Nutrition

News 247 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Hen behaviour and performance studied

The Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen University published a new report: Effect of dietary energy and NSP concentration and particle size of NSP on eating behaviour, feather pecking behaviour and performance of laying hens.

An experiment with 588 ISA Brown layer strains was conducted to measure the effect of dietary energy (11.8 versus 10.6 MJ/kg) and NSP (133 versus 195 g/kg) concentration and particle size of the NSP fraction (fine versus coarse) on eating behaviour, feather pecking behaviour and egg performance of laying hens from 18 to 40 weeks of age.

Seven experimental diets were tested, each replicated seven times. It is concluded that hens that were fed low energy, high (coarsely ground) NSP diets spend more time on feed intake, compared with hens that were fed normal energy or low NSP diets. However, these effects were not reflected by a reduced feather pecking behaviour.

Related website:
Wageningen University

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The full report

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