Home About Browse Search

Applied Research Note: Pretesting of a new housing system for breeding birds of layer strains in Sweden

Gunnarsson, Stefan (2021). Applied Research Note: Pretesting of a new housing system for breeding birds of layer strains in Sweden. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 30 , 100152
[Research article]

[img] PDF


Pretesting of any new animal housing system in Sweden must include an evaluation of animal welfare. In 2013, a Swedish hatching company applied to the competent authority (CA) for permission to import, install, and bring into use a system with large furnished cages for breeding birds of layer strains, with similar to 70 birds per cage (compared with the current 16 birds per cage). Pretesting of the system was conducted on 3 batches, similar to 24,500 birds each of breeding hens and males of Lohmann Selected Leghorn and Lohmann Brown (LB) at the hatching company's facilities. Data recorded included clinical records at 3 different ages on 50 birds in each batch and data from official welfare monitoring during production and at slaughter. The birds in the batches had serious health and animal welfare issues, including high mortality, in particular among LB males. Mortality in the batches was more than double (9.6-11.0%) the average mortality (3.8%) reported for birds in conventional furnished cages (CFC) in Sweden during the same period. Compared with CFC birds in Sweden, prevalence of keel bone bursitis was also high in the batches and there were extensive feather damages, especially in hens. In addition, daily supervision was considered difficult to carry out safely in the system. Thus, the system raised important issues concerning bird health and welfare, and the recommendation to the CA was not to approve the system for the Swedish market. The CA decided to ban the system, a decision supported by the Swedish appeal court.

Authors/Creators:Gunnarsson, Stefan
Title:Applied Research Note: Pretesting of a new housing system for breeding birds of layer strains in Sweden
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Year of publishing :2021
Article number:100152
Number of Pages:6
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Keywords:laying hen, bird welfare, health, bursitis, mortality
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000655659300017
ID Code:24744
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 10:25
Metadata Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 10:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics