Search:
Computing and Library Services - delivering an inspiring information environment

Reduction in feather pecking and improvement of feather condition with the presentation of a string device to chickens

McAdie, Tina M., Keeling, Linda J., Blokhuis, Harry J. and Jones, R. Bryan (2005) Reduction in feather pecking and improvement of feather condition with the presentation of a string device to chickens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 93 (1-2). pp. 67-80. ISSN 01681591

Metadata only available from this repository.

Abstract

Feather pecking remains a serious problem in commercial egg production. It has been argued that feather pecking occurs as a result of misdirected pecking, so a possible solution would be to increase the likelihood that such pecking was targeted at another object in the environment rather than to the feathers of conspecifics. Chickens of various strains and ages will readily peck at a device consisting of strands of white string but it is not yet known if pecking at that device would substitute for pecking at conspecifics. Therefore, the effects of providing string devices on feather pecking in an experimental situation (Experiment 1) and on feather condition under commercial conditions (Experiment 2) were examined. In Experiment 1, 300 chicks of a high-feather pecking strain of white leghorn-type layers were housed in groups of five in litter-floor pens. The 60 pens were randomly allocated to one of five treatments: devices incorporated in the chicks’ pens continuously from 1 day of age till the end of the experiment at 57 days; devices presented for 4 h per day from 1 day of age; first presented from 22 days of age; first presented from 52 days of age; and finally, devices never presented. Feather pecking was virtually eliminated when the devices remained in the pens from 1 day of age or when they were presented for 4 h per day. Feather pecking was most pronounced among birds that had never received the device whereas its introduction at 22 or 52 days of age yielded intermediate results. This orderly pattern of more pecking at feathers when the device was added at later ages was significant (p < 0.005). In Experiment 2, 768 Lohmann LSL laying chickens were housed in rearing cages and 720 were transferred in groups of three to conventional laying cages when 16 weeks old. The birds were allocated to one of four treatments: devices present from 1 day of age; presented for 24 h every 4 weeks; continuously present from 16 weeks of age; and finally, devices never presented. At 35 weeks of age, hens with access to the device had significantly better plumage condition than those that had never received the device (p < 0.05).

In conclusion, the addition of a simple string device to the pens of non-beak-trimmed high-feather-pecking birds decreased feather pecking behaviour (Experiment 1), and to the cages of non-beak-trimmed commercial layers significantly improved feather condition (Experiment 2).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
Related URLs:
References:

Bilcik and Keeling, 1999 B. Bilcik and L.J. Keeling, Changes in feather condition in relation to feather pecking and aggressive behaviour in laying hens, Br. Poult. Sci. 40 (1999), pp. 444–451. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (41)

Blokhuis, 1989 H.J. Blokhuis, The effect of a sudden change in flooring type on pecking behaviour in chicks, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 22 (1989), pp. 65–73. Abstract | Article | PDF (436 K)

Blokhuis and Beutler, 1992 H.J. Blokhuis and A. Beutler, Feather pecking damage and tonic immobility response in two lines of White Leghorn hens, J. Anim. Sci. 70 (1992) (Suppl. 1), p. 170.

Gunnarsson et al., 1999 S. Gunnarsson, L.J. Keeling and J. Svedberg, Effect of rearing factors on the prevalence of mislaid eggs, cloacal cannibalism and feather pecking in commercial flocks of loose housed laying hens, Br. Poult. Sci. 40 (1999), pp. 12–18. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (51)

Guy et al., 2001 J.H. Guy, J.C. Field, D. Slaughter and S.P. Rose, Preliminary observations on the effect of perches and objects in the feed trough on the behaviour and welfare of caged hens, Br. Poult. Sci. 42 (2001), pp. S71–S72. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (1)

Hocking et al., 2004 P.M. Hocking, C.E. Charming, G.W. Robertson, A. Edmond and R.B. Jones, Between breed genetic variation for welfare-related behavioural traits in domestic fowl, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 89 (2004), pp. 85–105. Article | PDF (157 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (8)

Huber-Eicher and Wechsler, 1997 B.A. Huber-Eicher and B. Wechsler, Feather pecking in domestic chicks: its relation to dustbathing and foraging, Anim. Behav. 54 (1997), pp. 757–768. Abstract | PDF (147 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (54)

Huber-Eicher and Wechsler, 1998 B.A. Huber-Eicher and B. Wechsler, The effect of quality and availability of foraging materials on feather pecking in laying hen chicks, Anim. Behav. 55 (1998), pp. 861–873. Abstract | PDF (160 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (52)

Huber-Eicher and Sebo, 2001a B.A. Huber-Eicher and F. Sebo, The prevalence of feather pecking and development in commercial flocks of laying hens, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 74 (2001), pp. 223–231. Article | PDF (100 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (12)

Huber-Eicher and Sebo, 2001b B.A. Huber-Eicher and F. Sebo, Reducing feather pecking when raising laying hen chicks in aviary systems, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 73 (2001), pp. 59–68. Article | PDF (149 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (16)

Hughes and Duncan, 1972 B.O. Hughes and I.J.H. Duncan, The influence of strain and environmental factors upon feather pecking and cannibalism in fowls, Br. Poult. Sci. 13 (1972), pp. 525–547. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (97)

Johnsen and Vestergaard, 1996 P.F. Johnsen and K.S. Vestergaard, Dustbathing and pecking behaviour in chicks from a high and low feather pecking line of laying hens, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 49 (1996), pp. 237–246. Article | PDF (688 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (11)

Johnsen et al., 1998 P.F. Johnsen, K.S. Vestergaard and G. Norgaard-Nielsen, Influence of early rearing conditions on the development of feather pecking and cannibalism in domestic fowl, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 60 (1998), pp. 25–41. Article | PDF (456 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (38)

Jones, 2001 R.B. Jones, Does occasional movement make pecking devices more attractive to domestic chicks?, Br. Poult. Sci. 42 (2001), pp. 43–50. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (9)

Jones, 2004 R.B. Jones, Environmental enrichment: the need for practical strategies to improve poultry welfare. In: G. Perry, Editor, Welfare of the Laying Hen, CAB International, Wallingford, UK (2004), pp. 215–225.

Jones and Carmichael, 1998 R.B. Jones and N.L. Carmichael, Pecking at string by individually caged, adult laying hens: colour preferences and their stability, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 60 (1998), pp. 11–23. Article | PDF (86 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (20)

Jones and Carmichael, 1999 R.B. Jones and N.L. Carmichael, Responses of domestic chicks to selected pecking devices presented for varying durations, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 64 (1999), pp. 125–140. Article | PDF (231 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (11)

Jones and Hocking, 1999 R.B. Jones and P.M. Hocking, Genetic selection for poultry behaviour: big bad wolf or friend in need?, Anim. Welfare 8 (1999), pp. 343–359. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (41)

Jones and Rayner, 2000 R.B. Jones and E. Rayner, Chicken's interest in selected pecking devices: a longitudinal study, Poult. Sci. 79 (2000) (Suppl. 1), p. 74. Full Text via CrossRef

Jones et al., 1995 R.B. Jones, H.J. Blokhuis and G. Beuving, Open-field and tonic immobility responses in domestic chicks of two genetic lines differing in their propensity to feather peck, Br. Poult. Sci. 36 (1995), pp. 525–530. Full Text via CrossRef | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (48)

Jones et al., 2000 R.B. Jones, N.L. Carmichael and E. Rayner, Pecking preferences and predispositions in domestic chicks: implications for the development of environmental enrichment devices, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 69 (2000), pp. 291–312. Article | PDF (210 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (15)

Jones et al., 2002 R.B. Jones, T.M. McAdie, C. McCorquodale and L.J. Keeling, Pecking at other birds and at string enrichment devices by adult laying hens, Br. Poult. Sci. 43 (2002), pp. 337–343. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (6)

Keeling, 1994 L.J. Keeling, Feather pecking—who in the group does it, how often and under what circumstances?, Proceedings of the 9th European Poultry Conference Glasgow, UK (1994).

Kjaer and Vestergaard, 1999 J.B. Kjaer and K.S. Vestergaard, Development of feather pecking in relation to light intensity, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 62 (1999), pp. 243–254. Article | PDF (238 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (42)

Lindberg and Nicol, 1994 A.C. Lindberg and C.J. Nicol, An evaluation of the effect of operant feeders on the welfare of hens maintained on litter, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 41 (1994), pp. 211–227. Abstract | Article | PDF (904 K)

McAdie and Keeling, 2000 T.M. McAdie and L.J. Keeling, Effect of manipulating feathers of laying hens on the incidence of feather pecking and cannibalism, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 68 (2000), pp. 215–229. Article | PDF (387 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (35)

Nicol et al., 2001 C.J. Nicol, A.C. Lindberg, A.J. Phillips, S.J. Pope, L.J. Wilkins and L.E. Green, Influence of prior exposure to wood shavings on feather pecking, dustbathing and foraging in adult laying hens, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 73 (2001), pp. 141–155. Article | PDF (407 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (25)

Riedstra and Groothuis, 2002 B. Riedstra and T.G.G. Groothuis, Early feather pecking as a form of social exploration: the effect of group stability on feather pecking and tonic immobility, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 77 (2002), pp. 127–138. Article | PDF (102 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (30)

Rodenburg and Koene, 2003 T.B. Rodenburg and P. Koene, Comparison of individual and social feather pecking tests in two lines of laying hens at ten different ages, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 81 (2003), pp. 133–148. Article | PDF (205 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (17)

Sherwin et al., 1999 C.M. Sherwin, P.D. Lewis and G.C. Perry, The effects of environmental enrichment and intermittent lighting on the behaviour and welfare of male domestic turkeys, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 62 (1999) (4), pp. 319–333. Article | PDF (356 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (14)

Siegel, 1956 S. Siegel, Nonparametric statistics for the behavioral sciences, McGraw-Hill, Japan (1956).

Vestergaard, 1994 Vestergaard, K.S., 1994. Dustbathing and its relation to feather pecking in the fowl: motivational and developmental aspects. Dissertation, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen. Jordbragsforiaget, DK-2000 Frederiksberg.

Vestergaard and Baranyiova, 1996 K.S. Vestergaard and E. Baranyiova, Pecking and scratching in the development of dust perception in young chicks, Acta Vet. Brno. (1996), pp. 133–142. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (14)

Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2008 12:19
Last Modified: 22 Dec 2010 13:10
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/695

Item control for Repository Staff only:

View Item

University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH Copyright and Disclaimer All rights reserved ©