Researchers Examine Variation in Litter Use for Hens

US - Litter use depended on the times and pen, according to researchers at Iowa State University.
calendar icon 30 April 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Litter use by hens was investigated by recording the number of hens moving to and from the litter in an aviary housing system, according to according to Jessica D. Jenkins, Rebecca L. Parsons, Morgan Hayes, Hongwei Xin and Suzanne Millman of Iowa State University in the University’s Animal Industry Report 2012.

Findings showed a difference in litter use between different times and pens. These findings are being contributed as one component of a comprehensive assessment of an aviary laying hen housing system.

The US egg industry is anticipating a change from conventional cage to cage-free housing systems. Aviary housing is a cage-free system that allows hens access to litter-floors, nest boxes and perches. The purpose of this project was to quantify litter usage and record the movements to and from the litter. These data will contribute as a welfare portion of a comprehensive assessment of aviary housing systems. The objectives were to determine differences in litter use between time of day and between pens.

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