Improving Welfare of Layers by Ash Bath Possibility

Ján Orság, Miloslav Šoch, Jan Brouček, Vladimír Tančin, Petr Tejml, Jana Šťastná, Pavel Novák, Petr Zajíček
2011 Scientific Papers: Animal Science and Biotechnologies   unpublished
The purpose of this work was to study effect of access restriction to dusting substrate on hens behaviour. Forty laying hens from furnished cages (FC) and nonfurnished cages (NC) at the age of 28 weeks were used. The observations were performed in an experimental aviary equipped with dust bath of ash. The water obstructed the access to the ash bath. The first level of difficulty was without water; the others included water for an increased difficulty. Times of eating were higher in FC group.
more » ... omotion and standing were longer in NC group during all difficulties. The length of vacuum dustbathing was shorter in FC group than NC group (1.2 min vs. 4.2 min) per one hour of observation. The average length of normal dustbathing represented 6.6 min (FC) or 5.4 min per hour (NC). Results suggested that dustbathing is under the control of external factors, especially of former housing. Deprivation of the normal dustbathing was not a sufficient cause for suffering in hens.