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Animals 2018, 8(1), 6;

Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Infused Compressed Air Foam for Depopulation of Caged Laying Hens

Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension, College Station, TX 77843, USA
US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services, Riverdale Park, MD 20737, USA
Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 27 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humane Killing and Euthanasia of Animals on Farms)
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Depopulation of infected poultry flocks is a key strategy to control and contain reportable diseases. Water-based foam, carbon dioxide inhalation, and ventilation shutdown are depopulation methods available to the poultry industry. Unfortunately, these methods have limited usage in caged layer hen operations. Personnel safety and welfare of birds are equally important factors to consider during emergency depopulation procedures. We have previously reported that compressed air foam (CAF) is an alternative method for depopulation of caged layer hens. We hypothesized that infusion of gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2), into the CAF would reduce physiological stress and shorten time to cessation of movement. The study had six treatments, namely a negative control, CO2 inhalation, N2 inhalation, CAF with air (CAF Air), CAF with 50% CO2 (CAF CO2), and CAF with 100% N2 (CAF N2). Four spent hens were randomly assigned to one of these treatments on each of the eight replication days. A total of 192 spent hens were used in this study. Serum corticosterone and serotonin levels were measured and compared between treatments. Time to cessation of movement of spent hens was determined using accelerometers. The addition of CO2 in CAF significantly reduced the foam quality while the addition of N2 did not. The corticosterone and serotonin levels of spent hens subjected to foam (CAF, CAF CO2, CAF N2) and gas inhalation (CO2, N2) treatments did not differ significantly. The time to cessation of movement of spent hens in the CAF N2 treatment was significantly shorter than CAF and CAF CO2 treatments but longer than the gas inhalation treatments. These data suggest that the addition of N2 is advantageous in terms of shortening time to death and improved foam quality as compared to the CAF CO2 treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: depopulation; compressed air foam; corticosterone; serotonin; cessation of movement depopulation; compressed air foam; corticosterone; serotonin; cessation of movement

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Gurung, S.; White, D.; Archer, G.; Styles, D.; Zhao, D.; Farnell, Y.; Byrd, J.; Farnell, M. Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Infused Compressed Air Foam for Depopulation of Caged Laying Hens. Animals 2018, 8, 6.

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