Egg Industry Center

A study was conducted to analyze how space affects feeding behavior. Lohmann Selected Leghorn Lite hens were housed in both small furnished cages and large furnished cages at two different stocking densities for each type of cage: 748 cm 2/hen (116 in 2/hen) and 520 cm 2/hen (81 in 2/hen). Feeders were ran five times a day at 0500, 0800, 1100, 1400 and 1700 hours. Lights came on at 0500 and turned off at 1900. A digital recording was scanned at the chain feeder every 15 minutes after feeding for an hour to count the number of birds presently feeding. Aggressive pecks and displacements were recorded as well. Results concluded there was little evidence that space allowance and cage size influenced feeder competition or aggressive pecks and displacement behaviors, as the percentage of birds feeding was similar regardless. The frequency of aggressive pecking was low as well as the feeder competition; however, researchers did note that the greatest number of hens fed at 1700 hours.

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