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Do furnished cages meet the needs of egg-laying hens?

Nov. 17, 2021

Furnished cages

Furnished cages are designed to improve the behavioral expression of birds in the cage. They retain the benefits of battery cages in terms of sanitation and disease control, while providing some of the benefits of cage-free systems in terms of increased behavioral expression. Behavioral expression increases due to the provision of perches, litter for sand baths, devices to shorten claws, and enclosed nests. Group size can also be improved in furnished cages compared to battery cages or cage-free systems.

 

Hens in furnished cages had improved musculoskeletal health compared to battery cages and suffered the fewest fractures compared to both cage-free and battery cage systems. Furnished cages provided some sand bathing facilities, although the use of sand bathing areas varied depending on the individual bird and the design of the furnished cage, and hens were often not satisfactorily sand bathed due to consumption or inadequate supply of sand bathing materials. Hens have a very limited ability to forage and grip - the foraging areas provided are not sufficient to meet the needs of the birds.

 

Although there are provisions that allow for more behavioral expression, the full range of hen behavior is not satisfactorily expressed in furnished cages. Therefore, furnished cages do not provide a complete coop solution. The ultimate goal of an egg production system should be to keep hens in captivity in a system that can adequately perform all the behaviors they are motivated to perform, with a focus on optimal management and minimizing the risk of disease, severe feather pecking and fractures.

 

Automatic equipment for laying hens


The importance of automatic facilities for the welfare of laying hens

Any poultry production facility must meet two basic functions: allow for proper flock organization and provide a friendly environment to achieve optimal performance while ensuring animal welfare.

The intelligent chicken coop can acquire various parameters of the chicken house through sensors. The system measures and records the important variables of any poultry farm.

1) Temperature, whose changes have a rapid and direct impact on the behavior, performance and welfare of poultry.

2) Ammonia levels, a key guide and tool for monitoring shed moisture and population density.

3) Wind speed and light, which are environmental factors that can affect birds; among other variables that can be measured. If the system is not available to the farmer, the same variables can be registered separately using traditional methods.

 

It is very important to record the above parameters because they may have an impact on the poultry farm. These parameters must be evaluated from the point of view of veterinary medicine (health and comfort effects) and husbandry (effects on production and behavior). A continuous review of both areas of expertise is essential to prevent, monitor and solve problems due to changes in temperature, ammonia levels or environmental factors (light, heat, humidity, wind).

 

In addition, cages used for egg production must be supplemented with welfare measures such as

▸Control of insects (disease vectors).

▸Appropriate and friendly environmental design that promotes comfort.

▸Permanent and responsible care of the animals. Employees must be trained.

▸All stages of handling, transportation and slaughter should be carried out according to ethical and legal considerations.

▸Balanced environmental conditions to avoid problems such as heat stress, strong winds or excessive humidity.

▸Daily cleaning of manure and food waste collection systems.

▸Access to a healthy nutritional diet based on husbandry recommendations, which will be reflected in the quality of the eggs (size and weight, yolk color, nutrient content).

 

We provide automatic equipment for laying hens, we will be happy for your any questions.


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