between the arsenic contents in eggs and drinking-water (r = 0.602), drinking-water and excreta (r = 0.716), feed and excreta (r = 0.402) as well as between the arsenic content in eggs and the age of the layer (r = 0.243). On an average, 55% and 82% of the total variation in arsenic contents of eggs and excreta respectively could be attributed to the variation in the geographic area, age, feed type, and arsenic contents of drinking-water and feed. For each week's increase in age of hens, arsenic content in eggs increased by 0.94%. For every 1% elevation of arsenic in drinking-water, arsenic in eggs and excreta increased by 0.41% and 0.44% respectively whereas for a 1% rise of arsenic in feed, arsenic in eggs and excreta increased by 0.40% and 0.52% respectively. These results provide evidence that, although high arsenic level prevails in well-water for drinking in Bangladesh, the arsenic shows low biological transmission capability from body to eggs and, thus, the value was below the maximum tolerable limit for humans. However, arsenic in drinking

  18. Arsenic in Eggs and Excreta of Laying Hens in Bangladesh: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Awal, M. A.; Majumder, Shankar; Mostofa, Mahbub; Khair, Abul; Islam, M. Z.; Rao, D. Ramkishan

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to detect arsenic concentrations in feed, well-water for drinking, eggs, and excreta of laying hens in arsenic-prone areas of Bangladesh and to assess the effect of arsenic-containing feed and well-water on the accumulation of arsenic in eggs and excreta of the same subject. One egg from each laying hen (n=248) and its excreta, feed, and well-water for drinking were collected. Total arsenic concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer, coupled with hydride generator. Effects of arsenic-containing feed and drinking-water on the accumulation of arsenic in eggs and excreta were analyzed by multivariate regression model, using Stata software. Mean arsenic concentrations in drinking-water, feed (dry weight [DW]), egg (wet weight [WW]), and excreta (DW) of hens were 77.3, 176.6, 19.2, and 1,439.9 ppb respectively. Significant (p<0.01) positive correlations were found between the arsenic contents in eggs and drinking-water (r=0.602), drinking-water and excreta (r=0.716), feed and excreta (r=0.402) as well as between the arsenic content in eggs and the age of the layer (r=0.243). On an average, 55% and 82% of the total variation in arsenic contents of eggs and excreta respectively could be attributed to the variation in the geographic area, age, feed type, and arsenic contents of drinking-water and feed. For each week's increase in age of hens, arsenic content in eggs increased by 0.94%. For every 1% elevation of arsenic in drinking-water, arsenic in eggs and excreta increased by 0.41% and 0.44% respectively whereas for a 1% rise of arsenic in feed, arsenic in eggs and excreta increased by 0.40% and 0.52% respectively. These results provide evidence that, although high arsenic level prevails in well-water for drinking in Bangladesh, the arsenic shows low biological transmission capability from body to eggs and, thus, the value was below the maximum tolerable limit for humans. However, arsenic in drinking-water and/or feed

  19. Drinking water temperature effects on laying hens subjected to warm cyclic environments.

    PubMed

    Xin, H; Gates, R S; Puma, M C; Ahn, D U

    2002-05-01

    Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of drinking water temperature (Tw) on laying hens subjected to warm cyclic air temperature (Ta) conditions. Each experiment consisted of a 1-wk acclimation under thermoneutrality (TN) (Ta = Tw = 21 C), a 4-wk heat exposure or treatment period, and a 2-wk recovery under TN. Each experiment involved 24 individually caged hens at the initial age of 29 wk (Experiment 1) or 30 wk (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, Tw of 18 or 27 C was provided to 12 birds per Tw regimen under a diurnal Ta of 27 to 35 C (daily mean of 31 C). In Experiment 2, Tw of 15, 19, 23, or 27 C was provided to six birds per Tw regimen under a diurnal Ta of 27 to 38 C (daily mean of 32.5 C). Experiment 1 showed that Tw of 18 C enhanced hourly and daily feed and water intake during the first 2 wk of heat exposure, as compared with Tw of 27 C. Experiment 2 showed that daily feed and water intake were greatest for hens in the 23 C Tw regimen and least for hens in the coolest or warmest Tw regimens. Reduction in daily feed intake with increase in daily mean Ta ranged from 2.0 to approximately 3.2 g/C-day (first week of heat exposure) to 1.1 to approximately 1.9 g/C-day (fourth week of heat exposure). Water to feed intake ratio was 1.8 to approximately 2.0 during acclimation and recovery, but increased to 3.0 to approximately 3.4 during heat exposure. Internal egg quality parameters were in general unaffected by Tw. The two warmer Tw regimens in Experiment 2 had less reduction in egg size than did the two cooler Tw. In both experiments, hens displayed anticipatory increase in feed and water intake 2 to 3 h prior to lights-off. However, the stimulus of lights-on did not elicit a strong return to feed and water consumption as typically seen in broilers. The results revealed the potential existence of an optimal Tw range (near 23 C) for heat-chal lenged laying hens. Larger-scale tests are warranted to further verify the findings.

  20. 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

  1. [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.

  2. Lycopene incorporation into egg yolk and effects on laying hen immune function.

    PubMed

    Olson, J B; Ward, N E; Koutsos, E A

    2008-12-01

    Carotenoids are partially responsible for the colors of plants and when consumed by humans and animals are deposited into tissues (e.g., skin and egg yolk in laying hens) and may have health benefits. Because carotenoids are more available when consumed from egg yolk sources than vegetables, this research examined the ability of the laying hen to deposit dietary lycopene, a carotenoid that imparts red color in tomatoes, into the egg yolk and to investigate effects on immune function. All birds were housed in commercial cages, had ad libitum access to water, and were fed 100 g/bird per day. Experiment 1 consisted of 4 dietary concentrations of lycopene (0, 65, 257, and 650 mg of lycopene/kg of diet). High-performance liquid chromatography analysis confirmed that dietary lycopene was incorporated into egg yolks. Experiment 2 was a completely randomized design, with 3 concentrations of lycopene (0, 420, and 840 mg of lycopene/kg of diet) and 6 concentrations of alpha-tocopherol (0, 84, 164, 200, 284, and 364 mg of alpha-tocopherol/kg of diet). Egg yolk lycopene (P < 0.05) and vitamin E (P < 0.05) were increased with increasing dietary concentrations, whereas lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations remained constant. Immune responses (inflammatory, cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity, 1 degrees and 2 degrees antibody response) were induced but were not affected by dietary lycopene or vitamin E. These data indicate that lycopene can be incorporated into egg yolks, and at these dietary concentrations, alpha-tocopherol and lycopene may not affect the immune system of the laying hen.

  3. The Effect of Biduri (Calotropis gigantean) Latex on Meat Quality of Post Laying Hen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nuhriawangsa, A. M. P.; Swastike, W.; Hertanto, B. S.; W, A.; Pradisha, E. D.

    2017-04-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of biduri (Calotropis gigantean) latex treatment on physical quality and hedonic test of meat of post laying hen. Samples of this research used meat of post laying hen strain Lohman aged 90 weeks. Thigh muscle was used for physical quality and breast muscle for hedonic test. Extract of biduri latex were obtained by cutting and tapping of young stem tissue, and it was centrifuged to obtain crude fluid of biduri latex (supernatant). Variables of this research were pH, cooking loss, tenderness, and water holding capacity (WHC), and hedonic test. Levels of biduri latex were 0, 3, 6 and 9% were measured from weight of the samples and the treatment of biduri latex by smearing on the surface of meat samples. The experimental design of the research used one way randomized design. The data was analyzed by using ANOVA, and differences between treatment means were further analysed using Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test. The effect of biduri latex did not affect on pH, but it significantly affected on cooking loss, WHC, tenderness, and hedonic test (p<0.01). Cooking loss started to decrease in concentration of 6%. Value of WHC and tenderness went up at concentration of 3%. Increasing of meat quality of tenderness of hedonic test, juicy and overall hedonic test started to increase in concentration of 6%, and also flavor on concentration of 3% and 9%. In conclusion, the treatment of biduri latex with concentration of 3% could increase meat quality of meat of post laying hen.

  4. Characterization of Salmonella from Commercial Egg-Laying Hen Farms in a Central Region of Colombia.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Roy; Fandiño, Clemencia; Donado, Pilar; Guzmán, Libia; Verjan, Noel

    2015-03-01

    Salmonellosis affects humans more frequently than any other foodborne disease, and it causes severe economic losses in the poultry industry. A cross-sectional study was carried out to estimate the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in laying hen farms in the Tolima region of Colombia. Fifteen egg-laying hen farms were sampled, and a total of 589 samples were cultured to isolate Salmonella spp. A total of 14 isolates of Salmonella spp. were recovered from five farms, resulting in a prevalence of 33.33% (95%, confidence interval = 14%-53%) at the farm level. Salmonella spp. were recovered from eggshells (57.15%, n = 8), feed (28.57%, n = 4), and environmental samples (14.29%, n = 2). Farm practices, such as the milling of feed (odds ratio [OR] = 24) and the storage of eggs in the henhouses (OR = 11.25), in addition to the feed type (OR = 7.64) and the use of bamboo for construction of the facility (OR = 5.24), were identified as risk factors for Salmonella spp. The 14 isolates were identified as Salmonella Enteritidis (n = 6) and Salmonella Shannon (n = 8), and both serovars were resistant to a number of antibiotics. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis presented three different XbaI macrorestriction patterns. The Salmonella Enteritidis isolates all presented a single pattern, whereas the Salmonella Shannon isolates were grouped into two distinct patterns. The results indicate that Salmonella spp. could be recovered from various sources at laying hen farms, and eggshell contamination is a particular concern.

  5. Pharmacokinetics of doxycycline in laying hens after intravenous and oral administration.

    PubMed

    Yang, F; Si, H B; Wang, Y Q; Zhao, Z S; Zhou, B H; Hao, X Q

    2016-08-01

    The pharmacokinetics of doxycycline in laying hens was investigated after a single intravenous (IV) or an oral (PO) dose at 20 mg/kg body weight. The concentrations of doxycycline in plasma samples were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with an ultraviolet detector, and pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated using a compartmental model method. The disposition of doxycycline after one single IV injection was best described by a two-compartment open model and the main pharmacokinetic parameters were as follows: volume of distribution (Vd) was 865.15 ± 127.64 ml/kg, distribution rate constant (α) was (2.28 ± 0.38) 1/h, elimination rate constant (β) was 0.08 ± 0.02 1/h and total body clearance (Cl) was104.11 ± 18.32 ml/h/kg, while after PO administration, the concentration versus time curve was best described by a one-compartment open model and absorption rate constant (Ka), peak concentration (Cmax), time to reach Cmax (tmax) and absolute bioavailability (F) were 2.55 ± 1.40 1/h, 5.88 ± 0.70 μg/ml, 1.73 ± 0.75 h and 52.33%, respectively. The profile of doxycycline exhibited favourable pharmacokinetic characteristics in laying hens, such as quick absorption and slow distribution and elimination, though oral bioavailability was relatively low. A multiple-dosing regimen (a dose of 20 mg/kg/d for 3 consecutive days) of doxycycline was recommended to treat infections in laying hens. But a further study should be conducted to determine the withdrawal time of doxycycline in eggs.

  6. Identification of Potential Plasma Biomarkers for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease by Integrating Transcriptomics and Proteomics in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Meng-Tsz; Chen, Yu-Jen; Chen, Ching-Yi; Tsai, Mong-Hsun; Han, Chia-Li; Chen, Yu-Ju; Mersmann, Harry J; Ding, Shih-Torng

    2017-03-01

    Background: Prevalent worldwide obesity is associated with increased incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome. The identification of noninvasive biomarkers for NAFLD is of recent interest. Because primary de novo lipogenesis occurs in chicken liver as in human liver, adult chickens with age-associated steatosis resembling human NAFLD is an appealing animal model.Objective: The objective of this study was to screen potential biomarkers in the chicken model for NAFLD by transcriptomic and proteomic analysis.Methods: Hy-Line W-36 laying hens were fed standard feed from 25 to 45 wk of age to induce fatty liver. They were killed every 4 wk, and liver and plasma were collected at each time point to assess fatty liver development and for transcriptomic and proteomic analysis. Next, selected biomarkers were confirmed in additional experiments by providing supplements of the hepatoprotective nutrients betaine [300, 600, or 900 parts per million (ppm) in vivo; 2 mM in vitro] or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 1% in vivo; 100 μM in vitro) to 30-wk-old Hy-Line W-36 laying hens for 4 mo and to Hy-Line W-36 chicken primary hepatocytes with oleic acid-induced steatosis. Liver or hepatocyte lipid contents and the expression of biomarkers were then examined.Results: Plasma acetoacetyl-CoA synthetase (AACS), dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP4), glutamine synthetase (GLUL), and glutathione S-transferase (GST) concentrations are well-established biomarkers for NAFLD. Selected biomarkers had significant positive associations with hepatic lipid deposition (P < 0.001). Betaine (900 ppm in vivo; 2 mM in vitro) and DHA (1% in vivo; 100 μM in vitro) supplementation both resulted in lower steatosis accompanied by the reduced expression of selected biomarkers in vivo and in vitro (P < 0.05).Conclusion: This study used adult laying hens to identify biomarkers for NAFLD and indicated that AACS, DPP4, GLUL, and GST could be considered to be potential diagnostic

  7. Influence of temperature during growth on responses of hens to high or low temperatures during lay.

    PubMed

    Kyarisiima, C C; Balnave, D

    1996-07-01

    1. Commercial pullets were grown at cool (10 degrees -20 degrees C) or hot (25 degrees -35 degrees C) temperatures to similar bodyweights at 18 weeks of age. Between 18 and 50 weeks the birds were either kept at the same temperatures as during growth or transferred to the alternate temperature. 2. Birds kept at the cool temperatures throughout life ate most food and gave the best production during lay. Minimum food intake and poorest performance were obtained with birds kept at the hot temperatures throughout life. 3. Performance in the hot environment during lay was improved by rearing birds in the cool environment, the response being related to an increased food intake. Food intake in the cool environment during lay was reduced, with only minor effects on performance, in birds which had been reared in the hot environment. 4. The results of the present study show that production responses during lay are affected by the temperatures experienced by hens during both growth and lay.

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of stock density on the laying performance, blood parameter, corticosterone, litter quality, gas emission and bone mineral density of laying hens in floor pens

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The effects of stocking density on the performance, egg quality, leukocyte concentration, blood biochemistry, corticosterone levels, bone mineral density, and noxious gas emission of laying hens were investigated. Eight hundred 34-week-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) were randomly assigned to one of 4 treatments, each of which was replicated 4 times. Four stocking densities, including 5, 6, 7, and 10 birds/m2, were compared. A commercial-type basal diet was formulated to meet or exceed nutrient recommendations for laying hens from the National Research Council. The diet was fed to the hens ad libitum for 8 wk. Results indicated that hen-day egg production, egg mass, and feed intake were less for (P < 0.01) 10 birds/m2 stock density than other stock densities. Production rate of floor and broken eggs and eggshell strength were greater (P < 0.01) for 10 birds/m2 stock density than other stock densities. There were no significant differences in the level of leukocytes among densities. However, heterophils and the H/L ratio were greater (P < 0.01) for 10 birds/m2 than in stock density of 6 or 7 birds/m2. Serum corticosterone was greater (P < 0.01) 10 birds/m2 than stock density than other stock densities. Litter moisture and gas emission (CO2 and NH3) were greater (P < 0.01) for 10 birds/m2 than stock density than 6 and 7 birds/m2 stock density. Bone mineral content was not influenced by increasing stock density. However, bone mineral density was less (P < 0.05) for 10 m2 stock density than other stock densities. These results indicate that increasing the density beyond 5 birds/m2 elicits some negative effects on laying performance of Hy-Line brown laying hens. PMID:27578881

  10. Effects of stock density on the laying performance, blood parameter, corticosterone, litter quality, gas emission and bone mineral density of laying hens in floor pens.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    The effects of stocking density on the performance, egg quality, leukocyte concentration, blood biochemistry, corticosterone levels, bone mineral density, and noxious gas emission of laying hens were investigated. Eight hundred 34-week-old Hy-Line Brown laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus) were randomly assigned to one of 4 treatments, each of which was replicated 4 times. Four stocking densities, including 5, 6, 7, and 10 birds/m(2), were compared. A commercial-type basal diet was formulated to meet or exceed nutrient recommendations for laying hens from the National Research Council. The diet was fed to the hens ad libitum for 8 wk. Results indicated that hen-day egg production, egg mass, and feed intake were less for (P < 0.01) 10 birds/m(2) stock density than other stock densities. Production rate of floor and broken eggs and eggshell strength were greater (P < 0.01) for 10 birds/m(2) stock density than other stock densities. There were no significant differences in the level of leukocytes among densities. However, heterophils and the H/L ratio were greater (P < 0.01) for 10 birds/m(2) than in stock density of 6 or 7 birds/m(2) Serum corticosterone was greater (P < 0.01) 10 birds/m(2) than stock density than other stock densities. Litter moisture and gas emission (CO2 and NH3) were greater (P < 0.01) for 10 birds/m(2) than stock density than 6 and 7 birds/m(2) stock density. Bone mineral content was not influenced by increasing stock density. However, bone mineral density was less (P < 0.05) for 10 m(2) stock density than other stock densities. These results indicate that increasing the density beyond 5 birds/m(2) elicits some negative effects on laying performance of Hy-Line brown laying hens.

  11. 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.

  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. Failure of oestradiol administration to induce fatty liver haemorrhagic syndrome in the laying hen.

    PubMed

    Pearce, J; Johnson, A H

    1986-03-01

    Studies were carried out to investigate whether the administration of oestradiol to laying hens induced fatty liver-haemorrhagic syndrome (FLHS). Short term oestradiol administration (up to 6 d) significantly increased liver size and plasma lipid concentration but had no effect on liver lipid concentration or hepatic lipogenic enzyme activities. Longer-term hormone treatment (up to 28 d) again significantly increased liver size and plasma lipid concentration. Liver lipid concentration was substantially reduced and lipogenic enzyme activity significantly reduced in oestradiol-treated birds. These effects had some similarities to those seen in oestrogenised immature birds and were additive to the effects of endogenous oestrogen in the laying bird. There were no deaths from FLHS and oestradiol treatment did not cause liver haemorrhages or affect egg production.

  14. Effect of ambient temperature on losses of volatile nitrogen compounds from stored laying hen manure.

    PubMed

    Pratt, E V; Rose, S P; Keeling, A A

    2002-09-01

    Eight one tonne lots of laying hen manure were stored in individual, environmentally controlled chambers for 18-weeks at one of four constant temperatures: 12, 15, 20 and 25 degrees C. The losses of volatile nitrogen compounds, ammonia, and changes in dry matter and pH were measured during the storage period. There was a linear (P < 0.001) loss of nitrogen from the manure over the 18-week storage period. This loss represented approximately 60% of the initial nitrogen present in the manure. The rate of nitrogen loss increased non-linearly (P < 0.05) with increasing storage temperature. Poultry housing systems that provide low temperature storage of manure are recommended to reduce the volatile nitrogen losses from egg-laying enterprises.

  15. Diseases in chicks and laying hens during the first 12 years after battery cages were banned in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann-Bart, M; Hoop, R K

    2009-02-14

    Between 1992 and 2003, a period of 12 years after the definitive ban on battery cages in Switzerland, more than 10,000 replacement chicks and laying hens were examined postmortem. There was a significant decrease in the incidence of viral diseases, mostly due to a reduction in Marek's disease, but there was a marked increase in bacterial diseases, particularly since 1999, mainly due to colisepticaemia in young laying hens. There was a steady decrease in parasitic infections, but the incidence of non-infectious diseases varied from year to year, with no clear trends. There were no significant emerging diseases or economic losses in the alternative housing systems. Vaccination and hygiene were the most effective precautions against infections, and control strategies brought about a marked decline in notifiable diseases, especially for Salmonella Enteritidis. Fifteen years after the ban on battery cages in Switzerland, the health and egg production of laying hens is good.

  16. Comparison of bone volume and strength as measures of skeletal integrity in caged laying hens with access to perches.

    PubMed

    Hughes, B O; Wilson, S; Appleby, M C; Smith, S F

    1993-03-01

    Fractures in spent laying hens are now recognised as a major welfare problem; the objective of this work was to determine whether provision of perches for caged layers would increase bone strength, bone volume or both. Sixteen ISA Brown hens were housed from 18 to 72 weeks old in cages with perches and 16 in similar cages without perches. At the end of lay the birds' tibiotarsi were examined for strength by a three-point loading test and their tarsometatarsi for bone volume by histomorphometry. There was no significant effect of perches on tibiotarsal breaking strength. Hens from both groups showed evidence of osteoporosis, but it was more severe in the birds from conventional cages: tarsometatarsal trabecular bone volume was greater in the hens which had access to perches. A positive correlation was found between trabecular bone volume and the degree of day-time perch usage by individual hens. Provision of perches can have a slight but significant beneficial effect, at least for the leg bones, in increasing the bone volume of caged laying hens.

  17. Determination of corticosterone concentrations in egg albumen: a non-invasive indicator of stress in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Downing, J A; Bryden, W L

    2008-10-20

    Measurement of plasma corticosterone is difficult because the handling associated with blood sampling from birds is stressful. The use of non-invasive means of measuring stress could help to alleviate this problem. It was considered that the accumulation of plasma corticosterone into the egg albumen could provide a non-invasive indicator of stress in laying hens. The present study examined the relationship between plasma and egg albumen corticosterone concentrations and then determined what affect exposing hens to known stressors had on egg albumen corticosterone concentrations. Laying hens were given subcutaneous injections of either 0, 5, or 10 mg of corticosterone suspended in peanut oil and then the concentrations of corticosterone in the plasma and egg albumen determined. Also, groups of hens were handled, exposed to high ambient temperature and moved to new cages, all events known to be stress provoking, and then the concentrations of corticosterone in albumen determined. The injections increased plasma corticosterone concentrations substantially and these were directly related to the concentrations measured in the egg albumen. When hens were exposed to the various stressors, the level of corticosterone in the egg albumen increased. The corticosterone concentrations found in the egg albumen can provide a convenient non-invasive means of measuring stress in laying hens and other birds.

  18. Decreased egg production in laying hens associated with infection with genotype 3 avian hepatitis E virus strain from China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qin; Liu, Baoyuan; Sun, Yani; Du, Taofeng; Chen, Yiyang; Wang, Xinjie; Li, Huixia; Nan, Yuchen; Zhang, Gaiping; Zhou, En-Min

    2017-05-01

    To determine the relationship between decreased egg production and avian HEV infection, thirty healthy 23-week-old Hy-Line Variety Brown layer hens were randomly divided into 3 groups with 10 hens per group. Next, a genotype 3 avian HEV strain from China was used to inoculate laying hens via oronasal or intravenous routes using a 50% chicken infectious dose of 500. All hens were necropsied at 14 weeks postinoculation (wpi). Fecal virus shedding, viremia, seroconversion, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) increases and liver lesions showed that after intravenous (i.v.) and oronasal inoculation, the laying hens were successfully infected. Compared with the uninoculated group, the i.v. and oronasally inoculated groups exhibited egg production decreases at 1wpi and 2wpi, reaching peak production at 3wpi and 8wpi, respectively. In both groups, decreased production was evident for 12 weeks and overall decreases ranged from 10% to 30%. In addition, in the 7 field layer farms exhibiting decreased egg production, vaccination regimens had been completed against Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, avian influenza H9N2 and H5N1 and egg drop syndrome virus. However, circulating avian HEV was confirmed on these farms using tests to detect avian HEV IgG antibodies and RNA. Therefore, the experimental and field data indicate that avian HEV infection acting alone could account for observed decreases in egg production in laying hens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The Effects of Melatonin on the Physical Properties of Bones and Egg Shells in the Laying Hen

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Investigations into an Outbreak of Botulism Caused by Clostridium botulinum Type C/D in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Skarin, Hanna; Lindgren, Ylva; Jansson, Désirée S

    2015-06-01

    This case report describes a recent botulism outbreak in commercial laying hens with a history of increased mortality and flaccid paralysis. Routine diagnostic gross examination and microscopy from seven hens were inconclusive, but botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) in peripheral blood was neutralized with both type C and type D antitoxins in the mouse bioassay. During a farm visit, 10 additional hens from a 34-wk-old flock on the farm were selected for clinical examination and further sampling. Nine hens were observed in sternal recumbency, with flaccid paralysis of the neck, drooping wings and tail, inability to escape, and bilateral ptosis, and one hen showed nonspecific clinical signs. Samples from cecum and liver were collected, and the gene coding for BoNT was detected by PCR in all 10 cecal samples and in four of the liver samples. Clostridium botulinum mosaic type C/D was isolated from 5 out of 10 hens from either cecum or liver, and the isolates were subjected to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtyping. All five isolates produced the same banding pattern, which was identical or showed >90% similarity to isolates from three different outbreaks on broiler farms in Sweden and Denmark during the 2007-10 period. However, they were clearly distinguishable from the predominantly reported pulsotype associated with avian botulism outbreaks in Europe. The authors are unaware of any previous report of C. botulinum mosaic type C/D isolates from laying hens.

  1. 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.

  2. Performance comparison of laying hens segregating for the frizzle gene under thermoneutral and high ambient temperatures.

    PubMed

    Zerjal, T; Gourichon, D; Rivet, B; Bordas, A

    2013-06-01

    The effect on thermotolerance of the incompletely dominant frizzle (F) gene, which causes feather curling and feather mass reduction, was investigated in 281 laying hens that were homozygous for the frizzle mutation (FF), heterozygous (FN), or normally feathered (NN). One-half of the birds were kept under standard conditions (22°C) and half were exposed to high ambient temperatures (32°C) between 24 and 46 wk of age. Egg production, egg quality, feed efficiency, and dissection traits were recorded and compared. At standard conditions, egg production and quality traits did not differ among the 3 genotypes, whereas feed efficiency was lower for the homozygous birds. Under heat stress conditions, the superiority of the FF hens was evident for all egg quantity and quality traits. No significant difference was measured between heterozygous carriers and normally feathered hens, indicating that the incomplete dominant frizzle mutation behaved as a recessive mutation regarding heat tolerance. From this study, we deduced that the F mutation in its homozygous state has a beneficial effect in decreasing heat stress in poultry production, and it could be particularly advantageous in tropical countries where average temperatures are never too low to negatively affect feed efficiency.

  3. Elevated testosterone during meiotic segregation stimulates laying hens to produce more sons than daughters.

    PubMed

    Pinson, Sara E; Wilson, Jeanna L; Navara, Kristen J

    2011-11-01

    Biases in avian sex ratios have been documented in relation to a variety of social and environmental conditions. Previous studies suggest that treatment with hormones can stimulate females to manipulate offspring sex, and that this effect occurs before ovulation. For example, acute and chronic treatments with testosterone stimulated significant skews towards male offspring. Hormones may act by influencing which sex chromosome is donated by the heterogametic female bird into the oocyte. However, it is difficult to pinpoint when effects of testosterone on offspring sex occurred in previous experiments because testosterone treatments were given either chronically over the entire period of follicular development or many hours before the critical period of chromosome segregation. We injected laying hens with testosterone injections 5 h prior to ovulation to target this critical period and quantified the sexes of the subsequently ovulated eggs. We hypothesized that an injection of testosterone coincident with segregation of sex chromosomes would stimulate hens to produce more male than female offspring. As hypothesized, hens injected with testosterone produced a significant bias towards male offspring compared to controls, nearly 70%. These results suggest that acute testosterone elevation during meiotic segregation may mediate skews in avian primary sex ratios.

  4. Quality of eggs from different laying hen production systems, from indigenous breeds and specialty eggs.

    PubMed

    Lordelo, M; Fernandes, E; Bessa, R J B; Alves, S P

    2016-11-02

    Consumers are concerned about the quality of commercially available eggs. Eggs used in this study were marketed in Portugal and originated from laying hens raised in cages, barns, free-range, organic eggs, and eggs enriched with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and from native Portuguese breeds. The eggs were analyzed for chemical and physical properties. Results indicated that yolk color was lighter in organic eggs and darker in n-3 PUFA enriched eggs. Eggs from caged hens had lower Haugh units in contrast with organic eggs. Caged hens produced eggs with a higher protein content while organic eggs had the lowest level of protein in the albumen. As might be expected, eggs enriched in n-3 PUFA had the highest n-3 PUFA content. Choosing an egg by its production system or labeling specificities may not be a guarantee of superior product quality. The layer genotype, age, diet, and the quality of the range also may affect egg properties. Due to a different layer diet, enriched eggs seem to be of superior quality.

  5. Impacts of Limestone Multi-particle Size on Production Performance, Egg Shell Quality, and Egg Quality in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Guo, X. Y.; Kim, I. H.

    2012-01-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of single or multi-particle size limestone on the egg shell quality, egg production, egg quality and feed intake in laying hens. A total of 280 laying hens (ISA brown) were used in this 10-wk trial. Laying hens were randomly assigned to 4 treatments with 14 replications per treatment and 5 adjacent cages as a replication (hens were caged individually). The experimental treatments were: i) L, basal diet+10% large particle limestone; ii) LS1, basal diet+8% large particle limestone+2% small particle limestone; iii) LS2, basal diet+6% large particle limestone+4% small particle limestone; iv) S, basal diet+10% small particle limestone. The egg production was unaffected by dietary treatments. The egg weight in S treatment was lighter than other treatments (p<0.05). The egg specific gravity in S treatment was lower than other treatments (p<0.05). The eggshell strength and eggshell thickness in S treatment were decreased when compared with other dietary treatments (p<0.05). The laying hens in LS1 and LS2 treatment had a higher average feed intake than the other two treatments (p<0.05). Collectively, the dietary multi-particle size limestone supplementation could be as efficient as large particle size limestone. PMID:25049635

  6. Impacts of Limestone Multi-particle Size on Production Performance, Egg Shell Quality, and Egg Quality in Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Guo, X Y; Kim, I H

    2012-06-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of single or multi-particle size limestone on the egg shell quality, egg production, egg quality and feed intake in laying hens. A total of 280 laying hens (ISA brown) were used in this 10-wk trial. Laying hens were randomly assigned to 4 treatments with 14 replications per treatment and 5 adjacent cages as a replication (hens were caged individually). The experimental treatments were: i) L, basal diet+10% large particle limestone; ii) LS1, basal diet+8% large particle limestone+2% small particle limestone; iii) LS2, basal diet+6% large particle limestone+4% small particle limestone; iv) S, basal diet+10% small particle limestone. The egg production was unaffected by dietary treatments. The egg weight in S treatment was lighter than other treatments (p<0.05). The egg specific gravity in S treatment was lower than other treatments (p<0.05). The eggshell strength and eggshell thickness in S treatment were decreased when compared with other dietary treatments (p<0.05). The laying hens in LS1 and LS2 treatment had a higher average feed intake than the other two treatments (p<0.05). Collectively, the dietary multi-particle size limestone supplementation could be as efficient as large particle size limestone.

  7. 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

  8. Assessment of the effect of housing on feather damage in laying hens using IR thermography.

    PubMed

    Pichová, K; Bilčík, B; Košt'ál, L'

    2017-04-01

    Plumage damage represents one of the animal-based measures of laying hens welfare. Damage occurs predominantly due to age, environment and damaging pecking. IR thermography, due to its non-invasiveness, objectivity and repeatability is a promising alternative to feather damage scoring systems such as the system included in the Welfare Quality ® assessment protocol for poultry. The aim of this study was to apply IR thermography for the assessment of feather damage in laying hens kept in two housing systems and to compare the results with feather scoring. At the start of the experiment, 16-week-old laying hens (n=30) were divided into two treatments such as deep litter pen and enriched cage. During 4 months, feather damage was assessed regularly in 2-week intervals. One more single assessment was done nine and a half months after the start of the experiment. The feather damage on four body regions was assessed by scoring and IR thermography: head and neck, back and rump, belly, and underneck and breast. Two variables obtained by IR thermography were used: the difference between the body surface temperature and ambient temperature (ΔTB) and the proportion of featherless areas, which were defined as areas with a temperature >33.5°C. Data were analyzed using a GLM model. The effects of housing, time, region and their interactions on feather damage, measured by the feather scoring and by both IR thermography measures, were all significant (P<0.001). The ΔTB in all assessed regions correlated positively with the feather score. Feather scoring revealed higher damage in enriched cages compared with deep litter pens starting from week 6 of the experiment on the belly and back and rump regions, whereas ΔTB from week 6 in the belly and from week 8 on the back and rump region. The proportion of featherless areas in the belly region differed significantly between the housings from week 8 of the experiment and on the back and rump region from week 12. The IR thermography

  9. Succession and Replacement of Bacterial Populations in the Caecum of Egg Laying Hens over Their Whole Life

    PubMed Central

    Videnska, Petra; Sedlar, Karel; Lukac, Maja; Faldynova, Marcela; Gerzova, Lenka; Cejkova, Darina; Sisak, Frantisek; Rychlik, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    In this study we characterised the development of caecal microbiota in egg laying hens over their commercial production lifespan, from the day of hatching until 60 weeks of age. Using pyrosequencing of V3/V4 variable regions of 16S rRNA genes for microbiota characterisation, we were able to define 4 different stages of caecal microbiota development. The first stage lasted for the first week of life and was characterised by a high prevalence of Enterobacteriaceae (phylum Proteobacteria). The second stage lasted from week 2 to week 4 and was characterised by nearly an absolute dominance of Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae (both phylum Firmicutes). The third stage lasted from month 2 to month 6 and was characterised by the succession of Firmicutes at the expense of Bacteroidetes. The fourth stage was typical for adult hens in full egg production aged 7 months or more and was characterised by a constant ratio of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes formed by equal numbers of the representatives of both phyla. PMID:25501990

  10. 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.

  11. Intestinal and eggshell calbindin, and bone ash of laying hens as influenced by age and molting.

    PubMed

    Yosefi, Sara; Braw-Tal, Ruth; Bar, Arie

    2003-11-01

    A series of trials was conducted in order to study the effects of age and molt on intestinal and eggshell gland (ESG) calbindin, and on bone ash. For this purpose an ELISA for chicken calbindin was developed. Age did not significantly affect duodenal or ESG calbindin. Bone ash increased (but not significantly in this study) from 8 to 16 months of age. During molt induction, egg laying was arrested, duodenal and ESG calbindin almost completely disappeared and ovary mass, plasma estradiol and total calcium (Ca) decreased markedly, whereas bone ash and body mass (BW) decreased moderately. During the non-laying period that followed the feed withdrawal period, duodenal and ESG calbindin remained low, whereas plasma estradiol and other estrogen-dependent variables, such as plasma total Ca and bone ash, increased slightly. At the onset of egg production following molting, duodenal and ESG calbindin levels were similar to pre molt level. Bone ash was higher than at the pre molt period. Body mass, small yellow follicles, ovary and oviduct mass and plasma estradiol were lower than their values prior to molt induction. Bone ash contents in the molted hens at the ages of 583 and 820 days were similar to or even slightly higher than those in the non-molted hens, whereas duodenal and ESG calbindin were not significantly different. These results suggest that the improvement of shell quality in the molted birds does not involve mechanisms associated with calbindin synthesis.

  12. 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.

  13. Corticosterone regulation of ovarian follicular development is dependent on the energy status of laying hens

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiao-Juan; Li, Yan; Song, Qun-Qing; Guo, Ying-Ying; Jiao, Hong-Chao; Song, Zhi-Gang; Lin, Hai

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids participate in the arousal of stress responses and trigger physiological adjustments that shift energy away from reproduction toward survival. Ovarian follicular development in avians is accompanied by the supply of yolk precursors, which are mainly synthesized in the liver. Therefore, we hypothesized energy status and hepatic lipogenesis are involved in the induction of reproductive disorders by glucocorticoids in laying hens. The results show that corticosterone decreased the laying performance by suppressing follicular development in energy-deficit state, rather than in energy-sufficient state. In corticosterone-treated hens, the suppressed follicular development was associated with the reduced availability of yolk precursor, indicated by the plasma concentration of VLDL and vitellogenin and the decreased proportion of yolk-targeted VLDL (VLDLy). Corticosterone decreased the expression of apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein VLDL-II in the liver. A drop in VLDL receptor content and an increase in the expression of tight junction proteins occludin and claudin1 were also observed in hierarchical follicles. The results suggest corticosterone-suppressed follicular development is energy dependent. The decreased apolipoprotein synthesis and VLDLy secretion by liver are responsible for the decreased availability of circulating yolk precursor, and the upregulation of occludin and claudin expression further prevents yolk deposition into oocytes. PMID:23599356

  14. Corticosterone regulation of ovarian follicular development is dependent on the energy status of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Juan; Li, Yan; Song, Qun-Qing; Guo, Ying-Ying; Jiao, Hong-Chao; Song, Zhi-Gang; Lin, Hai

    2013-07-01

    Glucocorticoids participate in the arousal of stress responses and trigger physiological adjustments that shift energy away from reproduction toward survival. Ovarian follicular development in avians is accompanied by the supply of yolk precursors, which are mainly synthesized in the liver. Therefore, we hypothesized energy status and hepatic lipogenesis are involved in the induction of reproductive disorders by glucocorticoids in laying hens. The results show that corticosterone decreased the laying performance by suppressing follicular development in energy-deficit state, rather than in energy-sufficient state. In corticosterone-treated hens, the suppressed follicular development was associated with the reduced availability of yolk precursor, indicated by the plasma concentration of VLDL and vitellogenin and the decreased proportion of yolk-targeted VLDL (VLDLy). Corticosterone decreased the expression of apolipoprotein B and apolipoprotein VLDL-II in the liver. A drop in VLDL receptor content and an increase in the expression of tight junction proteins occludin and claudin1 were also observed in hierarchical follicles. The results suggest corticosterone-suppressed follicular development is energy dependent. The decreased apolipoprotein synthesis and VLDLy secretion by liver are responsible for the decreased availability of circulating yolk precursor, and the upregulation of occludin and claudin expression further prevents yolk deposition into oocytes.

  15. Egg-shell deposition and blood plasma inorganic phosphorus concentration in individual laying hens.

    PubMed

    Gunaratne, S P; Boorman, K N

    1996-03-01

    1. The relationship between plasma inorganic phosphorus measured at the end of the dark period and the weight of the next egg shell produced was investigated in 30 Hisex Brown hens. 2. Hens received an adequate conventional layers' diet and the lighting pattern was conventional (17 L: 7 D). Observations were made early (31 to 40 weeks) and late (62 to 68 weeks of age) in the laying period. 3. Eggs were classified by position in the clutch sequence and significant negative correlations were found between shell weights of early eggs in the sequence and plasma phosphate at the end of the dark period. 4. No significant trends were found in plasma total calcium. 5. No significant differences were found in bone compositions of birds producing consistently more or less than average shell weight during the laying period. 6. The negative correlations between plasma phosphate and shell weight are consistent with the observations of Sauveur and Mongin (1983) and show that impairment of shell deposition is associated with skeletal mobilisation as indicated by increase in plasma phosphate. This is consistent with the observations on bone composition and indicates that selection for shell quality will tend to select birds which are not dependent on excessive skeletal mobilisation during shell formation.

  16. Effect of dietary factors on serum and egg yolk cholesterol levels of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Sim, J S; Bragg, D B

    1977-09-01

    Effects of dietary lipid factors (saturated and unsaturated oil, cholesterol and plant sterols) on the serum and egg yolk cholesterol levels of the laying hen were investigated. Single Comb White Leghorn laying hens, at thirty weeks of age, were used in two trials by feeding two basal diets containing 8.0% hydrogenated coconut oil or safflower oil, with or without supplemental cholesterol (1.0%), soysterols (2.0%) or combinations of both. Safflower oil, per se, had a superior property to hydrogenated coconut oil in suppressing cholesterol levels, in both serum and egg yolk. Cholesterol supplementation to the safflower oil basal diet resulted in a significant (P less than 0.01) elevation of serum and egg yolk cholesterol levels, whereas cholesterol in combination with hydrogenated coconut oil did not change the serum level. Cholesterol lowering effect of soysterols was clearly demonstrated in both serum and egg yolk by feeding soysterols alone as well as by feeding soysterols in combination with cholesterol.

  17. Comparisons of permethrin formulations and application methods for northern fowl mite control on caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Arthur, F H; Axtell, R C

    1982-05-01

    Formulations of permethrin (Ectiban), a synthetic pyrethroid, as an emulsifiable concentrate (EC), wettable powder (WP), and dust were nearly equally effective for 9 or more weeks for control of the northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini and Fanzago), on caged laying hens under environmentally controlled conditions. The permethrin was applied to the vent area as .05% active ingredient (AI) spray of the diluted EC or WP at 40 ml per bird, .1% AI mist of the diluted EC at 20 ml per bird, and 4.5 g per bird of the .25% AI dust. Dilute sprays of .05% permethrin prepared from the EC and WP and applied at 40 ml per bird were more effective in a commercial caged-laying hen house for northern fowl mite control than were .5% sprays of tetrachlorvinphos (Rabon), Ravap, and carbaryl (Sevin). Satisfactory mite control was obtained with .6% permethrin prepared from the EC and misted at the rate of 2.5 ml per bird. Low volume, high concentration misting of permethrin was a promising method for mite control with satisfactory control achieved with .2% AI at 5 ml per bird and .6% AI at 2.5 ml per bird.

  18. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. Metabolizable energy value of conjugated linoleic acid for broiler chicks and laying hens.

    PubMed

    Sell, J L; Jin, S; Jeffrey, M

    2001-02-01

    Two experiments with broiler chicks and one experiment with laying hens were conducted to determine the MEn value of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). In Experiment 1, for 8 d, 16-d-old chicks were fed diets in which 4, 8, or 12% of CLA Source A or 4, 8, or 12% of soybean oil (SO) was substituted for glucose. Dietary MEn increased linearly (P < or = 0.001) with increments of CLA Source A or SO. Regression analysis relating increases in dietary MEn and increments of the dietary fat sources showed that the MEn values of CLA Source A and SO, when evaluated separately, were 7,419 and 8,429 kcal/kg, respectively. In Experiment 2, feed was withheld from laying hens for 38 h and then the hens were force-fed diets containing 15% glucose, 15% CLA Source A, or 15% SO (two feedings of 30 g each). Excreta samples were collected for 36 h after the last feeding. The MEn values obtained for CLA Source A and SO were 8,517 and 8,437 kcal/kg, respectively. The MEn of CLA Source B (higher in unsaturated fatty acids than CLA Source A) was determined in Experiment 3 by feeding diets containing 4, 8, or 12% CLA Source B to 14-d-old chicks. Increases in dietary MEn with increments of CLA Source B were curvilinear, with resulting MEn of 9,375 to 9,588 kcal/kg of fat when CLA Source B was fed at 4 or 8% of the diet and 7,917 kcal/kg when fed at 12% of the diet. Results of this research show that CLA sources can contribute substantial energy to diets, but the MEn value of CLA sources for young chicks varies with fatty acid composition and dietary concentration.

  20. Effects of two different probiotics on microflora, morphology, and morphometry of gut in organic laying hens.

    PubMed

    Forte, C; Acuti, G; Manuali, E; Casagrande Proietti, P; Pavone, S; Trabalza-Marinucci, M; Moscati, L; Onofri, A; Lorenzetti, C; Franciosini, M P

    2016-11-01

    The current study investigated the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bacillus subtilis, used as probiotics, on the microflora, morphology, and morphometry of the gut in organic laying hens. The birds (180 Hy-Line laying hens) were divided into 3 homogenous groups and received a pre-deposition diet from 16 to 20 wk of age and a deposition diet for the remaining 7 months of the experiment. The control group ( CTR: ) was fed a corn-soybean cake-based diet, the second group ( L: ) received the same diet supplemented with 0.1% of L. acidophilus while in the third group ( B: ) the basal diet was supplemented with 0.05% of B. subtilis At 18 wk of age ( T1: ) and at 5 ( T2: ) and 7 months ( T3: ) from the beginning of deposition, 9 subjects per group were humanely killed for microbiological, morphological and morphometric analyses of the intestinal tract. The 2 probiotic-supplemented diets increased Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. counts compared with the CTR diet. The lowest viable counts of E. coli, coliforms and staphylococci were observed in the L group (P < 0.001). Clostridium spp. decreased (P < 0.001) in both L and B subjects. The probiotic supplementation appeared to affect the intestinal microbial population, promoting the presence of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. and reducing potential harmful bacteria such as E. coli, clostridia and staphylococci. Morphological and morphometric analyses did not reveal substantial differences among groups. At T3, the plasma cell infiltrate in the villi of the CTR hens was more severe than that observed in the L and B groups (P = 0.009).

  1. Effects of reduced calcium and phosphorous diets supplemented with phytase on laying performance of hens.

    PubMed

    Ziaei, N; Shivazad, M; Mirhadi, S A; Gerami, A

    2009-05-15

    The aim of this experiment was to examine the potential for reduced environmental impact by reducing dietary calcium and phosphorus content and phytase addition of laying hen diets. A randomized complete block design with a 2x2x2 factorial arrangement of 8 dietary treatments: 2 levels ofphytase (0 and 300 FTU kg(-1)) and 2 mineral levels (Ca: 34/18 and NPP: 3.2/2.2 g kg(-1), respectively). A total of 240 White Leghorn (WL) layers, 25 weeks of age were used. Considering birds in 12 cages as a replicate, 5 such replicates were randomly allotted to each dietary treatment. Individual body weight of the bird was recorded at the beginning and end of the experiment. Egg production on an individual basis was recorded daily and percentage hen day egg production was calculated. The cleaned eggshells were dried for 24 h, weighed and expressed as percentage of whole egg. One bird from each experimental unit were selected at random and killed by cervical dislocation at the end of the experiment and the left tibia was removed. Dried bone samples were ashed at 680 degrees C for 12 h for estimation of bone ash. The results of this experiment showed that reducing Ca and NPP (Non-Phytate Phosphorus) without phytase decreased BWG (Body Weight Gain), feed intake, FCE (Feed Conversion Efficiency), egg production, egg shell weight and tibia ash. However, phytase addition to low mineral diets completely corrected the adverse effects associated with low dietary Ca and NPP. It can therefore be concluded that reducing levels of Ca and NPP below current standards and phytase supplementation can reduce pollution potential from laying hen production without adversely affecting bird performance or welfare.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Choice feeding of selenium-deficient laying hens affects diet selection, selenium intake and body weight.

    PubMed

    Zuberbuehler, Christine A; Messikommer, Ruth E; Wenk, Caspar

    2002-11-01

    Inadequate selenium (Se) supply often in combination with low vitamin E status causes deficiency symptoms in many species. It is likely that a vague discomfort or sickness is perceived before clear deficiency signs become apparent. We investigated whether Se-deficient hens reduce their Se deficit by selecting a diet containing more selenium when offered two diets with different Se concentrations. A Low-Se diet (0.07 mg Se/kg) was supplemented with Se-enriched yeast (Sel-Plex 50) to produce Medium-Se (0.20 mg Se/kg) and High-Se (1.50 mg Se/kg) diets. Each of two consecutive study parts (I and II) with the same hens and treatments began with a 6-wk baseline period (Medium-Se diet), subsequently followed a 9-wk depletion period (Low-Se diet or Medium-Se diet), then a 6-wk choice feeding period in which two diets with different Se concentrations (Low-Se and Medium-Se, Medium-Se and High-Se, or Low-Se and High-Se) were offered. A control group received the Medium-Se diet throughout the study. Daily Se intake, calculated from daily feed intake, followed similar patterns in both parts of the study, but Se-deficient hens preferred (P < 0.05) the High-Se diet to the Low-Se diet during the first 3 wk of choice feeding only in part I. We conclude that young Se-deficient laying hens reduce their Se deficit if they have a choice between a Low-Se and a High-Se diet by preferentially selecting the High-Se diet, possibly based on learned place preference and/or learned taste aversion to the Low-Se diet, presumably in response to discomfort due to Se-deficiency.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Laying performance, digestibility and plasma hormones in laying hens exposed to chronic heat stress as affected by betaine, vitamin C, and/or vitamin E supplementation.

    PubMed

    Attia, Youssef A; Abd El-Hamid, Abd El-Hamid E; Abedalla, Ahmed A; Berika, Marfat A; Al-Harthi, Mohammed A; Kucuk, Osman; Sahin, Kazim; Abou-Shehema, Baha M

    2016-01-01

    Heat stress had a negative effect on laying hens' performance, thus this research was to study the influences of betaine (Bet, 1000 mg/kg betaine), vitamin C (VC, 200 mg/kg ascorbic acid), and vitamin E (VE, 150 mg/kg α-Tocopherol acetate) and their possible combinations on egg production, digestibility of nutrients, plasma hormones and reproductive organs of dual-purpose hens exposed to chronic heat stress. Two hundred and eighty eight hens and thirty-six cocks from 32 to 48 weeks of age were divided into nine treatment groups of four replicates, each containing eight hens and one cock. One group was kept under thermo-natural condition and the eight others were kept under chronic heat stress (CHS). One of these eight was used as a negative control, while the others were supplemented with VC, VE and/or betaine and their possible combinations. Body weights, laying rate, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio in hens reared under CHS rooster without any supplementation during 32 to 48 weeks of impairment (P = 0.0052) were recorded. Hens reared under heat stress and fed a diet supplemented with either Bet, VC, VE or combination of the supplements increased production traits. However, hens supplemented with VC showed the greatest production traits. Plasma glucose, estradiol-17 (E2), progesterone (P4), tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) decreased in hens reared under CHS and fed a diet with no supplementation compared to the other treatments (P = 0.001). Liver weights, spleen weights, thyroid gland weights, ovary weights, oviduct weights and oviduct lengths were lowest in hens reared under CHS and fed a diet with no supplementation (P = 0.0480). In conclusion, dual purpose hens reared under CHS and supplemented with VC at 200 mg/kg diet and Bet at 1000 mg/kg enhanced the laying performance and combated CHS.

  8. Effect of hens fed dietary flaxseed with and without a fatty liver supplement on hepatic, plasma and production characteristics relevant to fatty liver haemorrhagic syndrome in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Schumann, B E; Squires, E J; Leeson, S; Hunter, B

    2003-05-01

    1. Two long-term experiments were conducted with Single Comb White Leghorn (SCWL) hens (line UCD-003) predisposed to fatty liver haemorrhagic syndrome (FLHS). The first investigated the effect of adding a fatty liver supplement to the diet of laying hens prior to the onset of lay, and continuing either until peak production or throughout 39 weeks into lay. The second experiment, lasting 9 months into lay, investigated the effect of adding a fatty liver supplement, with or without 100 g/kg dietary ground flaxseed, to the diet. Body weight, feed intake, plasma triglycerides (in experiment 2) and egg production were measured throughout the experiment. Liver weight, liver fat content, liver malondialdehyde (MDA) content and liver haemorrhage score and fatty acid content of liver fat (in experiment 2) were measured at the end of each experiment. 2. In experiment 1, hens given diets containing the fatty liver supplement had higher egg production and eggshell strength, but there was no difference in liver parameters including MDA content or haemorrhage score compared with controls. 3. At the end of experiment 2, hens on 100 g/kg flaxseed diets had lower body weight, liver weight, liver dry matter and fat content, and plasma triglyceride concentrations than hens given the control diets. 4. Liver haemorrhage score was positively correlated with liver weight, but not with liver fat content, plasma triglyceride concentration or liver MDA content. This suggests that reducing the liver lipid content or feeding fatty liver supplements may not be as effective in controlling FLHS as controlling the size of the liver.

  9. Validation of the effects of small differences in dietary metabolizable energy and feed restriction in first-cycle laying hens.

    PubMed

    Murugesan, G R; Persia, M E

    2013-05-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate energy utilization of laying hens fed diets containing 2 ME concentrations, using response criteria including performance, BW, abdominal fat pad, and energy digestibility. The experiment was a 2 × 2 factorial with 2 feeding regimens (ad libitum and restriction fed), and 2 dietary ME levels [2,880 kcal/kg of ME (CON); and 2,790 kcal/kg of ME (LME)]. A total of 60 Hy-Line W36 first-cycle laying hens were fed experimental diets, resulting in 15 individually caged hens for each of the 4 treatments. Hens in the restriction-fed group were fed 90 g of feed per day. The CON diet was formulated to meet or exceed the NRC (1994) recommendations with 2,880 kcal/kg, whereas the LME diet was similar with the exception of a 90 kcal/kg reduction in ME. Hens were fed experimental diets for 12 wk from hen 28 to 39 wk of age. Hen day egg production, weekly feed intake, and every 2 wk, egg weights and egg mass were recorded, whereas hen BW was measured every 4 wk. Excreta samples were collected over the last 5 d of experiment to determine AMEn. Abdominal fat pads were measured individually for all hens at the end of experiment. There were no interactions between feeding regimens and dietary ME levels throughout the experiment. Feed restriction resulted in reductions (P ≤ 0.01) in hen day egg production, BW, and abdominal fat pad, indicating reduced nutrient availability to partition toward production, maintenance, and storage functions. The reduction in energy intake between CON and LME fed birds (90 kcal/kg) did not change the energy partitioned toward production or maintenance, but reduced (P = 0.03) the energy stored (reduced fat pad) of LME-fed hens. These results suggest that energy is used following the pattern of production and maintenance before storage requirements and that fat pad (energy storage) may be the most sensitive indicator of dietary energy status over short-term in Hy-Line W36 laying hens.

  10. Effects of increasing supplementation of magnesium in diets on productive performance and eggshell quality of aged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Kim, Chan Ho; Paik, In Kee; Kil, Dong Yong

    2013-01-01

    Magnesium (Mg) concentrations in diets have been associated with performance and eggshell quality of laying hens, but the results have been inconclusive. In this experiment, the effects of increasing concentrations of dietary Mg on productive performance and eggshell quality of aged laying hens were evaluated. A total of 640 Hy-Line Brown laying hens of 72 weeks of age were randomly allotted to one of four dietary treatments with four replicates per treatment. A commercial-type basal diet containing 1.6 g/kg Mg was prepared, and three additional diets were prepared to contain 2.3, 2.6, or 3.0 g/kg Mg in diets by adding 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 g of MgO to the basal diet. The diets were fed to hens ad libitum for 5 weeks. Results indicated that Mg concentrations in eggshells were increased (linear, P < 0.01) with increasing concentrations of Mg in diets. Increasing concentrations of Mg in diets decreased (linear and quadratic, P < 0.01) broken and shell-less egg production, but improved (linear, P < 0.05) eggshell strength. Feed intake was decreased (linear, P < 0.05) with the concentrations of Mg in diets, but hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed conversion ratio, and Haugh unit were not affected by increasing concentrations of Mg in diets. Hunter L* and a* values of eggshell were decreased (linear, P < 0.05) as the concentrations of Mg in diets increased. In conclusion, feeding aged laying hens with diets containing increasing concentrations of Mg up to 3.0 g/kg improves eggshell strength, but has no detrimental effects on laying performance.

  11. Isolation of Salmonella enterica in laying-hen flocks and assessment of eggshell contamination in France.

    PubMed

    Chemaly, Marianne; Huneau-Salaün, Adeline; Labbe, Annie; Houdayer, Catherine; Petetin, Isabelle; Fravalo, Philippe

    2009-10-01

    The present investigation was conducted in conjunction with the European Union baseline study for the estimation of Salmonella prevalence in laying-hen flocks. It aimed at evaluating eggshell contamination in farms positive for Salmonella, characterizing the genetic patterns of Salmonella strains and identifying the factors associated with Salmonella contamination of eggshells. For this purpose, a total of 4,200 eggs were collected from 28 positive flocks and analyzed according to draft Annex D of International Organization for Standardization Method 6579. Molecular characterization of the Salmonella strains was obtained by the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis method with two restriction enzymes, XbaI and BlnI. The relationship between the presence of Salmonella on eggshells and rearing practices was studied by using multiple correspondence analysis. Results showed that 39.3% of the positive flocks had at least one positive eggshell, with a total of 1.05% of eggshells testing positive for Salmonella. We detected the same serovars on samples taken from the farm and from eggshells within a given flock, with isolates sharing the same genetic pattern in 7 of 11 flocks. Eggshells tested positive for Salmonella in flocks (i) located where delivery trucks pass near air entrances of the poultry house, (ii) with high holding capacity (>30,000 laying hens), and (iii) with more than five positive samples coming from the farm environment, as well as in cases of flocks with a maximum egg-laying rate of >96% and in cases where farmers worked in other animal production. This study provided valuable information that could be used for risk management and risk assessment studies.

  12. 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.

  13. Contamination of eggs by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    Both epidemiologic analyses and active disease surveillance confirm an ongoing strong association between human salmonellosis and the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Enteritidis in commercial egg flocks. The majority of human illnesses caused by this pathogen are attributed to the consumption of contaminated eggs. Animal welfare concerns have increasingly influenced commercial poultry production practices in recent years, but the food safety implications of different housing systems for egg-laying hens are not definitively understood. The present study assessed the effects of 2 different housing systems (conventional cages and colony cages enriched with perching and nesting areas) on the frequency of Salmonella Enteritidis contamination inside eggs laid by experimentally infected laying hens. In each of 2 trials, groups of laying hens housed in each cage system were orally inoculated with doses of 1.0 × 10(8) cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis. All eggs laid between 5 and 25 d postinoculation were collected and cultured to detect internal contamination with Salmonella Enteritidis. For both trials combined, Salmonella Enteritidis was recovered from 3.97% of eggs laid by hens in conventional cages and 3.58% of eggs laid by hens in enriched cages. No significant differences (P > 0.05) in the frequency of egg contamination were observed between the 2 housing systems.

  14. Effects of dietary red pepper on egg yolk colour and histological intestinal morphology in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lokaewmanee, K; Yamauchi, K; Okuda, N

    2013-10-01

    To evaluate the effect of three kinds of red pepper supplementation 'Kagawa Hontaka' produced at Shiwaku Islands (KHS), Miki (KHM) and Takanotsume (TKT) on production performance, egg quality and intestinal histology in laying hens. A total of 32 laying hens (39 weeks of age) were randomly allotted to four groups, each comprising eight hens. Birds were fed a basal diet supplemented with red pepper at 0% (control), 0.5% KHS, 0.5% KHM and 0.5% TKT, respectively. Compared with the control group, no significant difference (p > 0.05) in feed consumption, final body weight, hen-day production, egg mass, feed efficiency, shell-breaking strength, shell thickness, shell ratio, albumen ratio, yolk ratio and Haugh units was observed among the experimental groups. Roche yolk colour fan (RYCF) value increased significantly in all experimental groups (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the KHS and KHM groups showed higher RYCF values than the TKT group (p < 0.05). Spectrophotometric measurements of yolk colour, redness (a*) and yellow index (YI) values were higher in the KHS and KHM groups (p < 0.0001). The yellowness (b*) value was lower in the TKT group (p < 0.05). The lightness (L*) value was lower in the KHS and KHM groups (p < 0.05). Villus height, villus area, cell area and cell mitosis in all intestinal segments tended to be higher in all experimental groups. Jejunal cell area and cell mitosis were higher in experimental groups than in the control group (p < 0.05). The cells on the villus tip surface were protuberated in all experimental groups. In conclusion, the KHS, KHM and TKT groups showed hypertrophied intestinal villi and epithelial cell functions. These results indicate that dietary red pepper has stimulating effect on intestinal villi and the structure of epithelial cells, and the 0.5% KHS and KHM groups improved in egg yolk colour. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  15. Effect of dietary protein sources on production performance, egg quality, and plasma parameters of laying hens

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaocui; Zhang, Haijun; Wang, Hao; Wang, Jing; Wu, Shugeng; Qi, Guanghai

    2017-01-01

    Objective This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary protein sources (soybean meal, SBM; low-gossypol cottonseed meal, LCSM; double-zero rapeseed meal, DRM) on laying performance, egg quality, and plasma parameters of laying hens. Methods A total of 432 32-wk-old laying hens were randomly divided into 6 treatments with 6 replicates of 12 birds each. The birds were fed diets containing SBM, LCSM100, or DRM100 individually or in combination with an equal amount of crude protein (CP) (LCSM50, DRM50, and LCSM50-DRM50). The experimental diets, which were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 11.11 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 16.5%), had similar digestible amino acid profile. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks. Results The daily egg mass was decreased in the LCSM100 and LCSM50-DRM50 groups (p<0.05) in weeks 41 to 44. The LCSM50 group did not affect egg production compared to the SBM group in weeks 41 to 44 (p>0.05) and showed increased yolk color at the end of the trial (p<0.05). Compared to the SBM group, the LCSM100 and LCSM50-DRM50 groups showed decreased albumen weight (p<0.05), CP weight in the albumen (p<0.05) and CP weight in the whole egg (p<0.05) at 44 weeks. Plasma total protein (TP) levels were lower in the LCSM100 group than in the SBM group at 44 weeks (p<0.05); however, TP, albumin, and globulin levels were not significantly different between the LCSM50 group and the SBM group or between the DRM50 group and the SBM group (p>0.05). Conclusion Together, our results suggest that the LCSM100 or DRM100 diets may produce the adverse effects on laying performance and egg quality after feeding for 8 more weeks. The 100.0 g/kg LCSM diet or the148.7 g/kg DRM diet has no adverse effects on laying performance and egg quality. PMID:27608634

  16. Effect of dietary protein sources on production performance, egg quality, and plasma parameters of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaocui; Zhang, Haijun; Wang, Hao; Wang, Jing; Wu, Shugeng; Qi, Guanghai

    2017-03-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary protein sources (soybean meal, SBM; low-gossypol cottonseed meal, LCSM; double-zero rapeseed meal, DRM) on laying performance, egg quality, and plasma parameters of laying hens. A total of 432 32-wk-old laying hens were randomly divided into 6 treatments with 6 replicates of 12 birds each. The birds were fed diets containing SBM, LCSM100, or DRM100 individually or in combination with an equal amount of crude protein (CP) (LCSM50, DRM50, and LCSM50-DRM50). The experimental diets, which were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 11.11 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 16.5%), had similar digestible amino acid profile. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks. The daily egg mass was decreased in the LCSM100 and LCSM50-DRM50 groups (p<0.05) in weeks 41 to 44. The LCSM50 group did not affect egg production compared to the SBM group in weeks 41 to 44 (p>0.05) and showed increased yolk color at the end of the trial (p<0.05). Compared to the SBM group, the LCSM100 and LCSM50-DRM50 groups showed decreased albumen weight (p<0.05), CP weight in the albumen (p<0.05) and CP weight in the whole egg (p<0.05) at 44 weeks. Plasma total protein (TP) levels were lower in the LCSM100 group than in the SBM group at 44 weeks (p<0.05); however, TP, albumin, and globulin levels were not significantly different between the LCSM50 group and the SBM group or between the DRM50 group and the SBM group (p>0.05). Together, our results suggest that the LCSM100 or DRM100 diets may produce the adverse effects on laying performance and egg quality after feeding for 8 more weeks. The 100.0 g/kg LCSM diet or the148.7 g/kg DRM diet has no adverse effects on laying performance and egg quality.

  17. Role of loose feathers on the development of feather pecking in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, S G A; von Borell, E

    2008-05-01

    1. The effect of the presence of loose feathers (on the floor) on the behaviour and plumage condition of laying hens (Lohmann Silver, LS) was studied during the rearing and laying periods. 2. From one day old, 60 birds in each of 4 straw-bedded pens (n = 240 in total) with 6.5 birds/m(2) were either kept under conventional rearing and management conditions (CT: control group with feathers on the floor; n = 120) or in pens from which the feathers were collected from the floor 4 times/week (FR: feathers removed; n = 120). Fifty birds from each of these 4 groups (n = 200 in total) were randomly selected at the age of 16 weeks and allocated to 4 identical pens in a poultry layer house (PH; with perches and 1/3 slatted floor) with access to an outside area (winter garden, WG) at a stocking density of 6 birds/m(2) in both PH and WG. 3. Observations on feather pecking and other behaviours (feeding, drinking, preening, standing, sitting, foraging, moving and dust bathing) were carried out at 8 ages: 6, 10, 15 (rearing period), 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 weeks (laying period). Feather scoring was carried out at 15, 32 and 39 weeks of age. 4. There were no differences in feather pecking rates, forms (gentle, severe and aggressive pecks) as well as in the plumage condition between groups at the end of the rearing period. 5. Birds in the FR group exhibited lower rates and less severe feather pecking during the laying period. Accordingly, birds in the control group had worse feather condition at 32 and 39 weeks of age. Feather pecking rates within groups were, in general, greater in the afternoon compared to the morning periods. Birds in the control group were more active in walking. 6. Wings, rump, tail and back were the main targets for feather pecking. The majority of feather pecking occurred on the floor (66%) followed by feeding area (26%), perches (4%) and slats (4%). 7. Our results suggest that loose feathers on the floor may play an important role in the development and

  18. A role for plasma aromatic amino acids in injurious pecking behavior in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Birkl, Patrick; Franke, Leonora; Bas Rodenburg, T; Ellen, Ester; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra

    2017-03-30

    Injurious pecking, including feather pecking (FP), is one of the most prevalent causes of mortality for commercial laying hens. The underlying biological mechanisms of FP are not yet fully understood, but they could be related to alterations in the serotonin (5-HT) and/or dopamine (DA) circuits within the brain. In the past, the central synthesis of 5-HT and DA was found to be influenced by the availability of their precursors, aromatic amino acids (AAA) such as tryptophan (TRP), phenylalanine (PHE), and tyrosine (TYR), in blood plasma, which are transported across the blood-brain-barrier into the brain. Because knowledge about plasma levels of AAA in laying hens is very limited, the present study compared the AAA profiles of a large sample of laying hens from two genetic lines: one selected for low mortality (LM) due to injurious pecking (n=129 birds) and one high production line (HP) selected for high egg-production only (n=132 birds). Head, comb, and feather covering were scored at the end of the experiment. Blood samples were collected at weeks 24 and 29 of age and were analysed for AAA using high performance liquid chromatography. Neither FP nor feather damage was observed in the present study, but aggressive pecking directed at the head/neck area occurred in several groups with an onset of this aberrant behavior between weeks 22 and 29. Eight HP pens and seven LM pens were affected by severe head/comb injuries inflicted via aggressive pecking. Therefore, our exploratory data analysis focused upon the possible interplay between the variability of our outcome measures (absolute levels of AAA in plasma as well as the ratios PHE/TYR and TRP/(PHE+TYR)) and the aggressive head/comb pecking as an expression of social stress within the pens. We found significantly lower TRP availability relative to PHE and TYR (TRP/(PHE+TYR) ratio) and higher TYR concentrations at week 24 in pens with an early onset of injurious aggressive behavior at weeks 22-23. This was most

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Survival of Campylobacter jejuni in naturally and artificially contaminated laying hen feces.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, M F M; Schulz, J; Hartung, J

    2013-02-01

    Infected laying hens regularly excrete large amounts of Campylobacter jejuni with their feces, which represent a reservoir of infection within the flock and for animals in the region. However, the knowledge about survival times of C. jejuni in these feces is still scarce. Therefore, orienting laboratory experiments were carried out under controlled conditions to estimate the survival times of C. jejuni both in artificially and naturally contaminated laying hen feces. In 6 different laying hen flocks (3 Campylobacter-free and 3 Campylobacter-positive flocks), fresh excreta were randomly collected and pooled in 20-g samples per flock. In the laboratory, each of the 3 pooled samples from the Campylobacter-free barns were homogenized and mixed with 10 mL of a freshly prepared C. jejuni suspension (3 × 10(8) cfu/mL). The other 3 samples were homogenized only. The 6 samples were stored at 20 ± 1°C and 40 to 60% RH in 2 different incubators. Specimens of 2 g were taken from all 6 samples 1 h after storage and daily at the same time during the next 10 consecutive days and investigated on culturable C. jejuni. The survival times of culturable C. jejuni ranged from 72 to 96 h in artificially inoculated feces and varied from 120 to 144 h in naturally colonized flocks. The flaA typing by RFLP confirmed that the isolates from the artificially contaminated feces were identical with the added strain. A total of 5 different flaA types were identified from the naturally contaminated feces, and survival of these isolates was dependent on flaA type. The demonstrated survival times indicate that contaminated fresh feces are an important reservoir of C. jejuni, representing a permanent source of infection over at least 6 d after excretion. It shows the considerable potential of fresh feces in transmitting the agent within and between flocks during that period. This 6-d span should be considered when poultry manure is applied to land as organic fertilizer.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  4. Towards a 'Good Life' for Farm Animals: Development of a Resource Tier Framework to Achieve Positive Welfare for Laying Hens.

    PubMed

    Edgar, Joanne L; Mullan, Siobhan M; Pritchard, Joy C; McFarlane, Una J C; Main, David C J

    2013-07-05

    The concept of a 'good life' recognises the distinction that an animal's quality of life is beyond that of a 'life worth living', representing a standard of welfare substantially higher than the legal minimum (FAWC, 2009). We propose that the opportunities required for a 'good life' could be used to structure resource tiers that lead to positive welfare and are compatible with higher welfare farm assurance schemes. Published evidence and expert opinion was used to define three tiers of resource provision (Welfare +, Welfare ++ and Welfare +++) above those stipulated in UK legislation and codes of practice, which should lead to positive welfare outcomes. In this paper we describe the principles underpinning the framework and the process of developing the resource tiers for laying hens. In doing so, we summarise expert opinion on resources required to achieve a 'good life' in laying hens and discuss the philosophical and practical challenges of developing the framework. We present the results of a pilot study to establish the validity, reliability and feasibility of the draft laying hen tiers on laying hen production systems. Finally, we propose a generic welfare assessment framework for farm animals and suggest directions for implementation, alongside outcome parameters, that can help define and promote a future 'good life' for farm animals.

  5. [Animal welfare law requirements for calf, swine and laying hen husbandry--experiences from Thüringen].

    PubMed

    Paar, G; Weinlich, P

    1994-03-01

    Results of an analysis are presented, concerning the situation of animal welfare in keeping and housing of calves, pigs and laying hens. It is observed, that stockholders are making great efforts to follow the animal welfare regulations. Remaining problems of animal welfare in farms are described.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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, ...

  11. Experimental validation of the AVIVET trap, a tool to quantitatively monitor the dynamics of Dermanyssus gallinae populations in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Lammers, G A; Bronneberg, R G G; Vernooij, J C M; Stegeman, J A

    2016-12-05

    Dermanyssus gallinae (D.gallinae) infestation causes economic losses due to impaired health and production of hens and costs of parasite control across the world. Moreover, infestations are associated with reduced welfare of hens and may cause itching in humans. To effectively implement control methods it is crucially important to have high quality information about the D.gallinae populations in poultry houses in space and time. At present no validated tool is available to quantitatively monitor the dynamics of all four stages of D.gallinae (i.e., eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults) in poultry houses.This article describes the experimental validation of the AVIVET trap, a device to quantitatively monitor dynamics of D.gallinae infestations. We used the device to study D.gallinae in fully equipped cages with two white specific pathogen free Leghorn laying hens experimentally exposed to three different infestation levels of D.gallinae (low to high).The AVIVET trap was successfully able to detect D.gallinae at high (5,000 D.gallinae), medium (2,500 D.gallinae), and low (50 D.gallinae) level of D.gallinae infestation. The linear equation Y = 10(∧)10(∧)(0.47 + 1.21X) with Y = log10 (Total number of D.gallinae nymphs and adults) in the cage and X = log10 (Total number of D.gallinae nymphs and adults) in the AVIVET trap explained 93.8% of the variation.The weight of D.gallinae in the AVIVET trap also appears to be a reliable parameter for quantifying D.gallinae infestation in a poultry house. The weight of D.gallinae in the AVIVET trap correlates 99.6% (P < 0.000) to the counted number of all stages of D.gallinae in the trap (i.e., eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults) indicating that the trap is highly specific.From this experiment it can be concluded that the AVIVET trap is promising as quantitative tool for monitoring D.gallinae dynamics in a poultry house.

  12. 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.

  13. Low-fiber alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) meal in the laying hen diet: effects on productive traits and egg quality.

    PubMed

    Laudadio, V; Ceci, E; Lastella, N M B; Introna, M; Tufarelli, V

    2014-07-01

    This study was designed to determine the effects on laying performance and egg quality resulting from partial substitution of soybean meal (SBM) with low-fiber alfalfa (LFA; Medicago sativa L.) meal in the diet of early-phase laying hens. ISA Brown layers, 18 wk of age, were randomly allocated to 2 dietary treatments and fed for 10 wk. The hens were fed 2 wheat middling-based diets: a control diet, which contained SBM (15% of diet), and a test diet containing LFA (15% of diet) as the main protein source. Low-fiber alfalfa meal was obtained by a combination of sieving and air-classification processes. Feed intake was recorded daily, and egg production was calculated on a hen-day basis; eggs from each group were weekly collected to evaluate egg components and quality. The partial substitution of SBM with LFA had no adverse effect on growth performance of early-phase laying hens. Egg production and none of the egg-quality traits examined were influenced by dietary treatment, except for yolk color (P < 0.001) and yolk percentage (P < 0.05) as well as yolk cholesterol and β-carotene contents (P < 0.001), which were improved in hens fed the LFA diet. Including LFA increased serum β-carotene and reduced serum cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.001). Our results suggest that partially replacing conventional SBM as protein source with low-fiber alfalfa meal in the laying-hen diet can positively influence yolk quality without adversely affecting productive traits.

  14. The effect of perches in cages during pullet rearing and egg laying on hen performance, foot health, and plumage.

    PubMed

    Hester, P Y; Enneking, S A; Jefferson-Moore, K Y; Einstein, M E; Cheng, H W; Rubin, D A

    2013-02-01

    Enrichment of pullet cages with perches has not been studied. Our objective was to determine if access to metal perches during all or part of the life cycle of caged White Leghorns affected egg traits, foot health, and feather condition. Treatment 1 represented control chickens that never had access to perches during their life cycle. Treatment 2 hens had perches only during the egg laying phase of the life cycle (17 to 71 wk of age), whereas treatment 3 chickens had perches during the pullet phase (0 to 16.9 wk of age). Treatment 4 chickens always had access to perches (0 to 71 wk of age). Comparisons between chickens that always had perches with controls that never had perches showed similar performance relative to egg production, cracked eggs, egg weight, shell weight, % shell, and shell thickness. More dirty eggs occurred in laying cages with perches. Feed usage increased resulting in poorer feed efficiency in hens with perch exposure during the pullet phase with no effect during egg laying. Perches did not affect hyperkeratosis of toes and feet. The back claw at 71 wk of age broke less if hens had prior experience with perches during the pullet phase. In contrast, during egg laying, the back claw at 71 wk of age broke more due to the presence of perches in laying cages. Perches in laying cages resulted in shorter trimmed claws and improved back feather scores, but caused poorer breast and tail feather scores. In conclusion, enriching conventional cages with perches during the entire life cycle resulted in similar hen performance compared with controls. Fewer broken back claws but poorer feed efficiency occurred because of prior experience with perches as pullets. Perch presence during egg laying improved back feather scores with more trimmed nails but caused more dirty eggs, broken back claws, and poorer breast and tail feather scores. Although perches allow chickens to express their natural perching instinct, it was not without causing welfare problems.

  15. Egg production and egg quality in free-range laying hens housed at different outdoor stocking densities.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Lee, C; Hinch, G N; Roberts, J R

    2017-09-01

    Free-range laying hen systems are increasing in number within Australia. Variation in outdoor stocking densities has led to development of a national information standard on free-range egg labeling, including setting a maximum density of 10,000 hens per hectare. However, there are few data on the impacts of differing outdoor densities on production and egg quality. ISA Brown hens in small (150 hens) flocks were housed in identical indoor pens, each with access (from 21 weeks) to different sized ranges simulating one of three outdoor stocking densities (2 replicates each: 2,000 hens/hectare (ha), 10,000 hens/ha, 20,000 hens/ha). Hen-day production was tracked from 21 through 35 weeks with eggs visually graded daily for external deformities. All eggs laid on one day were weighed each week. Eggs were collected from each pen at 25, 30, and 36 weeks and analyzed for egg quality. There were no effects of outdoor stocking density on average hen-day percentage production (P = 0.67), egg weight (P = 0.09), percentages of deformed eggs (P = 0.30), shell reflectivity (P = 0.74), shell breaking strength (P = 0.07), shell deformation (P = 0.83), or shell thickness (P = 0.24). Eggs from hens in the highest density had the highest percentage shell weight (P = 0.004) and eggs from the lowest density had the highest yolk color score (P < 0.001). The amount of cuticle present did not differ between densities (P = 0.95) but some aspects of shell colors (P ≤ 0.01) and location of protoporphyrin IX (P = 0.046) varied. Hen age affected the majority of measurements. Stocking density differences may be related to hen diet as previous radio-frequency identification tracking of individual hens in these flocks showed birds used the range for longer in the lowest density and the least in the highest density, including depleting the range of vegetation sooner in the smaller ranges. An additional study assessing the relationship between individual hen range use, nutrition, and egg

  16. The age of production system and previous Salmonella infections on-farm are risk factors for low-level Salmonella infections in laying hen flocks.

    PubMed

    Van Hoorebeke, S; Van Immerseel, F; De Vylder, J; Ducatelle, R; Haesebrouck, F; Pasmans, F; de Kruif, A; Dewulf, J

    2010-06-01

    An explorative field study was carried out to determine risk factors for Salmonella infections in commercial laying hen flocks. For this purpose, 29 laying hen farms, including farms using conventional and alternative housing systems, were intensively sampled. An on-farm questionnaire was used to collect information on general management practices and specific characteristics of the sampled flock such as flock size, age of the hens, and age of the infrastructure. Salmonella was detected in laying hens from 6 of the 29 sampled farms. Using multivariate logistic regression with the Salmonella status of the flock as an outcome variable, a previous Salmonella contamination on the farm and the age of the production system were identified as risk factors for the presence of Salmonella in laying hens (P<0.05). The housing system did not have a significant influence on the prevalence of Salmonella in the current study.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Influence of housing system and design on bone strength and keel bone fractures in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Wilkins, L J; McKinstry, J L; Avery, N C; Knowles, T G; Brown, S N; Tarlton, J; Nicol, C J

    2011-10-15

    The main objectives of the study were to provide an accurate assessment of current levels of old breaks in end-of-lay hens housed in a variety of system designs and identify the important risk factors. Sixty-seven flocks housed in eight broad subcategories were assessed at the end of the production period. Within each flock, the presence of keel fractures was determined and the tibia, humerus and keel bones dissected for measurement of breaking strength. For each house, variations in internal design and perching provision were categorised and the effective heights of the differing structures recorded. All systems were associated with alarmingly high levels of keel damage although variation in mean prevalence between systems was evident with flocks housed in furnished cages having the lowest prevalence (36 per cent) despite also having significantly weaker bones and flocks housed in all systems equipped with multilevel perches showing the highest levels of damage (over 80 per cent) and the highest severity scores.

  20. The Swiss control programme for Salmonella enteritidis in laying hens: experiences and problems.

    PubMed

    Hoop, R K

    1997-12-01

    The Swiss control programme for Salmonella Enteritidis began at the end of 1993. All efforts are focused on the elimination of infected parent and layer flocks and on the production of S. Enteritidis-free eggs. The new Zoonosis Order and more stringent import regulations help to identify S. Enteritidis-positive parent layer and layer flocks. Other measures, such as additional voluntary monitoring of parent layer flocks, hatcheries and layer flocks, increased hygiene on poultry farms and the use of heat-treated feed, serve to prevent the spread of S. Enteritidis. An important point of concern is the elimination of S. Enteritidis from contaminated poultry farms, particularly from free-range farms. In the last two years, the number of reported infections of S. Enteritidis in humans has almost fallen to the level of 1988 (the year before the onset of S. Enteritidis infection in laying hens in Switzerland).

  1. Comparison of probiotics maintained by in vivo passage through laying hens and broilers.

    PubMed

    Ziprin, R L; Deloach, J R

    1993-04-01

    Cecal colonization by salmonellae may be greatly reduced by inoculating chickens with normal cecal microflora, a phenomenon known as competitive exclusion. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to reliably store active cecal microflora over long time periods, and it is difficult to obtain consistent experimental results with different batches of microflora. In order to overcome these problems, the present authors have maintained active cecal flora through a 2-yr period by in vivo passage through both broiler chicks and layers that were fed a diet containing 5% lactose. Competitive exclusion cultures maintained in laying hens worked as well as cultures from broilers. Cecal microflora from either source excluded both nonlactose-fermenting and lactose-fermenting Salmonella strains. Colonization by both types of Salmonella was reduced even when the competitive exclusion organisms were given as late as 3 days after oral challenge inoculation with Salmonella typhimurium.

  2. Mixed infection by fowlpox virus and Chlamydophila psittaci in a commercial laying hen flock.

    PubMed

    Karpińska, Teresa Agnieszka; Kozaczyński, Wojciech; Niemczuk, Krzysztof; Jasik, Agnieszka; Kycko, Anna; Reichert, Michał

    2014-03-01

    An outbreak of fowlpox occurred in a commercial laying hen flock in one of the western provinces of Poland. Clinical signs suggested fowlpox and the diagnosis was confirmed by histopathological detection of Bollinger bodies within the epithelial cells. Detailed ultrastructural examination revealed an additional concurrent infection with chlamydia-like particles. The particles were identified by PCR as fowlpox virus and Chlamydophila psittaci. It is worth noting that both pathogens can generate morphologic forms capable of prolonged survival and inducing latent and persistent infection. We suggest a possible interaction between the two pathogens on ultrastructural level and assess the clinical consequences of the mixed infection. This study also demonstrates a potential of the transmission electron microscope (TEM) for identifying a superinfection with another pathogen (in this case C. psittaci), which may remain undetected by routine techniques.

  3. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Brachyspira spp. isolated from commercial laying hens and free-living wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Jansson, Désirée S; Pringle, Märit

    2011-08-01

    In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility to tylosin, valnemulin, tiamulin, doxycycline, lincomycin and ampicillin was investigated by broth dilution in 48 Brachyspira spp. isolates from commercial laying hens (n=30) and free-living wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) (n=18). Presumed pathogens (Brachyspira alvinipulli, Brachyspira intermedia, Brachyspira pilosicoli), commensals (Brachyspira murdochii, Brachyspira innocens, "Brachyspira pulli"), and isolates of undetermined species affiliation were included. The laying hens had not been exposed to therapeutic levels of antimicrobials for at least 50 weeks before sampling, and low levels of environmental antimicrobial exposure were presumed in mallards. No isolates with decreased susceptibility to tylosin, valnemulin, tiamulin or doxycycline were found. Decreased susceptibility to lincomycin (minimum inhibitory concentration 16 µg/ml) was detected in two isolates (Brachyspira sp.) from laying hens. Five isolates showed decreased susceptibility to ampicillin (minimum inhibitory concentration 16 to >32 µg/ml), including two "B. pulli" and one B. alvinipulli from laying hens, and isolates of B. pilosicoli and "B. pulli" from mallards. Decreased susceptibility to ampicillin was associated with β-lactamase activity in four isolates. A new variant of a class D β-lactamase gene designated bla (oxa-192) was identified in a B. pilosicoli isolate of mallard origin. This is the first time the genetic basis for antimicrobial resistance is described in Brachyspira spp. from a free-living wild bird. Isolates displaying decreased susceptibility to ampicillin were accompanied by fully susceptible isolates of the same species or other genotypes within three laying hen flocks. This underlines the need for performing antimicrobial susceptibility tests on single clones/genotypes, and to analyse multiple isolates from the same flock.

  4. Metformin regulates hepatic lipid metabolism through activating AMP-activated protein kinase and inducing ATGL in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Lu; Wei, Hen-Wei; Chiu, Wen-Zan; Kang, Ching-Hui; Lin, Ting-Han; Hung, Chien-Ching; Chen, Ming-Chun; Shieh, Ming-Song; Lee, Chin-Cheng; Lee, Horng-Mo

    2011-12-05

    Although many clinical trials have showed that metformin improves non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a common liver disease associated with hepatic enzyme abnormalities, an animal model is required to investigate the effects of altered gene expression and post-translational processing (proteins) in mediating the observed responses. Laying hens appear to develop fatty livers, as in the case in human beings, when ingesting energy in excess of maintenance, and they can be used as an animal model for observing hepatic steatosis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether metformin could improve the non-alcoholic fatty liver of laying hens and to examine the possible mechanisms of lipid-lowering effects. Forty-eight Leghorn laying hens of Hy-Line variety W-36 - 44 weeks with 64.8% hen-day egg production - were randomly assigned into 4 treatments, each receiving 0, 10, 30, or 100mg of metformin with saline per kg body weight by daily wing vein injection. Results showed that, compared with the control, significant decreases existed in the laying rates; plasma triglyceride, cholesterol, and insulin levels; body weights; abdominal fat weights; hepatic lipid contents; and hepatic fatty acid synthase expression of layers receiving 30 or 100mg per kg body weight, whereas significant increases in their hepatic 5'adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, acyl-CoA carboxylase phosphorylation, adipose triglyceride lipase, and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 expression were observed. These data suggest that metformin could reduce lipid deposits in the liver and that the laying hen is a valuable animal model for studying hepatic steatosis.

  5. 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.

  6. The presence of extreme feather peckers in groups of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Piepho, H-P; Lutz, V; Kjaer, J B; Grashorn, M; Bennewitz, J; Bessei, W

    2017-03-01

    Feather pecking is a serious economic and welfare problem in laying hens. Feather damage occurs mainly through severe feather pecking (SFP). Selection experiments have proved that this behavior is heritable and lines have been divergently selected for high (HFP) and low feather pecking (LFP). The number of bouts of SFP per hen follows a Poisson distribution with a maximum nearby 0. A few studies indicate that the distribution within flocks is not homogenous but contains sub-groups of birds showing extremely high levels of feather pecking (EFP). It was the aim of the current study to re-analyze data on SFP of lines selected for HFP/LFP and their F2 cross so as to uncover hidden sub-populations of EFP birds. Data of seven selection generations of HFP and LFP selection lines as well as their F2 cross have been used. We fitted a two-component mixture of Poisson distributions in order to separate the sub-group of EFP from the remaining birds. HFP and LFP lines differed mainly in mean bouts per bird. The proportion of EFP was only marginal in the LFP as compared with the HFP and the F2 population. Selection for LFP did not result in total elimination of EFP. The presence of even small proportions of EFP may play an important role in initiating outbreaks of feather pecking in large flocks. Further studies on feather pecking should pay special attention to the occurrence of EFP sub-groups.

  7. Dietary phosphorus supply, egg-shell deposition and plasma inorganic phosphorus in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Boorman, K N; Gunaratne, S P

    2001-03-01

    1. In 2 experiments the effects of dietary phosphorus on relationships between plasma inorganic phosphorus concentration (Pi), shell and egg production and depletion states were measured in brown laying hens. 2. In a 12-week experiment dietary phosphorus concentrations from conventionally deficient (1.6 g non-phytate-phosphorus (PNP)/kg) to moderate excess (3.9 g PNP/kg) had little effect on egg and shell production, although there was evidence that plasma Pi concentration, when not influenced strongly by shell formation, reflected dietary phosphorus content. 3. Among birds at each dietary phosphorus concentration there was a negative linear relationship between shell weight of early eggs in the sequence and plasma Pi concentration. The relationship was apparently not affected by dietary phosphorus concentration. 4. Continued feeding of the deficient diet to 61 weeks of age did not have effects on body weight, egg and shell production, other than those associated with age, but plasma Pi and bone measurements indicated marginal phosphorus depletion. 5. In another experiment excessive dietary phosphorus (11.9 g PNP/kg) fed in a cross-over design caused small adverse effects on shell production, increased food intake and body weight and increased plasma Pi content, while there was no relationship between shell weight and plasma Pi concentration. 6. The results are consistent with an indirect effect of plasma phosphorus accumulation on shell formation, probably via an inhibitory effect on skeletal calcium release, in addition to any effect of excess dietary phosphorus on intestinal calcium availability. 7. Phosphorus requirement and status in the laying hen are complicated by the failure to recognise the contribution of digestible phytate-phosphorus to the available phosphorus supply.

  8. 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.

  9. A simple way to reduce heat stress in laying hens as judged by egg laying, body weight gain and biochemical parameters.

    PubMed

    Sahin, K; Küçük, O

    2001-01-01

    This study was designed to test the effects of feed withdrawal and darkening on the performance, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and some blood serum metabolite and mineral concentrations of laying hens reared at high ambient temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees C. Ninety, 16-week-old hens (Ross Brown) were divided into 3 groups, 30 hens each. The first group was used as control. Hens in the second group (feed withdrawal) were subjected to feed removal from 14:00 to 18:00, and hens in the third group (darkening) were subjected to light restriction from 14:00 to 18:00 using black curtains. Liveweight, feed intake, and egg production were higher (P < 0.01) in the feed withdrawal and darkening groups, particularly in the darkening group, than in the control. Water intake was higher in the control group compared with the feed withdrawal and darkening groups (P < 0.01). T3, T4, and TSH concentrations in the serum were higher (P < 0.01), whereas ACTH serum concentration was lower (P < 0.01) in the feed withdrawal and darkening groups compared with the control. The haematocrit was higher in the feed withdrawal and darkening groups compared with the control (P < 0.01). Darkening and feed withdrawal treatments increased serum glucose, urea-N, uric acid, albumin, triglyceride, cholesterol, Ca, P, Na, and K concentrations, also the activities of amylase and alkaline phosphatase, but did not influence the activities of serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT). The present study found that feed withdrawal and darkening, particularly darkening, at high temperatures during the summer months offer a good management practice to reduce heat stress related depression in feed intake and egg production in laying hens.

  10. Production performance and egg quality of four strains of laying hens kept in conventional cages and floor pens.

    PubMed

    Singh, R; Cheng, K M; Silversides, F G

    2009-02-01

    Production performance and egg quality were compared between 4 strains of beak-trimmed layers: 3 commercial strains-Lohmann White (LW), H&N White (HN), Lohmann Brown (LB)-and a noncommercial cross between Rhode Island Red (male) and Barred Plymouth Rock (female) in conventional cages and in floor pens. All chicks were reared and 857 pullets were housed at 18 wk of age in their respective environments. Body weight, hen-day egg production, feed consumption and efficiency, and egg quality were measured at wk 20, 30, 40, and 50. In floor pens, the location of eggs was recorded for 4 consecutive days at 4-wk intervals between 20 and 50 wk of age. Eggs from cages, nest-boxes, and the floor were tested for Escherichia coli and coliform contamination at 38 and 42 wk of age. Mortality was recorded during the rearing and laying periods. Housing systems significantly influenced BW and mortality but not feed consumption or feed efficiency. The interaction between environment and strain was significant for hen-day egg production at wk 20 to 30 and for BW at wk 30, 40, and 50. Hens in floor pens had greater BW, egg and yolk weights, and yolk color than those in cages. Commercial hens produced more eggs than the cross hens. Overall, HN hens had the best production performance, whereas cross hens had better egg quality. In floor pens, LW and HN hens laid most of their eggs in nest boxes, whereas LB and cross hens laid half of their eggs on the floor. Eggs from cages had lower E. coli and coliform contamination than those from nest-boxes and the floor, and E. coli contamination was greater for LB eggs than for LW eggs. Significant strain differences were found for the use of nest-boxes, with a high percentage of floor eggs for brown egg strains. This study suggests that genotype x environment interactions should be considered when alternative housing systems are proposed.

  11. 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

  12. Effects of selenium depletion and selenium repletion by choice feeding on selenium status of young and old laying hens.

    PubMed

    Zuberbuehler, Christine A; Messikommer, Ruth E; Arnold, Myrtha M; Forrer, Rhea S; Wenk, Caspar

    2006-02-28

    We investigated the effect of choice feeding two diets with different selenium (Se) content to young and old moderately Se-deficient laying hens on serum Se (SSe), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), vitamin E, creatine kinase (CK), aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT), thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Each of two consecutive study parts (I and II) with the same hens and treatments began with a 6-week baseline period (Medium-Se diet), followed by a 9-week depletion period (Low-Se or Medium-Se diet), followed by a 6-week choice period with two different diets offered simultaneously (Medium-Se/Low-Se, Medium-Se/High-Se, or Low-Se/High-Se). During both depletion periods, SSe and GPX gradually decreased, whereas T4 gradually increased in hens fed Low-Se confirming gradual Se-depletion. T3 decreased transiently in young hens only. As reported earlier, Se-deficient hens preferred High-Se over Low-Se diet during the first 3 weeks of choice feeding in part I, not however in part II. This preference resulted in higher SSe in these hens. GPX activity did not reflect feed preference, probably because Se-intake exceeded Se-requirement for maximal GPX activity. In Part II, hens depleted with Low-Se diet had higher SSe when previously offered High-Se diet in either combination, than when offered Low-Se/Medium-Se, presumably due to Se-stores built during choice feeding in part I, which possibly prevented development of Se-deficiency in part II. In addition, in older hens, Se depletion proceeded faster, whereas Se-repletion by choice feeding was slower than in young hens, indicating the increase in Se requirement with advancing age. Vitamin E, ASAT and CK remained largely unchanged by the treatments.

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

    PubMed

    Roberts, S A; Xin, H; Kerr, B J; Russell, J R; Bregendahl, K

    2007-08-01

    Ammonia (NH(3)) emission is a major concern for the poultry industry. The objective of this research was to determine whether inclusion of dietary fiber and a reduced dietary CP content would decrease NH(3) emission from laying-hen manure. A total of 256 Hy-Line W-36 hens were fed diets with 2 levels of CP (normal and reduced) and 4 fiber treatments in a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement. The fiber treatments included a corn and soybean meal-based control diet and diets formulated with either 10.0% corn dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), 7.3% wheat middlings (WM), or 4.8% soybean hulls (SH) to contribute equal amounts of additional neutral detergent fiber. The CP contents of the reduced-CP diets were approximately 1 percentage unit lower than those of the normal-CP diets. All diets were formulated on the basis of digestible amino acid content and were formulated to be isoenergetic. Fresh manure was collected such that pH, uric acid, and Kjeldahl N contents could be measured. The NH(3) emission from manure was measured over 7 d by placing pooled 24-h manure samples in NH(3) emission vessels. Data were analyzed by ANOVA with Dunnett's multiple-comparisons procedure to compare results from the fiber treatments with the control, whereas the main effect of protein was used to compare the normal- and reduced-CP treatments. Dietary corn DDGS, WM, or SH lowered (P laying-hen manure; however, reducing the CP content by 1 percentage unit had no measurable effect on NH(3) emission.

  14. The effect of dietary supplementation of salts of organic acid on production performance of laying hens

    PubMed Central

    Dahiya, Ravinder; Berwal, Raj Singh; Sihag, Sajjan; Patil, Chandrashekhar Santosh; Lalit

    2016-01-01

    Aim: An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of supplementing different levels of salts of organic acid in the laying hen’s diet on their production performance and egg quality parameters during a period of 16-week. Materials and Methods: A total of 140 white leghorn laying hens at 24 weeks of age were randomly distributed to seven dietary treatment groups, i.e. T1 (control), T2 (0.5% sodium-butyrate), T3 (1.0% sodium-butyrate), T4 (1.5% sodium-butyrate), T5 (0.5% calcium-propionate), T6 (1.0% calcium-propionate) and T7 (1.5% calcium-propionate) consisting of 5 replications of 4 birds each in each treatment and housed in individual cages from 24 to 40 weeks of age. Feed intake, percent hen-day egg production, egg weight, egg mass production, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and economics of supplementation of salts of organic acids in layers’ ration were evaluated. Results: The dietary supplementation of salts of organic acids did not significantly affect the feed intake (g/day/hen) and body weight gain (g). Different levels of supplementation significantly (p<0.05) improved production performance (percent hen-day egg production and egg mass production) as compared to control group. FCR in terms of feed intake (kg) per dozen eggs was lowest (1.83±0.05) in T4 and feed intake (kg) per kg egg mass was lowest (2.87±0.05) in T5 as comparison to control (T1) group. Salts of organic acids supplementation resulted in significant (p<0.05) improvement in FCR. Egg weight was significantly (p<0.05) increased at 0.5% level of salts of organic acids in the diet. The cumulative mean values of feed cost per dozen egg production were Rs. 44.14, 42.40, 42.85, 43.26, 42.57, 43.29 and 43.56 in treatment groups T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6 and T7, respectively, and reduction in feed cost per kg egg mass production for Rs. 0.52 and 0.99 in groups T2 and T5, respectively, in comparison to T1 group. Conclusions: It can be concluded that supplementation of salts of organic acids may

  15. Exterior and interior physical quality of egg of laying hens fed diets containing different dietary purslane levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kartikasari, L. R.; Hertanto, B. S.; Pranoto, D.; Salim, W. N.; Nuhriawangsa, A. M. P.

    2017-04-01

    Purslane is considered a rich vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid, beta-carotene and various antioxidants. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of different dietary levels of purslane meal (Portulaca oleracea) in the diets of laying hens on physical quality of eggs. A total of 125 Hy-Line Brown hens (54 weeks old) were placed at individual cages and assigned to five dietary treatments. The diets were supplemented with 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8% purslane meal. Laying hens were fed for 5 weeks after a typical period of adaptation (7 days). Water and feed were provided ad libitum. A total of 25 egg samples of day 28 and day 35 (n = 5 egg yolks for each treatment) were collected to analyse exterior and interior physical quality of eggs. The data were analysed using ANOVA. Differences between treatment means were further analysed using Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test. Results showed that feeding different purslane meal levels in the diets improved egg weight, yolk weight, albumen weight and yolk colour. The highest intensity of yolk colour was obtained with the diet containing 8% purslane meal. However, dietary treatments did not affect egg index, albumen index, yolk index, shell weight, shell thickness and Haugh Unit. It is concluded that including purslane meal to laying hen diets increases the physical qualities of the eggs.

  16. 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

  17. Characterization of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae isolates from laying hens and poultry red mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) from an outbreak of erysipelas.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Helena; Brännström, Sara; Skarin, Hanna; Chirico, Jan

    2010-12-01

    Infection with the zoonotic bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae causes severe disease outbreaks (erysipelas) in poultry flocks. As this bacterium has been isolated from the poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae), this parasite has been suggested as a possible means of transmission of E. rhusiopathiae on and between poultry farms. To further elucidate the capacity of the mite as a reservoir, we analysed and compared 56 bacterial isolates from laying hens and nine isolates from mites by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), using the restriction enzyme SmaI. The isolates originated from one outbreak in a laying hen flock housed in an indoor litter-based aviary system. Except for two isolates, a homogeneous banding pattern was obtained from all isolates analysed, suggesting that a single strain was the cause of the outbreak. Another finding was that isolates from individual hens could exhibit slightly different PFGE patterns. Mites collected from the same house at the end of the production period of the following flock were negative for the presence of E. rhusiopathiae. An increasing number of erysipelas outbreaks as well as escalating problems with D. gallinae are expected in other European countries related to the forthcoming changes in housing systems for laying hens. Consequently, further studies are needed to investigate the importance of erysipelas in poultry and the importance of D. gallinae in the transmission of E. rhusiopathiae.

  18. Air Quality in Alternative Housing Systems may have an Impact on Laying Hen Welfare. Part II-Ammonia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-03

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Expression of tight junction molecule "claudins" in the lower oviductal segments and their changes with egg-laying phase and gonadal steroid stimulation in hens.

    PubMed

    Ariyadi, Bambang; Isobe, Naoki; Yoshimura, Yukinori

    2013-01-15

    Tight junctions in the mucosal epithelium have essential roles as a mucosal barrier to prevent invasion of microbes into the hen oviduct tissue. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of the egg-laying phase and estradiol on the expression of tight junction molecule "claudins" in the lower oviductal segments in hens. White Leghorn laying and molting hens were used. Molting hens were given either sesame oil (vehicle) or estradiol benzoate (N = 5 per group) via injection. The lower segments of oviduct (isthmus, uterus, and vagina) of these birds were collected. Gene expression of claudin-1, -3, -5, lipopolysaccharide-induced TNFα factor (LITAF), and IFN(γ) was analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and localization of claudin-1 was examined by immunohistochemistry. Permeability in the mucosal epithelium was assessed by intrauterine injection of fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran. Expression of claudin-1, -3, and -5 genes and density of claudin-1 protein in the lower oviductal segments were higher in laying hens than in molting hens (P < 0.01); their expression was upregulated by estradiol (P < 0.01). Expression of LITAF and IFN(γ) genes was higher in molting hens than in laying hens. More fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran infiltrated into the intercellular space of the uterus mucosal epithelium in molting hens than in laying hens and estradiol-treated molting hens. In conclusion, we inferred that barrier functions of the mucosal epithelium in the lower oviductal segments might be disrupted because of reduced claudin expression in molting hens, which might increase the susceptibility of mucosal tissue during the molting phase.

  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.

  3. Safety of fluralaner oral solution, a novel systemic antiparasitic treatment for chickens, in laying hens after oral administration via drinking water.

    PubMed

    Prohaczik, Angella; Menge, Monika; Huyghe, Bruno; Flochlay-Sigognault, Annie; Traon, Gaëlle Le

    2017-08-08

    parameters; none of these findings were considered to be of clinical nor zootechnical relevance. Organ weights, gross post mortem and histopathological examinations did not reveal any finding associated with treatment with fluralaner. Oral administration of fluralaner via drinking water at the recommended treatment dose (0.5 mg/kg body weight twice at 1-week interval), is well tolerated and has a high safety margin up to an overall dose of 15 times the recommended one (5 times the daily dose given 3 times the number of days) in healthy adult laying hens. Based on the present results, the use of the new mite treatment based on fluralaner administered via drinking water is expected to be safe for laying hens under industrial conditions, and to have no negative impact on their egg quality and production.

  4. 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

  5. Effects of bacteriophage supplementation on egg performance, egg quality, excreta microflora, and moisture content in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Zhao, P Y; Baek, H Y; Kim, I H

    2012-07-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of bacteriophage supplementation on egg performance, egg quality, excreta microflora, and moisture content in laying hens. A total of 288 Hy-line brown commercial laying hens (36-wk-old) were randomly allotted to 4 treatments in this 6-wk trial and dietary treatments included: i) CON, basal diet; ii) T1, CON+0.020% bacteriophage; iii) T2, CON+0.035% bacteriophage; iv) T3, CON+0.050% bacteriophage. There were 6 replicates for each treatment with 6 adjacent cages (2 hens/cage). Laying hens in T2 and T3 treatments had higher (p<0.05) egg production than those in CON and T1 treatments during wk 0 to 3. In addition, egg production in T1, T2, and T3 treatments was increased (p<0.05) compared with that in CON treatment during wk 4 to 6. At wk 4 and 5, birds in T2 group had higher (p<0.05) HU than those in CON. In addition, at wk 5 and 6, HU in birds fed T1 and T3 diets was greater (p<0.05) than those fed CON diet. E. coli and Salmonella spp. concentrations in excreta were decreased (p<0.05) by T1, T2, and T3 treatments. However, egg weight, egg shell color, yolk height, yolk color unit, egg shell strength, egg shell thickness, egg gravity, and excreta moisture content were not influenced by dietary treatments during the entire experimental period. In conclusion, bacteriophage supplementation has beneficial effects on egg production, egg albumen, and excreta microflora concentration in laying hens.

  6. Effect of Vanadium and Tea Polyphenols on Intestinal Morphology, Microflora and Short-Chain Fatty Acid Profile of Laying Hens.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    Vanadium (V) is a trace element which can induce dysfunction of gastro-intestine and egg quality deterioration of laying hens. This study was conducted to determine the effect of tea polyphenols (TP) on intestinal morphology, microflora, and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profile of laying hens fed vanadium containing diets. A total of 120 Lohman laying hens (67-week-old) were randomly divided into 4 groups with 6 replicates and 5 birds each for a 35-day feeding trial. The dietary treatments were as follows: (1) control (CON), fed a basal diet; (2) vanadium treatment (V10), CON +10 mg V/kg; (3) TP treatment 1 (TP1): V10 + 600 mg TP/kg; (4) TP treatment 2 (TP2): V10 + 1000 mg TP/kg. Fed 10 mg V/kg diets to laying hens did not affect the cecum flora diversity index (H), degree of homogeneity (EH), and richness (S), but hens fed TP2 diet decreased the H, EH, and S (P < 0.05). The cecum butyrate acid concentration was lower in V10 treatment and higher in TP2 treatment (P < 0.05). Addition of 10 mg/kg V resulted in an increased (P < 0.01) duodenal cell apoptosis rate, and 1000 mg/kg TP supplementation overcame (P < 0.01) this reduction effect induced by vanadium. The results indicated that supplementation of 10 mg/kg vanadium increased duodenal cell apoptosis and reduced cecum butyrate acid content. Addition of 1000 mg/kg TP increased the SCFA production to affect cecum flora ecology and protected the duodenal cell from excess apoptosis caused by vanadium.

  7. Effect of substrate provision on performance and behaviour of laying hens in the pecking and scratching area of furnished cages.

    PubMed

    Huneau-Salaün, A; Guinebretière, M; Michel, V

    2014-01-01

    1. An experiment was set up to study the effects of substrate provision on performance and behaviour in the pecking and scratching area (PSA) of non-beak-trimmed hens housed in large furnished cages (60 hens/cage). 2. Three layer hybrids (two brown and one white, ISA-Hendrix Genetics, France) and two substrate conditions (with or without wheat bran automatically distributed on the PSA) were compared in a 3 × 2 experimental design with 12 cages per treatment. 3. Substrate distribution improved laying rate with no impact on the frequency of dirty or cracked eggs. 4. Substrate distribution improved the viability and body integrity of hens, which were not beak-trimmed. 5. Distribution of substrate tended to increase the number of hens in the PSA and enhanced their pecking and scratching behaviours but had a negative impact on the number of dust bath bouts per cage and encouraged dust bathing on the wire floor close to the feeder. 6. The white hens laid more eggs in the nest than the brown birds and used the PSA more for pecking, scratching and dust bathing at the end of the day than the brown hens, underlining the necessity to adapt cage furnishing and rearing management to specific behaviours of each layer genotype.

  8. Detection of transgenic and endogenous plant DNA fragments and proteins in the digesta, blood, tissues, and eggs of laying hens fed with phytase transgenic corn.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The trials were conducted to assess the effects of long-term feeding with phytase transgenic corn (PTC) to hens on laying performance and egg quality, and investigate the fate of transgenic DNA and protein in digesta, blood, tissues, and eggs. Fifty-week old laying hens (n = 144) were fed with a diet containing 62.4% PTC or non-transgenic isogenic control corn (CC) for 16 weeks. We observed that feeding PTC to laying hens had no adverse effect on laying performance or egg quality (P>0.05) except on yolk color (P<0.05). Transgenic phyA2 gene and protein were rapidly degraded in the digestive tract and were not detected in blood, heart, liver, spleen, kidney, breast muscle, and eggs of laying hens fed with diet containing PTC. It was concluded that performance of hens fed diets containing PTC, as measured by egg production and egg quality, was similar to that of hens fed diets formulated with CC. There was no evidence of phyA2 gene or protein translocation to the blood, tissues, and eggs of laying hens.

  9. Detection of Transgenic and Endogenous Plant DNA Fragments and Proteins in the Digesta, Blood, Tissues, and Eggs of Laying Hens Fed with Phytase Transgenic Corn

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jianyun; Zhao, Lihong; Hao, Wenbo; Ji, Cheng

    2013-01-01

    The trials were conducted to assess the effects of long-term feeding with phytase transgenic corn (PTC) to hens on laying performance and egg quality, and investigate the fate of transgenic DNA and protein in digesta, blood, tissues, and eggs. Fifty-week old laying hens (n = 144) were fed with a diet containing 62.4% PTC or non-transgenic isogenic control corn (CC) for 16 weeks. We observed that feeding PTC to laying hens had no adverse effect on laying performance or egg quality (P>0.05) except on yolk color (P<0.05). Transgenic phyA2 gene and protein were rapidly degraded in the digestive tract and were not detected in blood, heart, liver, spleen, kidney, breast muscle, and eggs of laying hens fed with diet containing PTC. It was concluded that performance of hens fed diets containing PTC, as measured by egg production and egg quality, was similar to that of hens fed diets formulated with CC. There was no evidence of phyA2 gene or protein translocation to the blood, tissues, and eggs of laying hens. PMID:23577200

  10. Early postmolt performance of laying hens fed a low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with spent hen meal.

    PubMed

    Koelkebeck, K W; Parsons, C M; Douglas, M W; Leeper, R W; Jin, S; Wang, X; Zhang, Y; Fernandez, S

    2001-03-01

    We used a total of 504 commercial Single Comb White Leghorn hens (69 and 65 wk of age) in each of two experiments, and hens were induced to molt by feed withdrawal only. Feed withdrawal lasted for 12 and 11 d, and hens lost 26 and 25%, body weight in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. All hens were then weighed, and seven replicate groups of 12 hens each were assigned to molt diet treatments. In Experiment 1, diets consisted of a corn basal diet (7.9% CP) or corn basal diet supplemented with 7.5 or 10% spent hen meal (SHM) each from two different sources. In Experiment 2, the corn basal diet or this diet supplemented with 5 or 10% SHM alone or 5% SHM plus Met, Lys, and Trp was evaluated. A molt diet of 16% CP corn-soybean meal was used as a positive control in both experiments. Molt diets were fed for 15 d in both experiments, at which time all hens were fed a 16% CP layer diet. Performance was measured for 8 wk following the beginning of feeding the layer diet. Feeding the low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with 5 to 10% SHM improved early postmolt egg production performance and body weight gain compared with hens fed the corn basal diet alone. The 7.5 and 10% SHM diets yielded early postmolt performance that was not significantly different (P > 0.05) from that of hens fed the high-protein (16% CP) diet. Supplementing the 5% SHM diet with amino acids generally did not significantly improve performance. The present study thus indicates that improved early postmolt performance may be achieved by supplementation of a low-protein corn molt diet with 5 to 10% SHM.

  11. 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.

  12. Design of nest access grids and perches in front of the nests: Influence on the behavior of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Stämpfli, K; Buchwalder, T; Fröhlich, E K F; Roth, B A

    2013-04-01

    In aviary systems for laying hens, it is important to provide suitable nest access platforms in front of the nests, allowing hens to reach and explore each of the nests easily. This access platform is needed to achieve good nest acceptance by the hens and thereby prevent mislaid eggs. In the present experiment, the behavior of hens using 2 different nest access platforms, a plastic grid and 2 wooden perches, was examined. Furthermore, the nests were placed on both sides of the aviary rack (corridor side and outdoor side), either integrated into the aviary rack itself (integrated nest; IN) or placed on the walls of the pens (wall nest; WN), resulting in a 2 × 2 factorial design Four thousand five hundred white laying hens were housed in 20 test pens. The eggs in the nests and mislaid eggs were collected daily, and the behavior of hens on the nest accesses was filmed during wk 25 and 26, using focal observation and scan sampling methods. More balancing, body contact, and agonistic interactions were expected for nests with perches, whereas more walking and nest inspections were expected for nests with grids. There were more mislaid eggs and balancing found in pens equipped with nests with wooden perches. More agonistic interactions and balancing, less standing, and a longer duration of nest inspection were found with the WN compared with the IN. Interactions between platform design and position of the nests were found for duration of nest visits, body contact, and walking, with the highest amount for WN equipped with plastic grids. Nests on the corridor side were favored by the hens. Nest-related behaviors, such as nest inspection, standing, and walking, decreased over time as did the number of hens on the nest accesses, whereas sitting increased. These results indicate that the hens had more difficulties in gripping the perches as designed. The lower number of hens on the nest access platforms in front of IN may be due to a better distribution around nests and tier

  13. An Optimal Dietary Zinc Level of Brown-Egg Laying Hens Fed a Corn-Soybean Meal Diet.

    PubMed

    Qin, Shizhen; Lu, Lin; Zhang, Xichun; Liao, Xiudong; Zhang, Liyang; Guo, Yanli; Luo, Xugang

    2017-06-01

    An experiment was conducted to estimate the optimal dietary zinc (Zn) level of brown-egg laying hens fed a corn-soybean meal diet from 20 to 40 weeks of age. A total of 120 20-week-old Beijing Red commercial laying hens were randomly allotted by bodyweight to one of five treatments with six replicates of four birds each in a completely randomized design, and fed a Zn-unsupplemented corn-soybean meal basal diet containing 27.95 mg Zn/kg by analysis and the basal diets supplemented with 30, 60, 90, or 120 mg Zn/kg as Zn sulfate (reagent grade ZnSO4·7H2O) for a duration of 20 weeks. Laying performance, egg quality, tissue Zn concentrations, and activities of serum alkaline phosphatase (AKP), and liver copper-Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) were measured. Regression analyses were performed to estimate an optimal dietary Zn level whenever a significant quadratic response (P < 0.05) was observed. Tibia Zn concentration (P = 0.002) and serum AKP activity (P = 0.010) showed significant quadratic responses to dietary supplemental Zn levels. The estimates of dietary Zn requirements for brown-egg laying hens from 20 to 40 weeks of age were 71.95 and 64.63 mg/kg for tibia Zn concentration and serum AKP activity, respectively. The results from this study indicate that the tibia Zn might be a more suitable and reliable parameter for Zn requirement estimation, and the optimal dietary Zn level would be about 72 mg/kg for brown-egg laying hens fed a corn-soybean meal diet from 20 to 40 weeks of age.

  14. Evaluation of the effects of cage height and stocking density on the behaviour of laying hens in furnished cages.

    PubMed

    Albentosa, M J; Cooper, J J; Luddem, T; Redgate, S E; Elson, H A; Walker, A W

    2007-02-01

    1. Limited information is available on how changes in horizontal and vertical space within enriched or furnished layer cages (as defined by Directive 1999/74/EC) influence hen behaviour. This study evaluated the effects of varying minimum cage heights and space allowances on the behaviour of laying hens housed in furnished cages. It was conducted on two flocks of medium brown hybrid hens housed in furnished cages with access to perches and nest boxes on a semi-commercial scale at ADAS Gleadthorpe. 2. Flock 1 consisted of two layer strains (ISA Brown and Babcock 380), housed at two minimum cage heights (38 and 45 cm) and 5 stocking densities between 609 and 870 cm2/bird, with 12 replicates of each of the 20 strain/cage height/stocking density treatment combinations. Stocking density was varied by varying the number of birds per cage from 10 to 7 in standard full-width cages or housing 7 hens in a narrower cage. As a consequence stocking density, group size and trough width per bird co-varied for 4 out of 5 stocking density treatments. 3. Behaviour of flock 1 was sampled at 33 to 36, 46 and 68 weeks of age. At each age one top-tier, one middle-tier and one bottom-tier cage was sampled for each treatment. 4. Few behavioural differences due to cage treatments were detected. Hens at 870 cm2 had shorter feeding bouts than hens at 609 and 762 cm2. Yawning was more common in the cages with greater cage height. 5. Video recordings of flock 1 examined cage height effects on hens' use of vertical space and provided additional data on stretching and self-maintenance activities. No differences in behaviour between 38 and 45 cm cages were found except that scratching head was more common in cages with greater cage height. 6. Flock 2 consisted of two layer strains (Shaver Brown and Hy-Line Brown), housed at 38 and 45 cm and 609, 762 and 1016 cm2/bird, with 18 replicates of each of the 12 strain/cage height/stocking density treatment combinations. Stocking density was varied by

  15. Invasive and noninvasive measurement of stress in laying hens kept in conventional cages and in floor pens.

    PubMed

    Singh, R; Cook, N; Cheng, K M; Silversides, F G

    2009-07-01

    Measurements of the heterophil:lymphocyte (H/L) ratio (invasive technique) and corticosterone in yolk and albumen (noninvasive techniques) were used to measure stress in 3 commercial laying strains, Lohmann White (LW), H&N White (HN), Lohmann Brown (LB), and a noncommercial cross (CR) between Rhode Island Red (male) and Barred Plymouth Rock (female), kept in conventional cages or floor pens. All chicks were reared in their respective environments, and 450 and 432 pullets were placed at 18 and 7 wk of age in cages and floor pens, respectively. Blood from 12 hens per strain was taken at 19, 35, and 45 wk of age in each housing system. A total of 100 heterophils and lymphocytes were counted and their ratio (H/L ratio) was calculated. Corticosterone was measured in yolk and albumen from 12 hens per strain in each housing system at 22 and 45 wk of age. The H/L ratio was within the normal range. The interaction between environment and strain for the H/L ratio showed that in both environments, LB and CR hens had a higher H/L ratio than LW and HN layers. In cages, there were significant differences in H/L ratios between LW and HN hens that were likely due to genetic differences. The LW hens had significantly lower corticosterone concentrations in yolk than LB hens. In cages but not floor pens, yolk corticosterone concentrations at wk 22 were significantly higher than at wk 45. In floor pens but not cages, albumen corticosterone at wk 22 was higher than at wk 45. The H/L ratios suggest that none of the hens were unduly stressed, and corticosterone levels in yolk and albumen support the suggestion that hens adapted to their environments with age. Although measurement of yolk corticosterone and the H/L ratio may be comparable, the measurement of corticosterone level in the albumen may differ because it is secreted over a short time.

  16. 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. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  17. Effects of supplementary iodine on the performance and egg traits of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yalçin, S; Kahraman, Z; Yalçin, S; Yalçin, S S; Dedeoğlu, H E

    2004-08-01

    1. This experiment was carried out to determine the effects of dietary iodine supplementation on the performance and egg traits of laying hens. A total of 600 SHSY type brown layers aged 21 weeks of age were chosen at random from a large flock. They were randomly distributed into 30 pens at 20 hens per pen. Each treatment comprised 6 replicates of 20 layers in groups of 5 birds. The diets were supplemented with 0, 3, 6, 12 and 24 mg/kg iodine as calcium iodate. The experimental period lasted 30 weeks. 2. There were no significant differences among the groups in body weight, food consumption, egg production, food consumption per kg eggs, eggshell index, eggshell breaking strength, shell thickness or egg yolk index. 3. Supplementation of the diet with 12 mg/kg iodine increased food consumption per dozen eggs compared to the groups fed on diets supplemented with 0 and 6 mg/kg iodine. 4. Egg weight was less in groups fed on diets supplemented with 12 and 24 mg/kg iodine than in the group receiving no iodine supplementation. 5. Iodine supplementation to provide 12 and 24 mg/kg reduced egg albumen index and egg Haugh units. 6. There were no significant differences among the groups in egg cholesterol and egg yolk cholesterol contents. 7. The iodine concentrations in egg yolk, egg albumen and whole egg increased with increased iodine supplementation. 8. As a result, the 3 and 6 mg/kg iodine supplementation of diet could be used to enrich the eggs with iodine without any adverse effect on performance and egg traits.

  18. Evaluating the impact of excess dietary tryptophan on laying performance and immune function of laying hens reared under hot and humid summer conditions.

    PubMed

    Dong, X Y; Azzam, M M M; Rao, W; Yu, D Y; Zou, X T

    2012-01-01

    1. Tryptophan (Trp), besides its role as an essential amino acid in protein synthesis, may also have other important effects on laying hens under summer conditions. 2. Babcock Brown layers (n = 768), 40 weeks of age, were allocated to 4 treatment groups, each of which included 6 replicates of 32 hens. Each group received the same basal diet, formulated with maize and soybean meal, for 8 weeks. Hens were fed on the basal diet with 0·0, 0·2, 0·4, and 0·8 g/kg L-Trp to achieve dietary concentrations of 1·7, 1·9 g/kg, 2·1 g/kg or 2·5 g/kg of Trp, respectively. 3. Supplementing L-Trp had no affect on laying performance. Adding 0·2 or 0·4 g/kg L-Trp improved egg shell strength compared with those fed on the control diet. Serum albumin concentration increased at 0·4 g/kg compared with those receiving 0·0 or 0·8 g/kg Trp. The addition of Trp at 0·4 g/kg increased serum IgM concentration quadratically. Serum superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) increased linearly and quadratically at 0·4 g/kg. 4. In conclusion, we suggest that 0·2 to 0·4 g/kg Trp may have beneficial effects on laying hens under conditions of high temperature and humidity.

  19. Comparison of zinc acetate and propionate addition on gastrointestinal tract fermentation and susceptibility of laying hens to Salmonella enteritidis during forced molt.

    PubMed

    Moore, R W; Park, S Y; Kubena, L F; Byrd, J A; McReynolds, J L; Burnham, M R; Hume, M E; Birkhold, S G; Nisbet, D J; Ricke, S C

    2004-08-01

    Feed deprivation is the most common method used to induce molting and stimulate multiple egg-laying cycles in laying hens for commercial egg production. Unfortunately, an increased risk of Salmonella enteritidis (SE) colonization may result from the use of this method. Methods to stimulate multiple egg-laying cycles without increasing the risk of SE are needed. In each of 3 experiments, hens over 50 wk of age were divided into groups of 12 and placed in individual laying cages. One week before dietary changes, hens were put on an 8L:16D photoperiod that continued for the 9-d experimental period. Hens in all treatments were challenged orally with 10(4) cfu of SE on the fourth day. Treatments were full fed hens (nonmolted, NM), nonfed hens (molted, M), a zinc acetate diet (ZAC), and a zinc propionate diet (ZPR). The zinc diets contained 10,000 mg of zinc per kilogram of diet. Body weight losses were significantly higher in the M, ZPR, and ZAC treatments than in the NM treatment. Crop lactic acid decreased more in M, ZPR, and ZAC treatments than in NM hens in trial 2. Crop pH was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in NM hens than in M, ZAC, and ZPR hens in trial 2. Although cecal individual or total volatile fatty acids (VFA), and lactic acid were not significantly (P > 0.05) different between NM hens and M, ZAC and ZPR hens in trial 1, lactic acid was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in NM hens than in M, ZAC and ZPR hens (trial 2), and cecal total VFA were lower in M hens than in NM, ZAC and ZPR hens (trial 3). Colonization of SE in the crop and ceca was higher in the M and ZPR hens (trials 1 and 2). Liver, spleen, or ovary invasion by SE was higher in the M and ZPR hens (trials 1 and 2) than in NM hens. At the zinc concentration used in these studies, the zinc dietary regimens may be effective for reducing the risk of SE during induced molt.

  20. Systemic administration of lipopolysaccharide in laying hens stimulates antimicrobial properties of egg white against Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Bedrani, Larbi; Helloin, Emmanuelle; Guyot, Nicolas; Nys, Yves

    2013-04-15

    The natural protective system of eggs relies on egg yolk immunoglobulins and on antimicrobial proteins/peptides mainly concentrated in the egg white. There is much evidence concerning the specific stimulation of immunoglobulins by antigens but to date, the influence of the hen milieu on the regulation of the egg innate molecular immunity has not been established. To explore the hypothesis of modulation in egg antimicrobial molecules, laying hens were immune-challenged with intravenous injections of Salmonella enterica Enteritidis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 24 h intervals. Eggs of the control and LPS groups were collected over a period of 21 days following the first LPS injection and the egg white activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were assessed. The increase in egg white anti-S. aureus activity reached 20.9% and 23.4% (p<0.05) respectively on days 5 and 6 after the first LPS injection. Anti-E. coli activity increased moderately only on days 9 and 15 after the LPS treatment. To explore the origin of these increased antimicrobial activities, we analyzed the lysozyme and proteases inhibiting (anti-trypsin and anti-chymotrypsin) activities and the pH variations of egg whites. We recorded no significant variations between the two experimental groups for these potential modulating factors. Finally, using RT-qPCR we studied the expression of several genes coding for antimicrobial proteins and peptides involved in the immune response in the infundibulum and the magnum, Out of the 11 genes, only TLR4 in the magnum and ovocalyxin-36 in infundibulum were over-expressed respectively 24h and 8 days after the first LPS injection. The other candidate genes showed similar or down regulated expression in the LPS group as compared to the control especially during the first 24h. Our results suggest that the hen enhances the albumen antimicrobial activity of its eggs when exposed to immune stimulations or infections. This could be an attempt to preventively

  1. Effect of dietary bacteriophage supplementation on internal organs, fecal excretion and ileal immune response in laying hens challenged with salmonella enteritidis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A study was conducted to evaluate the role of bacteriophage (BP) against Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) internal organs colonization and ileum immune response in laying hens. Hens were challenged both orally and intracloacally with 108 cfu/mL cells of nalidixic acid resistant Salmonell...

  2. Effect of crude glycerin level in the diet of laying hens on egg performance and nutrient utilization.

    PubMed

    Swiatkiewicz, S; Koreleski, J

    2009-03-01

    An experiment was conducted with 72 Bovans Brown laying hens to determine the effect of dietary crude glycerin on laying performance; egg quality; retention of N, Ca, and P; and metabolizability of energy. The dietary treatments consisted of a control corn-soybean diet containing 6% corn starch (17% CP, 2,775 kcal/kg of AME(n), 0.81% lysine, 0.36% methionine, 3.60% Ca, and 0.37% available P) and 3 experimental diets. In the experimental diets, 2, 4, or 6% crude glycerin (a coproduct of commercial biodiesel production from rapeseed) was substituted for corn starch. During the experimental period (28 to 53 wk of hen age), the dietary level of glycerin had no significant effects on performance indices [i.e., egg production (mean value of all 4 dietary treatments was 95.6%), egg weight (60.4 g), daily egg mass (57.8 g/hen), daily feed consumption (121 g/hen), and feed conversion (0.477 g of egg mass/g of feed consumed)]. No significant treatment effects were found for egg quality parameters (albumen height, Haugh units, yolk color and thickness, density and breaking strength of eggshell), excretion and retention of N, Ca and P, or metabolizability of energy. Linear regression analysis revealed that the AME(n) value of crude glycerol was 3,970 kcal/kg (as-is basis). The results of this study demonstrated that crude glycerin may be incorporated to a level of 6% in the diet of laying hens without any detrimental effect on egg performance, egg quality, nutrient retention, and metabolizability of energy.

  3. Macroscopic and histopathological alterations of foot pads of laying hens kept in small group housing systems and furnished cages.

    PubMed

    Weitzenbürger, D; Vits, A; Hamann, H; Hewicker-Trautwein, M; Distl, O

    2006-10-01

    1. Foot pad health was determined macroscopically and histologically in two trials with Lohmann Selected Leghorn (LSL, white layer strain) and Lohmann Brown (LB) laying hens kept in a small group housing system (40 and 60 hens) and two types of furnished cages (10 and 20 hens). 2. A total of 864 foot pads (648 LSL and 216 LB) were examined macroscopically and classified according to severity of pathological alterations; of these, 180 metatarsal pads and 180 toe pads were also examined histologically for hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, elongation of rete folds, development of secondary papillae, erosion, ulceration, cellular infiltration and bacterial colonisation of the epidermal surface. 3. As for the macroscopic examinations, pathological alterations of foot pads were found in 86.1% of the hens, while 57.4% of the birds examined showed mild hyperkeratosis. Macroscopically moderate hyperkeratosis and/or superficial lesions of the epithelium were detected in 21% of the laying hens examined. Severe hyperkeratosis and/or deep epithelial lesions and/or mild swelling of the foot pads were found in 5.9% of the hens, and very severe hyperkeratosis and/or deep and large epithelial lesions and/or moderate or high-grade swelling of foot pads were found in 1.9%. 4. The histopathological examinations showed that the macroscopically determined thickening of the epidermis was due not only to hyperkeratosis, but also often to acanthosis. In addition, perivascular infiltrations of lymphocytes were also detected. Furthermore, the degree of hyperkeratosis in metatarsal pads was shown to correlate with the other histopathological traits except for ulceration, and the degree of hyperkeratosis in toe pads was related to the development of secondary papillae and cellular infiltration with lymphocytes. 5. The results of the macroscopic and histological examinations showed that the use of perches and the grasping of wire floor may have resulted in a permanent increased mechanical compression

  4. Dietary conjugated linoleic acid affects blood parameters, liver morphology and expression of selected hepatic genes in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Koronowicz, A A; Banks, P; Szymczyk, B; Leszczyńska, T; Master, A; Piasna, E; Szczepański, W; Domagała, D; Kopeć, A; Piątkowska, E; Laidler, P

    2016-10-01

    The objective of this research were to investigate the effect of a conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-enriched diet on Isa Brown laying hen health status and to provide a comprehensive analysis of changes in blood parameters, liver morphology and selected hepatic gene expression. Hens were allocated to the control and experimental group (diet enriched with 0.75% CLA) for a total period of 4 m. At the end of the experiment half of the hens from each group were slaughtered for analyses. The remaining hens were transferred to an organic farm for the next 5 m and fed on the diet without CLA supplementation. The CLA-enriched diet resulted in significant changes in blood and serum parameters; specifically, haematocrit (HCT), mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and white blood cells (WBC) count were decreased compared to the control. The total cholesterol (TC) was not significantly affected while the triacylglycerol's (TG) concentration was elevated. The activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was significantly increased in the CLA-supplemented group, while aspartate aminotransferase (AST) showed an increasing tendency. Liver biopsies showed pathological changes classified as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Additionally, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acids synthesis (ME1, ACLY, ACC, FASN, SCD1), oxidation (CPT1α, PPARA), detoxification processes (Cytochrome P450, CYP, Flavin-containing monooxygenase, FMO3), oxidative stress (NOX4, XbP1) and inflammation (IL6, TNFα) were elevated. Cessation of CLA supplementation for 5 m of organic farming resulted in normalisation of blood and hepatic parameters to the levels observed in control hens. The results of this study indicate that dietary CLA triggers an integrated stress response in laying hens and activates mechanisms involved in liver detoxification.

  5. Effects of copper source on phosphorus retention in broiler chicks and laying hens.

    PubMed

    Banks, K M; Thompson, K L; Rush, J K; Applegate, T J

    2004-06-01

    Copper sulfate is often added to broiler and laying hen diets at prophylactic dosages due to its antimicrobial and growth promoting effects despite reduced P digestibility, whereas P use from other Cu sources is unknown. Therefore, male broiler chicks were fed diets containing 0 or 250 ppm Cu from Cu sulfate (Cu SUL), Cu citrate (Cu CIT), Cu lysinate (Cu LYS), or CuCl from 9 to 22 d of age (8 cages/diet, 6 birds/cage) to determine the effect of each Cu source on performance characteristics, bone mineralization, and P retention. Body weight gain was not different among treatments (P > 0.05). Supplementation with 250 ppm Cu from Cu LYS resulted in chicks having greater toe and tibia ash weights as compared with chicks fed Cu SUL (P < or = 0.05) but was not significantly different from those of birds fed Cu CL, Cu CIT, and 0 ppm Cu diets. Supplementation with Cu LYS resulted in birds with greater toe ash percentage as compared with birds fed Cu CIT, Cu SUL, and the 0 ppm Cu diets (P < or = 0.05) but was not significantly different than those of birds fed the CuCl diet. Birds fed the Cu LYS diet had greater tibia ash percentage as compared with birds fed Cu SUL and 0 ppm Cu diets (P < or = 0.05) but were not significantly different than birds fed the Cu CL or Cu CIT diet. Supplementation with 250 ppm Cu SUL or Cu CIT reduced apparent P retention by 0.029 and 0.053 percentage-units of the diet, respectively (P < or = 0.05) as compared with the 0 ppm diet; whereas the apparent P retention when 250 ppm Cu LYS or Cu CL was fed was not different from the 0 ppm Cu diet (P > 0.05). Feeding of different Cu sources in a subsequent experiment had no influence on P retention in laying hens (P > 0.05). In conclusion, supplementation with 250 ppm Cu from Cu CIT or Cu SUL resulted in decreased apparent P retention. Supplementation with 250 ppm Cu CL or Cu LYS, however, improved apparent P retentions as compared with Cu CIT or Cu SUL.

  6. Use of radiography to identify keel bone fractures in laying hens and assess healing in live birds.

    PubMed

    Richards, G J; Nasr, M A; Brown, S N; Szamocki, E M G; Murrell, J; Barr, F; Wilkins, L J

    2011-09-10

    The aim of this study was to use radiography to assess and characterise naturally occurring keel bone fractures in laying hens and monitor live birds over several weeks to examine the healing process. Twenty-four Lohmann brown commercial laying hens with varying degrees of keel bone fracture were used in the study. Birds were radiographed regularly over six weeks and the radiographic features and changing appearance of keel bone fractures were evaluated. The radiographic characteristics of old and new fractures were categorised and indicated that 80 per cent of birds entering the study with new fractures had healed after 35 days and five birds had incurred new fractures irrespective of their original fracture status.

  7. Residues of stirofos (rabon) in eggs of laying hens treated for northern fowl mite control by dipping.

    PubMed

    Ivey, M C; Devaney, J A; Ivie, G W; Beerwinkle, K R

    1982-03-01

    Laying hens were treated with a wettable powder formulation of stirofos [Rabon, 2-chloro-1-(2,4,5-trichlorophenyl) vinyl dimethylphosphate] by dipping in a .5 or 1.0% actual ingredient (AI) water suspension of a 50% wettable powder (WP) stirfos formulation. Stirofos residues were detected in eggs within 1 day after treatment and reached maximum levels 3 days after dipping (.021 and .035 ppm in the low- and high-dose birds, respectively). After that time, levels of residues in eggs declined rapidly and no sample contained detectable quantities (less than .004 ppm) of stirofos after 21 days. Dipping may be a practical control method for the northern fowl mite on chickens, because stirofos dips effectively control this mite on laying hens for at least 6 weeks and because resulting residues in eggs are well below established tolerances.

  8. Horizontal transmission of Salmonella enteritidis in groups of experimentally infected laying hens housed in different housing systems.

    PubMed

    De Vylder, J; Dewulf, J; Van Hoorebeke, S; Pasmans, F; Haesebrouck, F; Ducatelle, R; Van Immerseel, F

    2011-07-01

    Concerns regarding the welfare of laying hens have led to the ban of conventional battery cages in Europe from 2012 onward and to the development of alternative housing systems that allow hens to perform a broader range of natural behaviors. Limited information is available about the consequences of alternative housing systems on transmission of zoonotic pathogens such as Salmonella Enteritidis. However, Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis continues to be one of the leading causes of bacterial foodborne disease worldwide and this is mainly attributed to the consumption of contaminated eggs. A transmission experiment was performed to quantify the effect of the housing system on the spread of a Salmonella Enteritidis infection within a group of layers and on internal egg contamination. At the age of 16 wk, 126 birds housed on the floor were inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis. Three weeks later, the inoculated hens were housed together with equal numbers of susceptible contact animals in 4 different housing systems: a conventional cage system, a furnished cage, an aviary, and a floor system. Transmission and egg contamination were followed during a 4-wk period. A trend toward increased bird-to-bird transmission was detected in the aviary and floor system compared with the cage systems. Also, significantly more contaminated eggs were found in the aviary compared with the cage systems and the floor system. These results suggest that there is a clear need to optimize and maintain Salmonella surveillance programs when laying hens will be moved from conventional cage systems to alternative housing systems.

  9. Influence of genetic strain and access to litter on spatial distribution of 4 strains of laying hens in an aviary system.

    PubMed

    Ali, A B A; Campbell, D L M; Karcher, D M; Siegford, J M

    2016-11-01

    Many laying hen producers are transitioning from conventional cages to new housing systems including multi-tier aviaries. Aviary resources, such as litter areas, are intended to encourage hens' expression of natural behaviors to improve their welfare. Little research has examined the influence of laying hen strain on distribution and behavior inside aviaries, yet differences could influence a strain's suitability for an aviary design. This research examined how laying hens of 4 strains (Hy-Line Brown [HB], Bovans Brown [BB], DeKalb White [DW], and Hy-Line W36) distributed themselves among 3 enclosed aviary tiers and 2 litter areas at peak lay (25 to 28 wk of age) and after gaining access to litter on the floor (26 wk). Observations of hens' spatial distribution were conducted immediately before and after, and 3 wk after hens gained access to litter. More HB and BB hens were in upper tiers in morning compared to DW and W36 (all P ≤ 0.05). However, DW and W36 hens roosted in upper tiers in larger numbers than HB and BB during evening (all P ≤ 0.05). More DW and W36 hens were on litter compared to BB and HB, particularly when litter was first accessible (all P ≤ 0.05). The number of hens on litter increased over time for all strains (P ≤ 0.06). White hens on litter occupied open areas in higher numbers (P ≤ 0.05), while more brown hens occupied litter under the aviary after acclimation (P ≤ 0.05). In the dark period, W36 and DW hens were present in higher numbers in upper tiers than HB and BB, while HB and BB showed higher tier-to-tier movement than DW and W36 (P ≤ 0.05). In general, more white hens roosted higher at night and explored litter sooner, while more brown hens were near or in nests in the morning and moved at night. Distinct strain differences indicate that attention should be paid to the match between configuration of the aviary design and strain of laying hen.

  10. Effects of dietary supplementation of resveratrol on performance, egg quality, yolk cholesterol and antioxidant enzyme activity of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Feng, Z H; Gong, J G; Zhao, G X; Lin, X; Liu, Y C; Ma, K W

    2017-09-04

    1. This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of resveratrol on laying performance, egg quality, egg yolk cholesterol and antioxidant enzyme activities of laying hens. 2. A total of 360 Beijing PINK-1 laying hens (60 weeks old) were randomly distributed among five dietary treatments, each of which included 6 replicates of 12 hens. Dietary treatments were basal diet supplemented with 0 (control), 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 g/kg diet resveratrol. The study lasted for 9 weeks including 1 week of adaptation and 8 weeks of the main experimental period. 3. The results indicated that dietary resveratrol significantly improved feed conversion ratios during 5-8 weeks and 1-8 weeks of the trial. Increasing dietary concentrations of the resveratrol linearly improved Haugh unit and albumen height of eggs. 4. The content of total cholesterol (TC), total triglyceride (TG), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C) in serum and cholesterol in yolk was significantly decreased by dietary resveratrol, and there were significant linear correlations between these indexes and resveratrol supplemental levels. 5. Dietary resveratrol supplementation significantly improved serum Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) enzyme activity and decreased serum malondialdehyde (MDA) content in groups with 2.0 and 4.0 g/kg resveratrol as compared to the control, respectively. However, supplementation of resveratrol did not affect the activity of serum superoxide dismutase (SOD). 6. It is concluded that resveratrol supplementation has a positive effect on performance, lipid-related traits and antioxidant activity of laying hens.

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biofortified orange maize enhances β-cryptoxanthin concentrations in egg yolks of laying hens better than tangerine peel fortificant.

    PubMed

    Heying, Emily K; Tanumihardjo, Jacob P; Vasic, Vedran; Cook, Mark; Palacios-Rojas, Natalia; Tanumihardjo, Sherry A

    2014-12-10

    The xanthophyll β-cryptoxanthin provides vitamin A and has other purported health benefits. Laying hens deposit xanthophyll carotenoids into egg yolk. Hens (n = 8/group) were fed conventional-bred high β-cryptoxanthin biofortified (orange) maize, tangerine peel-fortified white maize, lutein-fortified yellow maize, or white maize for 40 d to investigate yolk color changes using L*a*b* scales, yolk carotenoid enhancement, and hen vitamin A status. Yolks from hens fed orange maize had scores indicating a darker, orange color and mean higher β-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene concentrations (8.43 ± 1.82, 23.1 ± 4.8, 0.16 ± 0.08 nmol/g, respectively) than other treatments (P < 0.0001). Yolk retinol concentrations (mean: 14.4 ± 3.42 nmol/g) were similar among groups and decreased with time (P < 0.0001). Hens fed orange maize had higher liver retinol (0.53 ± 0.20 μmol/g liver) than other groups (P < 0.0001). β-Cryptoxanthin-biofortified eggs could be another choice for consumers, providing enhanced color through a provitamin A carotenoid and supporting eggs' status as a functional food.

  14. Influence of dietary calcium on phosphorus absorption and excretion and on phosphorus-33 distribution in laying hens

    SciTech Connect

    Scheideler, S.E.; Sell, J.L.

    1988-03-01

    An experiment was conducted using isotope-dilution and comparative balance techniques to estimate urinary and fecal P excretion of laying hens fed different levels of dietary Ca. Two levels of dietary Ca (3.46 and 4.2%) were fed to eight hens for 30 days. After 30 days, 50 microCi of the radioisotope /sup 33/P was injected intramuscularly to label endogenous P. On the 2nd day after /sup 33/P dosing and at 1 h postoviposition, plasma, liver, kidney, femur bone, whole egg, ileum, ileal digesta, and excreta samples were collected from each hen. Results showed a favorable effect of increasing dietary Ca consumption (2.91 vs 3.57 g/hen per day): femur ash increased (P less than .08), excreta P decreased (P less than .03), and urinary P decreased (P less than .06). The P content of ileal digesta was not affected by dietary Ca intake, but excreta P was greater for hens consuming less Ca, indicating that, during the collection period, excretion of P in urine was increased by the low Ca diet. Endogenous P secretions constituted less than 1% of the P in ileal digesta and excreta samples and this proportion was not changed by dietary Ca consumed.

  15. In vitro penetration of Salmonella Enteritidis through yolk membranes of eggs from 6 genetically distinct commercial lines of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Gast, R K; Jones, D R; Anderson, K E; Guraya, R; Guard, J; Holt, P S

    2010-08-01

    Although deposition of Salmonella Enteritidis inside yolks is less common than deposition in albumen or on the vitelline (yolk) membrane in naturally contaminated eggs laid by infected hens, bacterial migration into the yolk to reach its nutrient-rich contents could lead to extensive multiplication. The present study used an in vitro egg contamination model to assess the ability of small initial numbers of Salmonella Enteritidis to penetrate the vitelline membrane and multiply inside yolks of eggs laid by 6 genetically distinct commercial lines of hens during 24 h of storage at 30 degrees C. Eggs from each line were tested at 4 different hen ages by inoculation of approximately 100 cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis onto the outside of the vitelline membranes of intact yolks in plastic centrifuge tubes and then adding back the albumen into each tube before incubation. Overall, the frequency of penetration of Salmonella Enteritidis into the yolk contents of eggs from individual lines of hens ranged from 30 to 58% and the mean concentration of Salmonella Enteritidis in yolk contents after incubation ranged from 0.8 to 2.0 log(10) cfu/mL. For both of these parameters, values for one hen line were significantly higher than for 2 other lines, but no other differences were observed. Hen age did not have a significant effect on egg yolk penetration by Salmonella Enteritidis. These results indicate that opportunities for the migration and growth of small initial numbers of Salmonella Enteritidis to attain more dangerous levels inside contaminated eggs during storage at warm temperatures can sometimes vary between different lines of laying hens.

  16. 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.

  17. A review on development of novel strategies for controlling Salmonella Enteritidis colonization in laying hens: fiber-based molt diets.

    PubMed

    Ricke, S C; Dunkley, C S; Durant, J A

    2013-02-01

    Limiting Salmonella Enteritidis from table eggs can involve intervention approaches at several levels of the production cycle, beginning at the hatchery and ending at the processing or table egg production facilities. Likewise, interventions that limit Salmonella Enteritidis dissemination can be implemented at various stages during the life cycle of infection of Salmonella in the laying hen. However, achieving complete elimination of Salmonella infestation in egg products has remained elusive. There is a multitude of reasons for this, including adaptability of the organism, virulence properties, and persistence. Likewise, environmental factors in the layer house such as transmission routes, reservoirs, and feed sources can influence the exposure of susceptible laying hens to Salmonella Enteritidis. Consequently, successful applications of control measures depend not only on the timing of when they are applied but also on effective surveillance to detect frequency and level of infection of Salmonella. Several studies demonstrated that molt induction by feed withdrawal altered the immune system and the gastrointestinal tract of hens, making them susceptible to Salmonella Enteritidis colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. To alleviate this, the development of alternative methods to induce a molt became necessary. The use of several fiber-containing diets was shown to effectively induce a molt with alfalfa-based diets being the most extensively studied. Further reduction of Salmonella Enteritidis levels in eggs will probably require application of multiple interventions at several steps during egg production and processing as well as a better understanding of the mechanisms used by Salmonella Enteritidis to persist in laying flocks.

  18. Changes in substrate access did not affect early feather-pecking behavior in two strains of laying hen chicks.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Laura M; Duncan, Ian J H

    2010-01-01

    Feather pecking, commonly found in flocks of laying hens (Gallus gallus), is detrimental to bird welfare. Thought to cause this problem is the normal housing of layers without a floor substrate. Some evidence suggests that early substrate access decreases later feather pecking. However, there has been little research on the immediate effects of a change in substrate availability on bird welfare, although environmental modifications like this are often done when brooding and rearing laying hen chicks. To investigate this, the behavior of two strains of laying hen chicks was recorded for 4 weeks. The study kept the birds on either wire or peat moss for 14 days and then switched half the chicks to the other flooring. Early feather pecking was not significantly different for birds started on peat moss and switched to wire than for birds only on wire (p > .05). Because moving chicks from peat moss to wire did not cause additional welfare problems, the study recommends that chicks be kept on a substrate when young as feather-pecking levels are lower and immediate welfare is improved compared with birds kept only on wire.

  19. Effects of commercial enzyme preparations on egg and eggshell quality in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Roberts, J R; Choct, M

    2006-08-01

    1. Four different commercial enzyme products were added to standard commercial layer diets, based on barley, wheat or triticale. 2. Diets were fed to 4 different strains of commercial laying hen: ISA Brown, Hy-Line CB, Tegel SB2 and Tegel HiSex. 3. Diets were given for 5 weeks prior to measurements of egg and eggshell quality. 4. The inclusion of commercial enzyme products in the diets had no effect on egg weight. 5. Positive effects of the enzymes were: improved eggshell breaking strength, shell weight, percentage shell and shell thickness for the barley-based diet and increased eggshell breaking strength for two of the enzymes with the wheat-based diets. 6. Negative effects of the enzyme products were slightly lighter coloured eggshells and reduced albumen quality for the barley-based diet and for two enzymes with the wheat-based diet. 7. The addition of commercial enzyme preparations had no main effect on egg and eggshell quality for the triticale-based diet, except for effects on yolk colour. 8. Yolk colour was lower than control for enzyme 3 in all diets and for enzyme 4 with the barley- and wheat-based diets. 9. Further investigation is required to elucidate the specific enzyme components that influence egg quality.

  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. Endotoxin concentration in poultry houses for laying hens kept in cages or in alternative housing systems.

    PubMed

    Huneau-Salaün, A; Le Bouquin, S; Bex-Capelle, V; Huonnic, D; Balaine, L; Guillam, M-T; Squizani, F; Segala, C; Michel, V

    2011-10-01

    Endotoxins as components of organic dust may have adverse effects on the respiratory health of workers in poultry buildings. The move towards more welfare-friendly housing systems for layers may increase worker exposure to air contaminants due to the use of litter. The endotoxin concentrations in the inhalable fraction of airborne dust (below 100 µm) from cage and alternative system houses (on-floor, free range and aviaries) were compared under both experimental and commercial conditions. The endotoxin concentration was higher in experimental aviaries (median: 565 EU/m³, range: 362-1491 EU/m³) than in cage housing (98 EU/m³ (51-470)). In field conditions, the endotoxin concentration in the air of 13 alternative houses was higher (35 to 3156 EU/m³) than in cage system buildings (n = 8, 78-576 EU/m³). It was correlated to the respirable dust concentration (fraction below 5 µm) and to the temperature inside the hen house but no seasonal variation was observed. The present study emphasises that considerable worker exposure to endotoxins may occur in laying houses, especially in alternative systems.

  2. Salmonella Gallinarum field isolates from laying hens are related to the vaccine strain SG9R.

    PubMed

    Van Immerseel, F; Studholme, D J; Eeckhaut, V; Heyndrickx, M; Dewulf, J; Dewaele, I; Van Hoorebeke, S; Haesebrouck, F; Van Meirhaeghe, H; Ducatelle, R; Paszkiewicz, K; Titball, R W

    2013-10-09

    Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Gallinarum can cause severe systemic disease in chickens and a live Salmonella Gallinarum 9R vaccine (SG9R) has been used widely to control disease. Using whole-genome sequencing we found point mutations in the pyruvate dehydrogenase (aceE) and/or lipopolysaccharide 1,2-glucosyltransferase (rfaJ) genes that likely explain the attenuation of the SG9R vaccine strain. Molecular typing using Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis and Multiple-Locus Variable number of tandem repeat Analysis showed that strains isolated from different layer flocks in multiple countries and the SG9R vaccine strain were similar. The genome of one Salmonella Gallinarum field strain, isolated from a flock with a mortality peak and selected on the basis of identical PFGE and MLVA patterns with SG9R, was sequenced. We found 9 non-silent single-nucleotide differences distinguishing the field strain from the SG9R vaccine strain. Our data show that a Salmonella Gallinarum field strain isolated from laying hens is almost identical to the SG9R vaccine. Mutations in the aceE and rfaJ genes could explain the reversion to a more virulent phenotype. Our results highlight the importance of using well defined gene deletion mutants as vaccines.

  3. Multiresidue determination of quinolone antibacterials in eggs of laying hens by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection.

    PubMed

    Hassouan, M K; Ballesteros, O; Taoufiki, J; Vílchez, J L; Cabrera-Aguilera, M; Navalón, A

    2007-06-01

    An analytical method for the simultaneous determination of seven quinolones (ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, danofloxacin, difloxacin, flumequine, oxolinic acid and sarafloxacin) in egg samples of laying hens was developed. Their use is totally prohibited in animals from which eggs are produced for human consumption. Protein precipitation was achieved by addition of acetonitrile and ammonia, removal of acetonitrile with dichloromethane, the quinolones remaining in the basic aqueous extract. The aqueous extract was analysed by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (LC-FD). The mobile phase was composed of acetonitrile and 10 mM citrate buffer solution of pH 4.5, with an initial composition of acetonitrile-water (12:88, v/v) and using linear gradient elution. Norfloxacin was used as an internal standard. The limits of detection found were 4-12 ng g(-1). These values were lower than the maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the European Union for these compounds in different tissues of eggs-producing animals.

  4. The composition of triglycerides from liver, egg yolk and adipose tissue of the laying hen

    PubMed Central

    Husbands, D. R.

    1970-01-01

    The composition of the triglycerides of liver, egg yolk and adipose tissue of laying hens fed on a standard diet were investigated by using argentation thin-layer chromatography to separate the triglycerides according to their degree of unsaturation. About 40% of liver triglycerides consisted of one saturated and two monoenoic fatty acids. Triglycerides containing linoleate were more abundant in adipose tissue than in either yolk or liver. Hydrolysis by pancreatic lipase of the tissue triglycerides and fractions obtained from these triglycerides showed that the triglycerides of adipose tissue had a less ordered arrangement of fatty acids at the 2-position than did either yolk or liver triglycerides. The labelling patterns of triglycerides formed in liver slices incubated in the presence of [1-(3)14C]glycerol indicated that triglycerides containing four or more double bonds are formed to a greater extent than are other triglyceride fractions. This is evidence for the concept that the type of triglyceride formed depends on the availability of fatty acids to the liver cells. PMID:5493857

  5. 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.

  6. Reduced bone breakage and increased bone strength in free range laying hens fed omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplemented diets.

    PubMed

    Tarlton, John F; Wilkins, Lindsay J; Toscano, Michael J; Avery, Nick C; Knott, Lynda

    2013-02-01

    The omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are the immediate precursors to a number of important mediators of immunity, inflammation and bone function, with products of omega-6 generally thought to promote inflammation and favour bone resorption. Western diets generally provide a 10 to 20-fold deficit in omega-3 PUFAs compared with omega-6, and this is thought to have contributed to the marked rise in incidence of disorders of modern human societies, such as heart disease, colitis and perhaps osteoporosis. Many of our food production animals, fed on grains rich in omega-6, are also exposed to a dietary deficit in omega-3, with perhaps similar health consequences. Bone fragility due to osteoporotic changes in laying hens is a major economic and welfare problem, with our recent estimates of breakage rates indicating up to 95% of free range hens suffer breaks during lay. Free range hens housed in full scale commercial systems were provided diets supplemented with omega-3 alpha linolenic acid, and the skeletal benefits were investigated by comparison to standard diets rich in omega-6. There was a significant 40-60% reduction in keel bone breakage rate, and a corresponding reduction in breakage severity in the omega-3 supplemented hens. There was significantly greater bone density and bone mineral content, alongside increases in total bone and trabecular volumes. The mechanical properties of the omega-3 supplemented hens were improved, with strength, energy to break and stiffness demonstrating significant increases. Alkaline phosphatase (an osteoblast marker) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (an osteoclast marker) both showed significant increases with the omega-3 diets, indicating enhanced bone turnover. This was corroborated by the significantly lower levels of the mature collagen crosslinks, hydroxylysyl pyridinoline, lysyl pyridinoline and histidinohydroxy-lysinonorleucine, with a corresponding significant shift in the mature

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The correlation of chemical and physical corn kernel traits with production performance in broiler chickens and laying hens.

    PubMed

    Moore, S M; Stalder, K J; Beitz, D C; Stahl, C H; Fithian, W A; Bregendahl, K

    2008-04-01

    A study was conducted to determine the influence on broiler chicken growth and laying hen performance of chemical and physical traits of corn kernels from different hybrids. A total of 720 male 1-d-old Ross-308 broiler chicks were allotted to floor pens in 2 replicated experiments with a randomized complete block design. A total of 240 fifty-two-week-old Hy-Line W-36 laying hens were allotted to cages in a randomized complete block design. Corn-soybean meal diets were formulated for 3 broiler growth phases and one 14-wk-long laying hen phase to be marginally deficient in Lys and TSAA to allow for the detection of differences or correlations attributable to corn kernel chemical or physical traits. The broiler chicken diets were also marginally deficient in Ca and nonphytate P. Within a phase, corn- and soybean-based diets containing equal amounts of 1 of 6 different corn hybrids were formulated. The corn hybrids were selected to vary widely in chemical and physical traits. Feed consumption and BW were recorded for broiler chickens every 2 wk from 0 to 6 wk of age. Egg production was recorded daily, and feed consumption and egg weights were recorded weekly for laying hens between 53 and 67 wk of age. Physical and chemical composition of kernels was correlated with performance measures by multivariate ANOVA. Chemical and physical kernel traits were weakly correlated with performance in broiler chickens from 0 to 2 wk of age (P<0.05, | r |<0.42). However, from 4 to 6 wk of age and 0 to 6 wk of age, only kernel chemical traits were correlated with broiler chicken performance (P<0.05, | r |<0.29). From 53 to 67 wk of age, correlations were observed between both kernel physical and chemical traits and laying hen performance (P<0.05, | r |<0.34). In both experiments, the correlations of performance measures with individual kernel chemical and physical traits for any single kernel trait were not large enough to base corn hybrid selection on for feeding poultry.

  12. 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.

  13. Mycotoxin-contaminated diets and deactivating compound in laying hens: 1. effects on performance characteristics and relative organ weight.

    PubMed

    Lee, J T; Jessen, K A; Beltran, R; Starkl, V; Schatzmayr, G; Borutova, R; Caldwell, D J

    2012-09-01

    The current experiment was conducted to determine the effect of mycotoxin-contaminated diets with aflatoxin (AFLA) and deoxynivalenol (DON) and dietary inclusion of deactivation compound on layer hen performance during a 10-wk trial. The experimental design consisted of a 4 × 2 factorial with 4 toxin levels: control, low (0.5 mg/kg AFLA + 1.0 mg/kg DON), medium (1.5 mg/kg AFLA + 1.5 mg/kg DON), and high (2.0 mg/kg AFLA + 2.0 mg/kg DON) with or without the inclusion of deactivation compound. Three hundred eighty-four 25-wk-old laying hens were randomly assigned to 1 of the 8 treatment groups. Birds were fed contaminated diets for a 6-wk phase of toxin administration followed by a 4-wk recovery phase, when all birds were fed mycotoxin-free diets. Twelve hens from each treatment were subjected to necropsy following each phase. Relative liver and kidney weights were increased (P < 0.05) at the medium and high toxin levels following the toxin phase, but the deactivation compound reduced (P < 0.05) relative liver and kidney weights following the recovery period. The high toxin level decreased (P < 0.05) feed consumption and egg production during the toxin period, whereas the deactivation compound increased (P < 0.05) egg production during the first 2 wk of the toxin phase. Egg weights were reduced (P < 0.05) in hens fed medium and high levels of toxin. An interaction existed between toxin level and deactivation compound inclusion with regard to feed conversion (g of feed/g of egg). High inclusion level of toxins increased feed conversion compared with the control diet, whereas deactivation compound inclusion reduced feed conversion to a level comparable with the control. These data indicate that deactivation compound can reduce or eliminate adverse effects of mycotoxicoses in peak-performing laying hens.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-09

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Assessment of Salmonella spp. in feces, cloacal swabs, and eggs (eggshell and content separately) from a laying hen farm.

    PubMed

    García, C; Soriano, J M; Benítez, V; Catalá-Gregori, P

    2011-07-01

    Microbial pathogens of the genus Salmonella are among the leading causes of foodborne illness in the world. The present study was done on a laying hen farm with a Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis-positive result according to the testing specified by European regulation 2160/2003. The aim of this study was to compare the Salmonella contamination on a laying hen farm with the Salmonella presence in the hen eggs. The strains were isolated by ISO method 6579:2002 (standard method for the detection of Salmonella spp. in the European regulation for food and animal feeding stuffs, animal feces, and environmental samples from the primary production stage, including poultry farms) and were confirmed as Salmonella Enteritidis by the Kauffmann-White method. In addition, strains were compared with genomic macrorestriction followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Four types of samples, namely, feces (n = 50), cloacal swabs (n = 150), eggshells (n = 50), and egg contents (n = 50), were taken from each of 50 randomly selected battery cages. Results demonstrated that feces (92%) were the most positive sample, followed by eggshells (34%) and cloacal swabs (4%). No Salmonella spp. were detected in the egg contents. Our results show that a Salmonella Enteritidis-positive result on a laying hen farm, according to the testing specified by European regulation 2160/2003, did not imply the presence of the pathogen in the egg contents. Additionally, XbaI-digested genomic DNA of Salmonella Enteritidis strains isolated from several samples resulted in the same pattern, so were probably of the same origin.

  18. Comparison of the effects of dietary supplementation of flavonoids on laying hen performance, egg quality and egg nutrient profile.

    PubMed

    Iskender, H; Yenice, G; Dokumacioglu, E; Kaynar, O; Hayirli, A; Kaya, A

    2017-10-01

    1. The aim of this experiment was to compare the effects of dietary supplementation of hesperidin, naringin and quercetin on laying hen performance, egg quality and egg yolk lipid and protein profiles. 2. A total of 96 Lohmann White laying hens weighing an average of 1500 g at 28 weeks of age were randomly assigned to a basal diet and the basal diet supplemented (0.5 g/kg) with either hesperidin, naringin or quercetin. Each treatment was replicated in 6 cages in an 8-week experimental period. Data were analysed using one-way analysis of variance. 3. None of the dietary flavonoids affected laying performance and eggshell quality. Hesperidin and quercetin supplementations decreased albumen and yolk indexes. 4. As compared to the control group, egg yolk cholesterol content decreased and egg yolk protein content increased in response to dietary hesperidin and quercetin supplementation. The mean egg yolk cholesterol (mg/g) and protein (g/100 g) contents were 10.08/14.28, 16.12/14.08, 14.75/15.04 and 15.15/14.85 for the control group and groups supplemented with naringin, hesperidin and quercetin, respectively. 5. Egg yolk lipid and protein profiles were variable. 6. In conclusion, dietary supplementation of hesperidin or quercetin could be used in the diets during the early laying period to reduce egg yolk cholesterol and increase egg yolk protein, which may be attractive to consumers.

  19. Abatement of particulate matter emission from experimental aviary housings for laying hens by spraying rapeseed oil.

    PubMed

    Winkel, A; van Riel, J W; van Emous, R A; Aarnink, A J A; Groot Koerkamp, P W G; Ogink, N W M

    2016-12-01

    In alternative systems for laying hens, concentrations and emission rates of particulate matter (PM) give reason for concern with regard to working conditions, bird health and productivity, and health of residents living near farms. Previously, we found that spraying a film of rapeseed oil onto the litter of broilers could substantially reduce PM concentrations and emissions. The objective of this study was to establish dose-response effects of oil spraying in aviaries on concentrations and emission rates of PM with aerodynamic diameters less than 10 μm (PM10) and 2.5 μm (PM2.5), on stockmen's exposure to PM10, on egg production, exterior quality and behavior of the hens, and on the litter. An experiment was carried out with 4 treatments: 0 (control), 15, 30, and 45 mL/m(2) per d (oil treatments). Each treatment was applied in 2 rooms with different aviary systems (8 rooms in total). The experiment was repeated during a second period, both lasting 35 days. From d 11 to d 35, oil was applied daily using a spraying gun. Applying 15, 30, or 45 mL/m(2) per d significantly reduced emission rates of PM10 by 27, 62, and 82%, and emission rates of PM2.5 by 71, 83, and 94%, respectively. No significant effects of oil spraying were found on mortality, egg production, dust bathing behavior, scratching behavior, plumage soiling, DM content of the litter, or friability of the litter. A significant worsening of the plumage condition was found only for the body spot back/wings/tail (not for: throat/neck, chest/breast, or legs) in the 45 mL/m(2) per d treatment. Egg quality shifted significantly towards more second-class eggs in the oil treatments (1.9% versus 1.4%; P = 0.004). Remarkably, foot soiling decreased with increasing oil application. In conclusion, PM concentrations and emission rates in aviaries can be effectively reduced by spraying 15 to 30 mL/m(2) per d with minor side effects within a 25 d application period.

  20. E-cadherin Expression in Ovarian Cancer in the Laying Hen, Gallus Domesticus, compared to Human Ovarian Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ansenberger, Kristine; Zhuge, Yan; Lagman, Jo Ann J.; Richards, Cassandra; Barua, Animesh; Bahr, Janice M.; Hales, Dale Buchanan

    2010-01-01

    that E-cadherin may prove to be an important target in the preventative treatment of metastatic ovarian cancer and further confirm that the laying hen is a good model for the study of human epithelial ovarian carcinoma. PMID:19321195

  1. Influence of genetic strain and access to litter on spatial distribution of 4 strains of laying hens in an aviary system1

    PubMed Central

    Ali, A. B. A.; Campbell, D. L. M.; Karcher, D. M.; Siegford, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Many laying hen producers are transitioning from conventional cages to new housing systems including multi-tier aviaries. Aviary resources, such as litter areas, are intended to encourage hens’ expression of natural behaviors to improve their welfare. Little research has examined the influence of laying hen strain on distribution and behavior inside aviaries, yet differences could influence a strain's suitability for an aviary design. This research examined how laying hens of 4 strains (Hy-Line Brown [HB], Bovans Brown [BB], DeKalb White [DW], and Hy-Line W36) distributed themselves among 3 enclosed aviary tiers and 2 litter areas at peak lay (25 to 28 wk of age) and after gaining access to litter on the floor (26 wk). Observations of hens’ spatial distribution were conducted immediately before and after, and 3 wk after hens gained access to litter. More HB and BB hens were in upper tiers in morning compared to DW and W36 (all P ≤ 0.05). However, DW and W36 hens roosted in upper tiers in larger numbers than HB and BB during evening (all P ≤ 0.05). More DW and W36 hens were on litter compared to BB and HB, particularly when litter was first accessible (all P ≤ 0.05). The number of hens on litter increased over time for all strains (P ≤ 0.06). White hens on litter occupied open areas in higher numbers (P ≤ 0.05), while more brown hens occupied litter under the aviary after acclimation (P ≤ 0.05). In the dark period, W36 and DW hens were present in higher numbers in upper tiers than HB and BB, while HB and BB showed higher tier-to-tier movement than DW and W36 (P ≤ 0.05). In general, more white hens roosted higher at night and explored litter sooner, while more brown hens were near or in nests in the morning and moved at night. Distinct strain differences indicate that attention should be paid to the match between configuration of the aviary design and strain of laying hen. PMID:27444438

  2. Production performance, use of nest box, and external appearance of two strains of laying hens kept in conventional and enriched cages.

    PubMed

    Onbaşılar, E E; Ünal, N; Erdem, E; Kocakaya, A; Yaranoğlu, B

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in production performance, use of nest box, and external appearance of 2 strains of laying hens kept in conventional and enriched cages. Lohmann Brown Classic (LB, n=532) and Lohmann LSL Classic (LW, n=532) hens were housed from 16 to 73 wk in either conventional cages or enriched cages. Enriched cages had a nesting area, scratch pad, perch, and nail shortener. Body weight (BW), hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), cracked and dirty eggs, use of nest box for lay, and external appearance were determined. Laying period influenced the hen-day egg production, egg weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio. Cage type affected the hen-day egg production and feed conversion ratio, while strain affected the egg weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio. Laying period×cage type and laying period×strain interactions affected egg production, egg weight, and feed conversion ratio. Both strains preferred to lay in the nest box. Percentages of cracked and dirty eggs of LW hens in enriched cages were higher than that in conventional cages. Most of the dirty eggs laid by both strains were found outside of the nest box. The LW hens laid more dirty eggs than the LB hens. Cage type and cage type×strain interaction were important for total feather score. Final claw length was affected by cage type, strain, and cage type×strain interaction. This study suggests that cage type, strain, and also cage type×strain and period×strain interactions should be considered when alternative housing systems are used. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  3. The use of selected plasma enzyme activities for the diagnosis of fatty liver-hemorrhagic syndrome in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Diaz, G J; Squires, E J; Julian, R J

    1999-01-01

    Profiles of plasma enzymes were compared in two strains of single comb white leghorn laying hens, a normal commercial strain and strain UCD-003, which is highly susceptible to fatty liver-hemorrhagic syndrome. Plasma activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and creatine kinase (CK) averaged 194 +/- 27, 4.0 +/- 2.8, 146 +/- 20, 1.0 +/- 1.0, and 1041 +/- 268 U/liter, respectively in normal birds. Activities of LDH, GDH, AST, and ALT, but not CK, were significantly higher in UCD-003 than in normal hens. A bimodal distribution of activities of all enzymes was found in the UCD-003 hens, with some birds showing activities comparable with those of the normal hens and others with values that were 2-10 times greater than those found in normal hens. These results are consistent with the extensive hepatic lesions observed in the UCD-003 strain of birds. Average gross hemorrhagic scores from visual inspection (scale of 0-3) were 0.28 +/- 0.45 in normal birds and 1.63 +/- 0.94 in the UCD-003 birds. Even though no clear relationship was found between plasma enzyme activities and the extent of liver hemorrhage in individual birds, the UCD-003 hens consistently had average values significantly higher for plasma enzymes that indicate liver damage. The results suggest that measurement of enzyme activities indicative of liver damage in birds, particularly AST, LDH, and GDH, is a valuable tool in the diagnosis of fatty liver-hemorrhagic syndrome in a flock of layers.

  4. Persistence of fecal shedding of Salmonella Enteritidis by experimentally infected laying hens housed in conventional or enriched cages.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Salmonella Enteritidis can be deposited inside eggs laid by infected hens, so the prevalence of this pathogen in commercial egg-producing flocks is an important risk factor for human illness. Opportunities for the introduction, transmission, and persistence of salmonellae in poultry are potentially influenced by flock housing and management systems. Animal welfare concerns have spurred the development of alternatives to traditional cage-based housing. However, the consequences of poultry housing systems for food safety have not been fully resolved by prior research. The present study assessed the effects of two different housing systems (conventional cages and colony cages enriched with perching and nesting areas) on the persistence of fecal shedding of Salmonella Enteritidis by groups of experimentally infected laying hens. In each of two trials, 136 hens were distributed among cages of both housing systems and orally inoculated with doses of 10(8) cfu of Salmonella Enteritidis (phage type 13a in one trial and phage type 4 in the other). At weekly intervals, samples of voided feces were collected from beneath each cage and cultured to detect Salmonella Enteritidis. Fecal shedding of Salmonella Enteritidis was detected for up to 8 wk post-inoculation by hens housed in enriched colony cages and 10 wk by hens housed in conventional cages. For both trials combined, the frequency of positive fecal cultures was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for conventional cages than for enriched colony cages at 1 wk (84.7 vs. 71.5%), 2 wk (54.2 vs. 31.3%), 3 wk (21.5 vs. 7.6%), and 4 wk (9.7 vs. 2.8%) post-inoculation. These results demonstrate that the susceptibility of hens to intestinal colonization by Salmonella Enteritidis can differ between conventional and enriched cage-based production systems, although this effect does not necessarily translate into a corresponding difference in the longer-term persistence of fecal shedding. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  5. Surface wetting and its effect on body and surface temperatures of domestic laying hens at different thermal conditions.

    PubMed

    Mutaf, S; Kahraman, N Seber; Firat, M Z

    2008-12-01

    This study investigated the efficacy of surface wetting at different thermal conditions on core body, head, and dorsal surface temperatures in laying hens. Hens were sprinkled on the head and dorsal surface by releasing a sprinkling dosage of 10 mL.bird(-1). The first measurement was taken presprinkling, and the second was taken immediately postsprinkling and then repeated every 5 min for 20 min. The cooling water needs for intermittent partial surface wetting to relieve acute heat stress in the laying hens were quantified for 48 domestic laying hens under 4 experimental thermal conditions. The hens were kept at 4 thermal conditions at average dry-bulb temperatures of 31.30 +/- 0.03, 33.20 +/- 0.08, 36.01 +/- 0.12, and 40.24 +/- 0.08 degrees C; RH of 67.68 +/- 0.37, 51.78 +/- 1.98, 24.59 +/- 0.90, and 16.12 +/- 1.55%; and air velocities of 0.09 +/- 0.00, 0.07 +/- 0.00, 0.08 +/- 0.00, and 0.09 +/- 0.00 m.s(-1), respectively. The differences in core body, head, and dorsal surface temperatures among the 4 thermal groups were 0.15, 0.18, 0.23, and 0.22 degrees C for core body temperature; 1.63, 1.44, 2.51, and 0.97 degrees C for core head temperature; and 1.23, 1.37, 1.41, and 0.64 degrees C for core dorsal temperature at thermal conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. There were significant differences in core body, head, and dorsal surface temperatures among the 4 thermal condition groups. It was concluded that the spraying interval was directly proportional to the product of the vapor pressure deficit and the thermal resistance of convective mass transfer of the wetted hens, because there were no significant differences in the air velocity among the 4 thermal condition groups and the air velocity was very low.

  6. 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.

  7. Feather-pecking response of laying hens to feather and cellulose-based rations fed during rearing.

    PubMed

    Kriegseis, I; Bessei, W; Meyer, B; Zentek, J; Würbel, H; Harlander-Matauschek, A

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies in laying hens have shown that feather peckers eat more feathers than nonpeckers. We hypothesized that food pellets containing feathers would decrease the birds' appetite for feathers and thereby also decrease feather pecking. To separate the effect of feathers from that of insoluble fiber per se, additional control groups were fed pellets containing similar amounts of cellulose. Sixty (experiment 1) and 180 (experiment 2) 1-d-old Lohmann-Selected Leghorn birds were divided into 12 groups of 5 (experiment 1) and 15 (experiment 2) birds, respectively, and kept on slatted floors. During the rearing period, 4 groups each had ad libitum access to either a commercial pelleted diet, a pelleted diet containing 5% (experiment 1) or 10% (experiment 2) of chopped feathers, respectively, or a pelleted diet containing 5% (experiment 1) or 10% (experiment 2) of cellulose, respectively. In the consecutive laying period, all groups received a commercial pelleted diet. In experiment 1, feather pecking was recorded weekly from wk 5 to wk 16. In the laying period, observations were made in wk 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 30. In experiment 2, feather pecking was recorded weekly from wk 5 to 11, in wk 16 to wk 18, and in wk 20 and 21. At the end of the rearing period, plumage condition per individual hen was scored. Scores from 1 (denuded) to 4 (intact) were given for each of 6 body parts. The addition of 10% of feathers to the diet reduced the number of severe feather-pecking bouts (P < 0.0129) and improved plumage condition of the back area (P < 0.001) significantly compared with control diets. The relationship between feather pecking/eating and the gastrointestinal consequences thereof, which alter feather pecking-behavior, are unclear. Understanding this relationship might be crucial for understanding the causation of feather pecking in laying hens.

  8. Differences in intestinal microbial metabolites in laying hens with high and low levels of repetitive feather-pecking behavior.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Beatrice; Zentek, Jürgen; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra

    2013-02-17

    Feather pecking in laying hens is a serious behavioral problem and is often associated with feather eating. There is some evidence that ingested feathers affect gut function. The aim of the present study was to explore whether differences in intestinal microbial metabolites in laying hens with high and low levels of repetitive feather-pecking behavior exist. Sixty high feather-pecking birds (H) and sixty low feather-pecking birds (L) of the White Leghorn breed were used for behavioral recordings of feather pecking. Feather pecking activity was observed for 5 weeks, after which 22 H birds with the highest and 22 L birds with the lowest feather pecking activity were chosen. The number of whole feathers and feather parts in the gizzard and intestinal microbial metabolites in the ileum and ceca of these laying hens was examined. Biogenic amines, short-chain fatty acids, ammonia and lactate were measured as microbial metabolites. A higher number of feather parts and particles were found in H than in L birds. Putrescine and cadaverine concentrations were higher in the ileum of the hens with low pecking activity (P<0.001 and P=0.012). In the cecum the amounts of l-lactate, d-lactate and total lactate and SCFA were higher in H birds (P=0.007, P=0.005, P=0.006, and P<0.001). Acetate, i-butyrate, i-valeriate and n-valeriate all displayed significantly higher molar ratios in the cecal contents of L birds (P=0.001, P=0.003, P=0.001, and P<0.001). Propionate and n-butyrate showed higher molar ratios in H birds (P<0.001 and P=0.034). Ammonia was higher in the ileum and cecum of the L birds (P<0.001 and P=0.004). For the first time, this study shows that birds with high and low numbers of repetitive pecking movements to the plumage of other birds differ in their intestinal microbial metabolism. Further experiments should be conducted to investigate whether these differences alter behavior in H and L feather pecking birds. The present results, however, open new avenues of research

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Effect of nitrogen fertilisation on the amino acid digestibility of different triticale genotypes in caecectomised laying hens.

    PubMed

    Siegert, Wolfgang; Boguhn, Jeannette; Maurer, Hans Peter; Weiss, Jochen; Zuber, Tobias; Möhring, Jens; Rodehutscord, Markus

    2017-01-01

    The influence of nitrogen fertilisation and genotype on the amino acid (AA) digestibility of triticale grain was investigated in caecectomised laying hens. Three genotypes, Grenado, EAW6002 and Lasko, were cultivated with and without nitrogen fertilisation at the end of the heading stage. The six triticale variants as well as a basal diet were each used to feed seven laying hens in a 7 × 7 Latin square design. Nitrogen fertilisation influenced the digestibility of Cys, Glu, Phe and Ser in some triticale genotypes and reduced Ala, Ile, Lys, Met and Val digestibility in all genotypes (P < 0.05). Nitrogen fertilisation increased the concentration of all AAs in the grain. Consequently, the concentration of digestible AAs in the grains was increased for most AAs upon nitrogen fertilisation. Overall, Lys had the lowest digestibility, whereas that of Glu and Pro was the highest. For the triticale genotypes, the level of AA digestibility was highest for EAW6002 followed by Lasko and Grenado, with significant differences (P < 0.05) between genotypes for some but not all AAs. The results indicated that the accuracy of the digestible AA supply for hen feeding might benefit from considering fertilisation and genotype-specific digestibility data in feed formulation. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. 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. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  13. Effects of diets supplemented with zinc and manganese on performance and related parameters in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaojun; Zhong, Lelun; An, Xiaofang; Zhang, Nan; Zhang, Limin; Han, Jincheng; Yao, Junhu; Cote, Charron; Sun, Yajing

    2012-06-01

    Iron is often found to be of excessive concentrations in laying hens' diets, which may cause antagonistic interactions with other minerals. This study was conducted to investigate how to supplement Zn and Mn in the diets without Fe supplementation. In experiment 1, 420 18-week Lohmann Brown layers were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with 30-0, 65-30 and 100-60 mg/kg of Zn and Mn, respectively. In experiment 2, 360 40-week Lohmann Brown layers were fed a basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with 15-0, 35-0 and 55-15 mg/kg of Mn and Zn, respectively. Minerals were supplemented in the form of sulfate. Egg production was improved by supplementing 30 mg/kg Zn or 65 mg/kg Zn in combination with 30 mg/kg Mn in experiment one. In experiment two, a significant reduction of egg performance occurred with 35 mg/kg Mn supplementation. Mn and/or Zn supplementation increased eggshell thickness in experiment one, and decreased yolk cholesterol in both experiments. Mn and/or Zn supplementation increased Zn and Mn excretion in both experiments. Serum growth hormone (GH), thyroxine (T(4) ), and insulin levels, or alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity were not affected by treatments; serum estrogen (E(2) ) and triiodothyronine (T(3) ) were different but there was no consistency by dietary treatments. This study demonstrates that 30 mg/kg supplemental Zn is necessary to obtain maximal egg production, and there seems to be no need to supply Mn in this type of diet. © 2011 The Authors. Animal Science Journal © 2011 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  14. 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

  15. Keel bone condition in laying hens: a histological evaluation of macroscopically assessed keel bones.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Britta; Rönchen, Swaantje; Hamann, Henning; Hewicker-Trautwein, Marion; Distl, Ottmar

    2008-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to conduct a corresponding histological analysis of 162 macroscopically assessed keel bones (1: severe, 2: moderate, 3: slight, 4: no deformity). Four layer lines were used and hens were kept in furnished cages, small group systems (both allowing more activities due to the provision of perches) and an aviary system, which fully conformed to the EU standards. Investigations were carried out in the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th laying month of two experimental trials. In 97.9% of grade 4 keel bones, no histological deviations were found, whereas in keel bones manifesting deformities of grade 1 and 2, the predominant histological observation was the incidence of fracture callus material (FCM) and new bone in the form of woven bone. FCM was also detected in 50.9% of grade 3 keel bones, whereas in 40.7%, only s-shaped deviations of keel bones were found, which were related to extended pressure loading while perching activities rather than short-duration trauma. Histological analysis showed that keel bones of grade 1 and 2 were mainly attributed to traumatic origin and therefore associated with pain experience in layers. Grade 3 keel bones manifested either FCM as a result of trauma or adaptational deformities without any evidence of a preceding fracture in response to mechanical pressure loading and were most likely not associated with pain. Therefore, histological analysis was found to be a mandatory tool when evaluating grade 3 keel bones with respect to layers'welfare. Furthermore, this analysis corroborates the findings that in aviary systems deformities of keel bones are predominantly caused by painful fractures.

  16. 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.

  17. Doxycycline depletion and residues in eggs after oral administration to laying hens.

    PubMed

    Gajda, Anna; Posyniak, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    The depletion of doxycycline (DC) residues in eggs was determined after oral drug administration by drinking water to laying hens. The antibiotic was supplied to birds for 5 consecutive days and the eggs were collected during medication and 18 days after withdrawal. DC residues were determined by LC-MS/MS. DC was isolated from eggs with a solution of 0.02 M of oxalic acid (pH 4), 0.1 M Na2EDTA and acetonitrile. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) of the method were 2 and 5 µg kg(-1), respectively. Analyses were performed on whole egg, egg white and yolk separately. DC was detectable 24 h after the beginning of administration. The concentration of antibiotic increased daily, resulting in the highest DC concentration in whole eggs at the first day of the withdrawal period. Thirteen days after withdrawal, the content of DC in whole eggs was below the LOQ of the method. However, some differences were found in the depletion curve of DC between egg white and yolk. Residues of DC in egg white were much higher during treatment and 1 day after withdrawal, but later the concentration in egg white decreased fairly rapidly and a higher DC content in egg yolk was observed. The depletion period was shorter for egg white than for yolk, and DC was detected in the egg white until 12 days after withdrawal and 2 days more in egg yolk than in white. DC reached a peak faster in egg white, but the residues were detectable for longer period in the yolk.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The effects of iodine level and source on iodine carry-over in eggs and body tissues of laying hens.

    PubMed

    Röttger, Anna S; Halle, Ingrid; Wagner, Hubertus; Breves, Gerhard; Dänicke, Sven; Flachowsky, Gerhard

    2012-10-01

    In the presented study the effect of different iodine (I) levels and sources in hen feed on the iodine concentration of different tissues, blood serum, and eggs of laying hens was studied. For this purpose, two experiments were conducted with 30 laying hens each. In these experiments feed was enriched with KI and Ca(IO(3))(2), respectively, at 0 (Control), 0.25, 0.5, 2.5 and 5 mg I/kg feed, resulting a analysed iodine level from 0.44 to 4.20 mg/kg feed. After four weeks experimental feeding the iodine concentrations of thyroid glands, blood, meat, liver, abdominal fat and eggs were measured with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The experimental treatment did not affect hen performance. The iodine supplementation significantly increased the iodine concentration of eggs (144-1304 μg/kg), thyroid glands (3367-5975 μg/g), blood serum (16-67 μg/kg) and liver (13-43 μg/kg). Meat (about 14 μg I/kg) and abdominal fat (about 12 μg I/kg) were not significantly affected by iodine treatment. Comparative regression analyses showed that at a similar iodine intake, the supply via KI resulted in significantly higher iodine deposition into eggs than Ca(IO(3))(2). Due to the high carry-over of iodine into eggs, eggs may considerably contribute to the iodine supply of the consumers.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of phyto-oestrogen quercetin on productive performance, hormones, reproductive organs and apoptotic genes in laying hens.

    PubMed

    Yang, J X; Chaudhry, M T; Yao, J Y; Wang, S N; Zhou, B; Wang, M; Han, C Y; You, Y; Li, Y

    2017-10-06

    Quercetin, a polyphenolic flavonoid with diverse biological activities including anti-inflammatory and antiviral, inhibits lipid peroxidation, prevents oxidative injury and cell death. The purpose of the research was to investigate the effect of quercetin on productive performance, reproductive organs, hormones and apoptotic genes in laying hens between 37 and 45 weeks of age, because of the structure and oestrogenic activities similar to 17β-oestradiol. The trial was conducted using 240 Hessian laying hens (37 weeks old), housed in wire cages with two hens in each cage. These hens were randomly allotted to four treatments with six replicates, 10 hens in each replicate and fed with diets containing quercetin as 0, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 g/kg feed for 8 weeks. The results showed that dietary quercetin significantly increased (p < .05) the laying rate and was higher in group supplemented with 0.4 g/kg, and feed-egg ratio was decreased (p < .05) by quercetin. Dietary quercetin has no effect (p > .05) on average egg weight and average daily feed intake. Compared with control, secretion of hormones, oestradiol (E2 ), progesterone (P4), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), insulin-like growth factors-1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone (GH), was found to be significantly higher (p < .05) in quercetin-supplemented groups. Also ovary index, uterus index and oviduct index were not significantly influenced (p > .05) by quercetin, whereas magnum index, isthmus index, magnum length, isthmus length and follicle numbers were significantly increased (p < .05) with quercetin supplementation. Additionally, expression of apoptotic genes was significantly (p < .05) up-regulated or down-regulated by quercetin. These results indicated that quercetin improved productive performance, and its mechanism may be due to the oestrogen-like activities of quercetin. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  3. Variability in amino acid digestibility of triticale grain from diverse genotypes as studied in cecectomized laying hens.

    PubMed

    Zuber, T; Maurer, H P; Möhring, J; Nautscher, N; Siegert, W; Rosenfelder, P; Rodehutscord, M

    2016-12-01

    Triticale, an anthropogenic hybrid grain, is increasing in importance as a feed grain for laying hens. However, our limited knowledge of its nutritional qualities and their impact on hen performance prevents optimization of its use. The present study investigated the digestibility of amino acids ( AA: ) in triticale grain in laying hens, and additionally examined relationships between AA digestibility and chemical and physical characteristics of the grain. Twenty genotypes of triticale were grown under standardized agronomic and environmental conditions and were characterized according to their physical properties (thousand-seed weight, test weight, falling number, extract viscoelasticity), chemical composition (proximate nutrients, non-starch polysaccharides, AA, minerals, inositol phosphates) and gross energy concentration. Additionally, the in vitro solubility of nitrogen was determined. The animal trial comprised 4 Latin Squares (6 × 6) distributed among 2 subsequent runs. Twelve cecectomized LSL-Classic hens were individually housed in metabolism cages and either fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg cornstarch or one of 20 triticale diets, each replacing the cornstarch with one triticale genotype, for 8 d. During the last 4 d, feed intake was recorded and excreta were collected quantitatively. Amino acid digestibility of the triticale genotypes was calculated by linear regression. The digestibility of all AA differed significantly between the 20 genotypes, including Lys (digestibility range 68 to 80%), Met (77 to 86%), Thr (68 to 78%) and Trp (74 to 83%). However, AA digestibility only correlated with characteristics of the grain in few cases, without a consistent pattern among AA. Equations to predict AA digestibility based on the grain's physical and chemical characteristics were calculated by multiple linear regression. The explanatory power (adjusted R(2);) of these prediction equations was below 0.7 for most AA and thus not sufficiently precise to be

  4. Microbial community composition of the crop and ceca contents of laying hens fed diets supplemented with Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Janczyk, P; Halle, B; Souffrant, W B

    2009-11-01

    It is generally accepted that the intestinal microbiota plays an important role in sustaining health and productivity of animals. Chlorella vulgaris, a naturally occurring green microalga, is believed to influence performance and health, including bird reproduction and egg quality. The nutritive value of open or indoor cultured C. vulgaris depends upon the technological process used to treat the algal mass. In the present paper, it is presented and discussed how 2 differentially processed C. vulgaris powders (spray-dried: SD-CV; bullet-milled and spray-dried: BMSD-CV) affected crop and cecal microbiota in laying hens. Polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments was applied. The diversity of the crop universal bacterial DGGE fingerprints was not affected (6.4 +/- 1.65, 5.4 +/- 1.19, and 5.5 +/- 1.35 in the control, SD-CV, and BMSD-CV, respectively). Most of the bands from the corresponding positions in the gels were closely related to Lactobacillus sp. The DGGE fingerprints of V2-V3 fragments of 16S rRNA of crop lactobacilli had lower diversity in the control hens (8.7 +/- 1.22) than in the SD-CV (9.2 +/- 1.77) and BMSD-CV (9.9 +/- 1.88); thus, feeding C. vulgaris resulted in increased lactobacilli diversity in crop. A band closely related to Lactobacillus ingluviei was present in 9 out of 12 hens in the control group but in only 1 bird in the SD-CV and in 5 out of 11 birds in the BMSD-CV, suggesting a negative effect of C. vulgaris on this lactobacillus. Feeding C. vulgaris to laying hens also resulted in increased bacterial community diversity in the ceca. No effect of the technological processing of the microalgae on the microbial diversity could be observed. The diversity of the ceca universal bacterial DGGE fingerprints was lower in the control group than in the SD-CV and BMSD-CV (5.6 +/- 1.72 vs. 9.16 +/- 2.64 and 9.31 +/- 2.41, respectively). Most of the sequences retrieved from the DGGE bands

  5. Earlier Metabolizable Energy Intake Level Influences Heat Production during a Following 3-Day Fast in Laying Hens

    PubMed Central

    Ning, D.; Guo, Y. M.; Wang, Y. W.; Peng, Y. Z.

    2013-01-01

    The present study was conducted to estimate energy requirements for maintenance in laying hens by using indirect calorimetry and energy balance. A total of 576 28-wk-old Nongda-3 laying hens with dwarf gene were randomly allocated into four ME intake levels (86.57, 124.45, 166.63 and 197.20 kcal/kg body weight (BW)0.75 per d) with four replicates each. After a 4 d adaptation period, 36 hens from one replicate were maintained in one of the two respiration chambers to measure the heat production (HP) for 3 d during the feeding period and subsequent 3 d fast. Metabolizable energy (ME) intake was partitioned between heat increment (HI), HP associated with activity, fasting HP (FHP) and retained energy (RE). The equilibrium FHP may provide an estimate of NE requirements for maintenance (NEm). Results showed that HP, HI and RE in the fed state increased with ME intake level (p<0.05). Based on the regression of HP on ME intake, the estimated ME requirements for maintenance (MEm) was 113.09 kcal/kg BW0.75 per d when ME intake equals HP. The FHP was decreased day by day with the lowest value on the third day of starvation. Except for lowest ME intake level, the FHP increased with ME intake level on the first day of starvation (p<0.05). The FHP at the two higher ME intake levels were greater than that at the two lower ME intake levels (p<0.05) but no difference was found between the two lower ME intake levels. Linear regression of HP from the fed state to zero ME intake yielded a value of 71.02 kcal/kg BW0·75 per d, which is higher than the extrapolated FHP at zero ME intake (60.78, 65.23 and 62.14 kcal/kg BW0.75 per d for the first, second and third day of fasting, respectively). Fasting time, lighting schedules, calculation methods and duration of adaptation of hens to changes in ME intake level should be properly established when using indirect calorimetry technique to estimate dietary NE content, MEm and NEm for laying hens. PMID:25049823

  6. A Monitoring System for Laying Hens That Uses a Detection Sensor Based on Infrared Technology and Image Pattern Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Zaninelli, Mauro; Redaelli, Veronica; Luzi, Fabio; Bontempo, Valentino; Dell’Orto, Vittorio; Savoini, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    In Italy, organic egg production farms use free-range housing systems with a big outdoor area and a flock of no more than 500 hens. With additional devices and/or farming procedures, the whole flock could be forced to stay in the outdoor area for a limited time of the day. As a consequence, ozone treatments of housing areas could be performed in order to reduce the levels of atmospheric ammonia and bacterial load without risks, due by its toxicity, both for hens and workers. However, an automatic monitoring system, and a sensor able to detect the presence of animals, would be necessary. For this purpose, a first sensor was developed but some limits, related to the time necessary to detect a hen, were observed. In this study, significant improvements, for this sensor, are proposed. They were reached by an image pattern recognition technique that was applied to thermografic images acquired from the housing system. An experimental group of seven laying hens was selected for the tests, carried out for three weeks. The first week was used to set-up the sensor. Different templates, to use for the pattern recognition, were studied and different floor temperature shifts were investigated. At the end of these evaluations, a template of elliptical shape, and sizes of 135 × 63 pixels, was chosen. Furthermore, a temperature shift of one degree was selected to calculate, for each image, a color background threshold to apply in the following field tests. Obtained results showed an improvement of the sensor detection accuracy that reached values of sensitivity and specificity of 95.1% and 98.7%. In addition, the range of time necessary to detect a hen, or classify a case, was reduced at two seconds. This result could allow the sensor to control a bigger area of the housing system. Thus, the resulting monitoring system could allow to perform the sanitary treatments without risks both for animals and humans. PMID:28538654

  7. A Monitoring System for Laying Hens That Uses a Detection Sensor Based on Infrared Technology and Image Pattern Recognition.

    PubMed

    Zaninelli, Mauro; Redaelli, Veronica; Luzi, Fabio; Bontempo, Valentino; Dell'Orto, Vittorio; Savoini, Giovanni

    2017-05-24

    In Italy, organic egg production farms use free-range housing systems with a big outdoor area and a flock of no more than 500 hens. With additional devices and/or farming procedures, the whole flock could be forced to stay in the outdoor area for a limited time of the day. As a consequence, ozone treatments of housing areas could be performed in order to reduce the levels of atmospheric ammonia and bacterial load without risks, due by its toxicity, both for hens and workers. However, an automatic monitoring system, and a sensor able to detect the presence of animals, would be necessary. For this purpose, a first sensor was developed but some limits, related to the time necessary to detect a hen, were observed. In this study, significant improvements, for this sensor, are proposed. They were reached by an image pattern recognition technique that was applied to thermografic images acquired from the housing system. An experimental group of seven laying hens was selected for the tests, carried out for three weeks. The first week was used to set-up the sensor. Different templates, to use for the pattern recognition, were studied and different floor temperature shifts were investigated. At the end of these evaluations, a template of elliptical shape, and sizes of 135 × 63 pixels, was chosen. Furthermore, a temperature shift of one degree was selected to calculate, for each image, a color background threshold to apply in the following field tests. Obtained results showed an improvement of the sensor detection accuracy that reached values of sensitivity and specificity of 95.1% and 98.7%. In addition, the range of time necessary to detect a hen, or classify a case, was reduced at two seconds. This result could allow the sensor to control a bigger area of the housing system. Thus, the resulting monitoring system could allow to perform the sanitary treatments without risks both for animals and humans.

  8. Overall welfare assessment of laying hens: comparing science-based, environment-based and animal-based assessments.

    PubMed

    Shimmura, Tsuyoshi; Bracke, Marc B M; De Mol, Rudi M; Hirahara, Satoshi; Uetake, Katsuji; Tanaka, Toshio

    2011-02-01

    To increase the validity of evaluations and facilitate expansion and maintenance of assessment systems, we constructed a database of studies on the welfare of laying hens around the world. On the basis of this database, we devised a science-based welfare assessment model. Our model includes measurements, levels and weightings based on the scientific studies in the database, and can clarify the advantages and disadvantages of housing systems for laying hens from the viewpoint of the five freedoms. We also evaluated the usefulness of our model by comparing it with environment-based Animal Needs Index (ANI), another science-based model called FOWEL, and animal-based measurements. Our model showed that freedom from injury, pain and disease, and freedom from discomfort were more secure in the cage system, while non-cage systems scored better for natural behavior and freedom from fear and distress. A significant strong-positive correlation was found between the animal-based assessment and the total scores of ANI (rs = 0.94, P < 0.05), FOWEL (rs = 0.99, P < 0.05) or our model (rs = 0.99, P < 0.05), which indicate that these different approaches to welfare assessment may be used almost interchangeably to 'measure' a common property ('overall laying hen welfare'). However, assessments using our model and FOWEL were more sensitive than ANI and can be applied to cage systems, which suggest that our model and FOWEL may have added value. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  9. 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.

  10. Hypermethylation and post-transcriptional regulation of DNA methyltransferases in the ovarian carcinomas of the laying hen.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Young; Jeong, Wooyoung; Lim, Whasun; Lim, Chul-Hong; Bae, Seung-Min; Kim, Jinyoung; Bazer, Fuller W; Song, Gwonhwa

    2013-01-01

    DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) are key regulators of DNA methylation and have crucial roles in carcinogenesis, embryogenesis and epigenetic modification. In general, DNMT1 has enzymatic activity affecting maintenance of DNA methylation, whereas DNMT3A and DNMT3B are involved in de novo methylation events. Although DNMT genes are well known in mammals including humans and mice, they are not well studied in avian species, especially the laying hen which is recognized as an excellent animal model for research on human ovarian carcinogenesis. Results of the present study demonstrated that expression of DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B genes was significantly increased, particularly in the glandular epithelia (GE) of cancerous ovaries, but not normal ovaries. Consistent with this result, immunoreactive 5-methylcytosine protein was predominantly abundant in nuclei of stromal and GE cells of cancerous ovaries, but it was also found that, to a lesser extent, in nuclei of stromal cells of normal ovaries. Methylation-specific PCR analysis detected hypermethylation of the promoter regions of the tumor suppressor genes in the initiation and development of chicken ovarian cancer. Further, several microRNAs, specifically miR-1741, miR-16c, and miR-222, and miR-1632 were discovered to influence expression of DNMT3A and DNMT3B, respectively, via their 3'-UTR which suggests post-transcriptional regulation of their expression in laying hens. Collectively, results of the present study demonstrated increased expression of DNMT genes in cancerous ovaries of laying hens and post-transcriptional regulation of those genes by specific microRNAs, as well as control of hypermethylation of the promoters of tumor suppressor genes.

  11. Serum biochemical profile, enzymatic activity and lipid peroxidation in organs of laying hens fed diets containing cashew nut shell liquid.

    PubMed

    Braz, N M; Freitas, E R; Trevisan, M T S; do Nascimento, G A J; Salles, R P R; Cruz, C E B; Farias, N N P; da Silva, I N G; Watanabe, P H

    2017-03-16

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of feeding laying hens diets containing cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) as a source of anacardic acid on the blood biochemical parameters as well as the enzymatic activity and lipid peroxidation of liver and tissues of the reproductive system (ovary, magnum, and uterus). A total of 216 Hisex White commercial laying hens were distributed randomly into six treatments, with six replicates of six birds. Treatments consisted of a diet without growth promoter (GP); a diet with GP; and diets without GP, with addition of increasing levels of CNSL (0.25, 0.50, 0.75 and 1.0%). Addition of CNSL to the diet did not affect the blood biochemical parameters (uric acid, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, total cholesterol, high density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins and triglycerides), the enzymatic activity (superoxide dismutase and nonprotein sulphydryl groups) in the organs (liver, ovary, magnum and uterus) or the peroxidation of lipids from the blood serum, liver, magnum and uterus (p > 0.05). However, the addition of 0.75% and 1.00% CNSL provided a lower thiobarbituric acid reactive substances content in the birds' ovary (p < 0.001) compared to birds of other treatments, whereas the treatment without the GP provided a higher value. Addition of up to 1% of the CNSL as a source of anacardic acid in the laying hens' diets does not influence blood biochemical parameters or the endogenous enzymatic activity in the liver, ovary, magnum and uterus, but affects the lipid peroxidation in the ovary, although the problem is reduced from the inclusion of 0.75% CNSL.

  12. 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.

  13. Comparative evaluation of four registered acaricides for field control of northern fowl mites on caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Hall, R D; Vandepopuliere, J M; English, L M; Jaynes, W; Lyons, J J; Doisy, K E; Foehse, M C

    1980-11-01

    Carbaryl and tetrachlorvinphos provided longer lasting control of northern fowl mites, Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini and Fanzago), than did coumaphos or malathion when the materials were applied to caged laying hens as aqueous sprays. The average duration of residual control was ca. 5 weeks for carbaryl, 4.3 weeks for tetrachlorvinphos, 3.5 weeks for coumaphos, and 2 weeks for malathion. No presumptive evidence of northern fowl mite resistance to carbaryl or tetrachlorvinphos was encountered. In contrast, malathion often failed to produce satisfactory control, and difficulty with adequate dispersion of coumaphos wettable powder was noted.

  14. Yolk and albumen corticosterone concentrations in eggs laid by white versus brown caged laying hens.

    PubMed

    Navara, K J; Pinson, S E

    2010-07-01

    Maternal stress in birds can have permanent transgenerational effects through the transmission of stress hormones to offspring via the egg yolk. Previous studies have shown that White Leghorn hens show a heightened response to stress compared with Hy-Line Brown hens, producing significantly more corticosterone and displaying longer bouts of tonic immobility after handling, whereas baseline levels of corticosterone are similar between the strains. We tested the hypothesis that higher stress responsiveness would correspond to chronic accumulation and thus higher concentrations of corticosterone in egg yolks after exposure to stressors associated with routine maintenance. Eggs were collected from white and brown hens that were undisturbed except for daily feeding and routine egg collections. Corticosterone was quantified in plasma, egg yolks, and albumen and compared between strains. We predicted that corticosterone concentrations in yolk would be higher in eggs from white versus brown hens but that albumen corticosterone would not differ between strains due to the short term of albumen deposition. As predicted, yolk corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher in eggs produced by white hens, approximately twice those found in eggs laid by brown hens. Plasma and albumen concentrations of corticosterone were similar between groups. These results suggest that offspring hatching from eggs laid by White Leghorn hens are exposed to significantly more corticosterone through concentration in the egg yolk, which could permanently imprint offspring physiology and behavior.

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of dietary energy content on the performance of laying hens in furnished and conventional cages.

    PubMed

    Valkonen, E; Venäläinen, E; Rossow, L; Valaja, J

    2008-05-01

    This study examined the effects of dietary energy content on the egg production and egg quality of hens kept in 3-hen conventional cages or 8-hen furnished cages. A total of 1,088 Lohmann Selected Leghorn hens were housed in either furnished or conventional cages and offered low- or high-energy diets (from 2,342 to 2,414 kcal/kg or from 2,581 to 2,629 kcal/kg) during 3 consecutive feeding phases of 20, 16, and 16 wk, respectively. The same dietary energy effects were observed in both cage systems. The hens that received the low-energy diet consumed more feed (P < 0.01) and produced fewer eggs per day (P < 0.05) than the birds fed the high-energy diet. Over the entire experiment, housing had no significant effects on production parameters, but during the third feeding phase, the production rate was smaller in furnished cages than in conventional cages (P < 0.01). Because of the greater live weight of the hens in furnished cages at the beginning of the experiment, these hens consumed more feed during the first feeding phase than the hens in conventional cages. During the third feeding phase, the hens in furnished cages consumed less feed than those in conventional cages (P < 0.01), probably because of their better feather cover. No differences in feed conversion ratio were found between the cage types. The results of this study confirm the results of previous studies providing evidence of equal production rates and feed conversion ratios in furnished and conventional cages.

  17. Fatty acid profile and sensory characteristics of table eggs from laying hens fed hempseed and hempseed oil.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Hempseed (HS) is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, with approximately 17% of total fatty acids as alpha-linolenic acid. As such, HS and its oil may be used in hen diet formulations to produce eggs enriched in essential fatty acids. Because omega-3 eggs have the potential for unpleasant aromas and flavors, the current study was designed to assess the fatty acid profile and sensory attributes of eggs procured from hens consuming diets containing hempseed oil (HO) or HS. A total of 48 individually caged White Bovan hens received 1 of 6 diets containing 4%, 8%, 12% HO, 10%, 20% HS or 0% hemp (w/w) for 12 wk. Total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content was highest in the 12% HO group (15.3 mg/g of yolk) compared to the control (2.4 mg/g of yolk). Trained panellists (n= 8) found no significant differences (P≥ 0.05) in aroma or flavor between cooked eggs from different dietary treatments, with the exception of sweet flavor. The 4% HO group yielded the least sweet eggs compared to the 20% HS group, which was highest. For yolk color, L*, a*, and b* values (Mean ± SEM) for control eggs were 61.2 ± 0.10, 1.1 ± 0.05, and 43.0 ± 0.22, respectively. Addition of hemp led to significant (P < 0.001) reductions in L*, and significant increases in a* and b*, with the largest changes observed in the 20% HS treatment (L*= 58.7 ± 0.10; a*= 5.8 ± 0.05; b*= 60.5 ± 0.22). The results show that hemp use in hen diets leads to increased omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content and color intensity of egg yolks, but does not have adverse effects on the sensory profiles of the cooked eggs. This study provides evidence that HS and hempseed oil (HO) can safely be utilized as feed ingredients for laying hens to produce table eggs that are enriched in essential fatty acids. Additionally, the eggs procured from these hens had similar aroma and flavor compared to eggs from hens not fed any hemp. The greater the dietary hemp inclusion, the more pigmented the resulting yolks

  18. 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. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  19. Ammonia volatilization after surface application of laying-hen and broiler-chicken manures.

    PubMed

    Miola, Ezequiel C C; Rochette, Philippe; Chantigny, Martin H; Angers, Denis A; Aita, Celso; Gasser, Marc-Olivier; Pelster, David E; Bertrand, Normand

    2014-11-01

    Ammonia (NH) losses after field application of animal manure are affected by manure characteristics. The objectives of this study were to quantify NH losses from poultry manures obtained from varied handling and storage systems commonly found in eastern Canada and to relate NH emissions to manure characteristics. We measured NH volatilization using wind tunnels for 22 d after soil-surface application of seven solid poultry manures originating from farms varying in production type (laying hens and broiler chickens) and in storage duration and conditions. Cumulative emissions (2.7-7.0 g NH-N m) accounted for 13.6 to 35.0% of the total N applied and 51 to 84% (mean, 70%) of the sum of ammoniacal N, urea N, and uric acid N applied (TAUA). On average, 20% of these losses occurred during the first 4.5 h after application for manures that were not dried in the barn shortly after excretion. Production type and storage durations could not explain differences in NH volatilization between manures. Volatilization losses were linearly related to manure dry matter and to manure-derived NH-N, but sources of N changed with time after application. During the first 7 d, variations in total ammoniacal N applied (TANA) among manures explained most of the variations in cumulative NH losses ( = 0.85 after 26 h and 0.92 after 7 d). After a simulated rainfall (5 mm) on Day 7 that stimulated the decomposition of uric acid in manures, TAUA rather than TANA was related to cumulative emissions ( = 0.77 after 14 and 22 d). Our results indicate that reliable estimates of NH volatilization after land spreading of poultry manures should be based not only on TANA but also on NH-N derived from the decomposition of uric acid, that volatilization losses reported in the literature (including the present study) averaged 50% of TAUA, and that estimates for a given situation also need to account for local environmental conditions.

  20. Effect of dietary α-tocopherol on the bioavailability of lutein in laying hen.

    PubMed

    Islam, K M S; Khalil, M; Männer, K; Raila, J; Rawel, H; Zentek, J; Schweigert, F J

    2016-10-01

    Lutein and its isomer zeaxanthin have gained considerable interest as possible nutritional ingredient in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in humans. Egg yolk is a rich source of these carotenoids. As an oxidative sensitive component, antioxidants such as α-tocopherol (T) might contribute to an improved accumulation in egg yolk. To test this, chickens were fed lutein esters (LE) with and without α-tocopherol as an antioxidant. After depletion on a wheat-soya bean-based lutein-poor diet for 21 days, laying hens (n = 42) were equally divided into three groups and fed the following diets for 21 days: control (basal diet), a LE group (40 mg LE/kg feed) and LE + T group (40 mg LE plus 100 mg T/kg feed). Eggs and blood were collected periodically. Carotenoids and α-tocopherol in yolk and blood plasma were determined by HPLC. Egg yolk was also analysed for total carotenoids using a one-step spectrophotometric method (iCheck((™)) ). Lutein, zeaxanthin, α-tocopherol and total carotenoids in egg yolk were highest after 14 days of feeding and decreased slightly afterwards. At the end of the trial, eggs of LE + T group contained higher amount of lutein (13.72), zeaxanthin (0.65), α-tocopherol (297.40) and total carotenoids (21.6) compared to the LE group (10.96, 0.55, 205.20 and 18.0 mg/kg, respectively, p < 0.05). Blood plasma values of LE + T group contain higher lutein (1.3), zeaxanthin (0.06) and tocopherol (20.1) compared to LE group (1.02, 0.04 and 14.90 mg/l, respectively, p < 0.05). In conclusion, dietary α-tocopherol enhances bioavailability of lutein reflecting higher content in egg yolk and blood plasma. Improved bioavailability might be due to increased absorption of lutein in the presence of tocopherol and/or a greater stability of lutein/zeaxanthin due to the presence of α-tocopherol as an antioxidant.