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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2002

Egg quality in furnished cages for laying hens - Effects of crack reduction measures and hybrid

Wall, H; Tauson, R


Egg quality, egg production, and hen use of facilities, with respect mainly to proportion of eggs laid in nests and bird locations after lights-out, were studied in furnished-cage models for six or eight birds. In these cages, most of the eggs are laid in the 25 cm wide nest, i.e., egg laying is concentrated to a much smaller area compared with conventional cages. The study (20 to 80 wk of age) used 1,296 hens of three genotypes Hy-Line White, Hy-Line Brown, and Lohmann Selected Leghorn. Conventional four-hen cages were included as a reference. We separately studied the effects on the proportion of eggs cracked by egg saver wires in front of the egg cradle, long nest curtains, and position of nest opening (rear or front) with 30 or 100% of the nest bottom being lined with AstroTurf(R). Egg saver wires and long nest curtains lowered the proportions of cracked eggs significantly by softly catching and reducing the speed of the eggs before entering the egg cradle. The position of the nest opening affected none of the measured parameters. Less lining in the bottom of the nest, i.e., a reduction to 30% coverage, resulted in significantly higher proportions of dirty eggs and lower proportions of eggs laid in nests. Hybrid differences were found in most of the measured traits. We concluded that devices like egg savers and long nest curtains are effective measures in reducing cracks in furnished cages, where egg laying is concentrated to a much smaller area than in conventional cages. Reduction of the bottom lining to 30% makes nests less attractive to birds laying eggs.


egg quality; nest design; hybrid; furnished cage

Publicerad i

Poultry Science
2002, Volym: 81, nummer: 3, sidor: 340-348