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Conference abstract, 2005

Experiences with small group sized furnished cages in Sweden

Tauson, Ragnar; Holm, Karl-Erik; Wall, Helena

Abstract

Experiences with small group sized furnished cages in Sweden Tauson R., Holm K.-E. and Wall, H. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Funbo-L├Âvsta Research Centre, 755 97 Uppsala, SWEDEN The small group furnished cages in Sweden has long tradition in research and since 1998 also in commercial production. The most common group sizes are 8-10 birds. The ban against beak trimming has increased the interest for this system and also limited the group size. In relation to the rest of Europe the use of brown genotypes is very low in all housing systems also related to the ban of beak trimming. At the moment there are about 2 million birds in furnished cage systems from four manufacturers. This accounts for about 35% of the national laying flock. The ban of conventional cages in the EU from 2012 and onwards started in Sweden already about 10 years earlier. Any new technique used for animal production has by law to pass a test in research as well as in commercial production. Today about 450┬┤birds have gone through these tests in 30 houses and with four cage models. The present paper illustrates data from research, R & D, official tests as well as commercial production as regards animal health, behaviour and production including egg quality. Until now and after modification of some systems successively, it has been shown that production and mortality is very similar to conventional cages. Especially egg quality varies between models but also here the best models are similar to the conventional cages. In relation to several health aspects as well as occupational safety the furnished cages have shown better results than floor systems, still however being a cage system per se. The use of nests are at 90-100% and the perch at night 70-90 % while the use of the litter areas shows great variation between individuals and is also due to genotype, position of litter area and litter material. In the paper examples are given on early, recent and future developments of the system

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