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Optimising Liveability of Free-Range Layers

24 September 2008

AUSTRALIA - The Poultry CRC, in conjunction with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPI&F) will be conducting extension activities to help poultry producers optimise the liveability of free-range layers.

The activities are part of a strategy of transferring to industry research results from a project looking at mortality in free-range layer flocks. Project Leader, QDPI&F's Tanya Nagle will present a series of workshops aimed at keeping free-range egg producers up-to-date about biosecurity, vaccination and other issues relevant to free-range poultry systems, according to the September 2008 issue of E-Chook News from Poultry CRC.


QDPI&F's Tanya Nagle

"Disease is more prevalent in free-range flocks due to hens being in contact with the ground, so producers have to be on top of biosecurity, to help prevent disease and disease management once a flock has been infected," explained Ms Nagle.

"It is important that everyone involved in the production of eggs, from farm manager to farmhands, understands the importance of biosecurity principles and makes a start at implementing them on their property."

"Following basic biosecurity principles should improve hen health and welfare, thereby increasing egg production and reducing on-farm inefficiencies."

An article based on the project's key findings, along with the Executive Summary from the Final Report, are available on Poultryhub. The information in the article 'Optimising liveability of free-range layers' is derived directly from an epidemiological survey of five flocks from free-range farms in Southeast Queensland and includes suggestions on rearing viable free-range pullets and management approaches to reducing free-range layer deaths, particularly the prevention of bacterial infections and the importance of correct disease diagnosis.

Free-range producers will be invited to attend the workshops, which will be funded by the Poultry CRC, once logistics are sorted out and dates confirmed.

Further Reading

- You can view the full issue of E-Chook News by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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