Occurrence of injuries in laying hens with intact and trimmed beaks on commercial farms

Autor(en): Sepeur, Svenja
Bisping, Marlene Schulze
Andersson, Robby
Beyerbach, Martin
Kemper, Nicole
Spindler, Birgit
Stichwörter: beak trimming; BEHAVIOR; BODY-WEIGHT; cannibalism; FEATHER-PECKING; GROWERS; live weight; POULTRY; PREVENTION; RISK-FACTORS; skin injuries; SYSTEMS; Veterinary Sciences; WELFARE
Erscheinungsdatum: 2017
Volumen: 130
Ausgabe: 5-6
Startseite: 222
Seitenende: 229
Cannibalism is a common problem in poultry-husbandry and the reason for beak trimming of layers. The present study was designed for a comparison of live weights and injuries due to cannibalism in laying hens with intact and trimmed beaks. Research included 16 flocks on commercial farms, of which half consisted of birds with intact beaks and the other half of birds with trimmed beaks. Farms were visited regularly from the end of the rearing period (only ten of the 16 flocks were visited on the rearing farm) until the end of the laying period for scoring skin injuries and measurements of weight using a sample of 50 birds on average. During the rearing period, no significant differences in live weights and skin injuries were detected. During the laying period, significant difference in the mean weight of birds with intact beaks and trimmed beaks was only detected between 64 and 65 weeks of age. Birds with intact beaks weighed 1807.9 g, while birds with trimmed beaks weighed 1882.0 g on average. A total of 83.3% of the flocks with untrimmed beaks, and 66.7% of the flocks with trimmed beaks showed outbreaks of cannibalism. Flocks with intact beaks were affected on average at the age of 43.5 weeks, while the beak-trimmed layers were affected at the age of 53.3 weeks. The extent of injuries was significantly higher in flocks with untrimmed beaks. During outbreaks of cannibalism, 34% of the birds with intact beaks showed a maximal injury with lesions of 5 mm or more, compared with 20.7% of the birds with trimmed beaks.
ISSN: 00059366
DOI: 10.2376/0005-9366-15099

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