Next Article in Journal
Welfare Conditions of Donkeys in Europe: Initial Outcomes from On-Farm Assessment
Next Article in Special Issue
Assessing Activity and Location of Individual Laying Hens in Large Groups Using Modern Technology
Previous Article in Journal
Food Deprivation, Body Weight Loss and Anxiety-Related Behavior in Rats
Previous Article in Special Issue
Influences of Maternal Care on Chicken Welfare
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Animals 2016, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/ani6010003

Effects of Dark Brooders on Behavior and Fearfulness in Layers

1
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, P.O. Box 50, Tjele DK-8830, Denmark
2
Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET-UNC) and Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Vélez Sarsfield 1611 (5000), Córdoba X5016, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christine Nicol and T. Bas Rodenburg
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poultry Welfare)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [912 KB, uploaded 7 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

Chicks require heat to maintain body temperature during the first weeks after hatch. This may be provided by dark brooders; i.e. , horizontal heating elements equipped with curtains. The objective was to test effects of rearing layer chicks with dark brooders on time budget and fearfulness. Behavioral observations were performed during the first six weeks of age. Three different fear tests were conducted when the birds were age 3–6, 14–15 and 26–28 weeks. During the first four days, brooder chicks rested more than control chicks whereas they spent less time drinking, feather pecking and on locomotion ( p ≤ 0.009). On days 16, 23, 30 and 42, brooder chicks spent less time on feather pecking, locomotion and fleeing ( p ≤ 0.01) whereas foraging and dust bathing occurred more often on day 42 ( p ≤ 0.032). Brooder birds had shorter durations of tonic immobility at all ages ( p = 0.0032), moved closer to the novel object at age 15 weeks ( p < 0.0001), and had shorter latencies to initiate locomotion in the open-field test at age 28 weeks ( p < 0.0001). Results support the suggestion that dark brooders can be a successful method of reducing or preventing fear and feather pecking in layers. View Full-Text
Keywords: activity; behavior; brooders; fear; laying hen; novel object; open-field; poultry; tonic immobility; welfare activity; behavior; brooders; fear; laying hen; novel object; open-field; poultry; tonic immobility; welfare
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Riber, A.B.; Guzman, D.A. Effects of Dark Brooders on Behavior and Fearfulness in Layers. Animals 2016, 6, 3.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top