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Influence of different environmental enrichment techniques on behavioral, clinical and productive variables in caged laying hens

Grant number: 12/15730-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): September 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biology
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Jose Garcia Pereira
Grantee:Mayra Hespanhol Frediani
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The maintenance of laying hens in cages is widely use in the poultry industry due to its ease of management, sanitary control, space optimization and reduction of production costs. However, in its traditional form, this system may prejudice the welfare of the caged birds, a criticism that has gained increasing attention among many consumers of animal products. This category of consumer recognizes the added value of a food item produced under good animal welfare, and prefer to purchase it, even when its costs are higher than others produced in the traditional manner. Aiming to improve the living conditions of caged laying hens, we will implement two different types of environmental enrichment and verify their influence on behavioral, clinical and productive parameters. Thus, 30 Lohmann chickens will be placed in three types of cages: cages with no enrichment (n = 08), cages furnished with perches (n = 08), and cages furnished with string devices and pieces of PVC carpet (n = 08). We expect to observe a relationship between these low cost enrichments and improvements in psychological and physiological conditions of the caged hens, which in turn may lead to a positive impact in egg production. Our long term objective is to improve current systems of egg production, suiting them not only to the demands of the world market but also to the consumer's expectations. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FREDIANI, MAYRA H.; PIZZUTTO, CRISTIANE S.; ALVES, MAIRA B. R.; PEREIRA, RICARDO J. G.. Effect of simple and low-cost enrichment items on behavioral, clinical, and productive variables of caged laying hens. JOURNAL OF APPLIED ANIMAL WELFARE SCIENCE, v. 22, n. 2, p. 139-148, . (12/15730-1, 12/08621-1)

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