Although laying hens can reach an age of eight years they are usually slaughtered after about twelve months as their laying performance decreases and the quality of the egg shells deteriorates However laying performance could be improved by giving the hens a laying pause If it were possible to keep laying hens for more than twelve months fewer male chicks would have to be killed because fewer laying hens would have to be kept overall This project examined whether it was possible to get laying hens through the laying pause in a healthy state and how this could be done In addition the project examined whether laying hens can be kept for longer without a laying pause through intensive health care for which the cost effectiveness was calculated RESULTS Without a laying pause laying hens could be kept for 15 months without economic loss If the hens are to be kept for periods of longer than 15 months their management and the feeding regime need to be adjusted For a laying period of more than 15 months laying hens need a rest period in the form of an induced laying pause so that the proportion of eggs that cannot be sold due to poor shell quality remains below 5 A laying pause of approximately six weeks must not be started too late the optimal period is between the 65th and the 70th week of the hen s life During the pause laying should decrease to under 10 The weight of the hen should not drop below 1600 g for brown layer hybrids VIDEOS https youtu be lQYLhBrrao https youtu be CHGCV M4bTM https youtu be TdBAFykp1jc FINAL REPORT www eip agrar sh de eip innovationsprojekte CONTACT PERSON Romana Holle phone 49 4331 9453 317 romanaholle oekoring sh de KEEPING HENS FOR LONGER IS WORTHWHILE Senior laying hens Li ve st oc k fa rm in g Po ul tr y 54

Vorschau EIP-Broschüre 2020 Seite 54
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