TITLE

Neonatal stimulation improves egg production in laying hens

AUTHOR(S)
Cid, M. P.; Kirkwood, C. A.; Arce, A.; Salvatierra, N. A.
PUB. DATE
May 2011
SOURCE
Revista Veterinaria;2011, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p8
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The development of behavioral and endocrine responses to acute stress is greatly influenced by the early postnatal rearing environment. These environmental effects persist throughout life, resulting in stable individual differences in fearfulness. Early stimulation, such as neonatal novelty exposure decreases behavioral reactivity. Previous reports also show that early- life stimulation, such as neonatal exposure to novelty, reduces behavioural reactivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether early stimulation increases egg production in adult laying eggs. One- dayold laying hen chicks were exposed to aT- maze (Method A) or a test based on the latency to peck (Method B), and then reared in an industrial poultry farm until adults. A group of non- stimulated hens was used as a control group. Weekly egg production, individual egg weight and weekly feed intake were measured in laying hens under farm conditions for 25 weeks. An increase in egg number was observed in stimu Ia ted laying hens by Method A (5.22 ± 0.06, p < 0.01) and by Method B (5.33 ± 0.08, p < 0.001) compared to the controls (4.78 ± 0.24). Likewise, the food conversion index was also greater for stimulated hens by Method A (0.356 ± 0.042; p < 0.05) and Method B (0.363 ± 0.053; p < 0.01), compared to the control group (0.330 ± 0.085). These results indicate that early stimulation could help to improve the adaptation of laying hens in industrial poultry farms.
ACCESSION #
70093550

 

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