Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gentler Hens For Poultry Production

Date:
January 2, 2004
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A team of Agricultural Research Service and Purdue University animal scientists and behavioralists at West Lafayette, Ind., is working on improvements in humane treatment of poultry, while keeping the business bottom line in mind.

A team of Agricultural Research Service and Purdue University animal scientists and behavioralists at West Lafayette, Ind., is working on improvements in humane treatment of poultry, while keeping the business bottom line in mind.

Related Articles


Heng Wei Cheng, in the ARS Livestock Behavior Research Unit at West Lafayette, and Purdue animal scientist William M. Muir are part of this research team dealing with issues such as housing environment for poultry--primarily the type and size of cages--and some routine practices such as beak trimming and induced molting.

Many of their approaches center around the less aggressive birds they are breeding. Using group selection, they put 12 sibling chicks in cages without trimming their beaks, a procedure used to minimize pecking injuries. After 58 weeks, the scientists select chickens from those cages that have had the lowest mortality rates from pecking and the highest egg production. The gentle birds have a 1.3 percent mortality rate from pecking, far lower than commercial lines.

Traditionally, breeding chickens are kept in individual cages and selected for egg production; the new approach also selects for social skills useful for living in commercial egg layer cages. The goal is to select gentle birds that do not need their beaks trimmed. Cheng and colleagues are also researching the most humane way to trim beaks.

Cheng and Purdue scientist Scotti Hester are researching poultry housing alternatives, such as cages with perches and boxes for sand-bathing and nesting. Chickens grow stronger bones by using perches. Cheng is also researching alternatives to induced molting, the practice of withholding food from hens to cause a rest in egg laying, which results in more and bigger eggs in months to come.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Gentler Hens For Poultry Production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040102073922.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2004, January 2). Gentler Hens For Poultry Production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040102073922.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "Gentler Hens For Poultry Production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040102073922.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins