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Behavioral and physiological indicators of the welfare of layers at laying phase housed at different densities and its application in the conventional system


it was aimed through the present work to evaluate the welfare, production and economic performance and quality of eggs of layers of white and brown commercial lines housed at different densities in conventional cages. In the experiment will be utilized 900 white commercial layers of different lines at early laying phase, distributed into completely randomized design (DIC) in factorial scheme 6x5 (six lines and five housing densities) with six replications each. In the second experiment will be utilized 540 brown layers of different lines at early laying phase, distributed in CRD in factorial scheme 5x4 (five lines and four housing densities) with 6 replications each. For effect of evaluation of the results, five experimental periods of 28 days each will be established. In both the experiments will evaluated the welfare parameters of the birds through behavioral, physiological and immunological indicators; for the production indices will be evaluated feed intake, feed conversion, feed conversion per kilogram and per dozen of eggs, mass of eggs, the percentage of egg loss and birds' viability. The physicochemical quality of eggs: specific gravity, Haugh units, percentages of yolk, albumen and shell, shell thickness, breakage resistance, yolk coloration, yolk index, pH of albumen and yolk, total solids content of albumen. The economic analysis will be evaluated by making use of the bioeconomic and nutritional index and the statistical analysis of the results will be carried out through the Analysis of Variance and contrast between treatment means when significant by the Tukey test at 5%, with the aid of the computer package SISVAR. In possession of the results, the present study will be able to point out the best housing density of the birds in the conventional system to obtain the best yield, profitability and egg quality, warranting that the birds' welfare not to be endangered, since the consumers market demands the animal welfare as an important quality item for purchasing its products. (AU)

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