Hennovation partner Thea van Niekerk reported on a couple of interesting project results in Resource (article in Dutch):
Alpacas may protect free-range laying hens from birds of prey.
A custom-made trolley can substantially improve the welfare of spent laying hens.
Pecking blocks were tested in the Netherlands (cementblocks used for construction appeared best; see flyer).
Poultry Transport video released!
made by Animal Transport Guides project
The practical video on how to best transport poultry, based on the guide to Good Practise ( click here) for the transport of poultry and three dedicated Fact Sheets, is now available. This video provides practical advise to ensure that birds transported remain in good welfare, and is available with translated subtitles in 8 languages.
Interested on watching videos on Pig, Cattle,Horses and sheep transport? Click here
When research meets farming to lift welfare (article in Poultry World, dd 12-6-2018).
The EU-funded Hennovation project was an exercise in bringing egg farmers together with researchers to develop practical ways to improve welfare, as Tony McDougal discovers.
Researchers have partnered with farmers to draw up practical new measures for improving the health and welfare of farmed poultry.
The 2 ½ year EU-funded Hennovation project, which ended this autumn, has been finding ways to introduce practice-led innovation in sustainable animal welfare through the development of innovation networks.
Read more at the Poultry World website.
Our new leaflet is out on what to do with spent laying hens in the kitchen: Finally you have decided to cook hen!
End-user materials from the Hennovation project
Our new flyer on depopulation of end-of-lay hens is out (click on leaflet for the pdf).
End-user materials from the Hennovation project
Hennovation: “Practice lead innovation supported by science and market-driven actors in the laying hen and other livestock sectors”
The Hennovation project demonstrated the potential of innovation led by producers and industry (on-farm, during transport and at the abattoir) through the establishment of innovation networks that proactively searched for and utilized new ideas to make their business more efficient and sustainable. The networks initially tackle two particular issues of concern in the production chain: injurious pecking and the transport and use of end-of-lay hens. 19 innovation networks were mobilized at different levels of the production chain, local, national and European level in five countries (United Kingdom, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain and The Czech Republic) These networks were supported by science driven-actors, such as veterinary surgeons, farm advisors and scientific researchers, and market-driven actors, such as those that buy eggs e.g. retailers, packers, food processors, and those certifying egg production e.g. farm assurance companies and certification schemes.
The on-farm networks, 15 in total, focussed on various aspects that are known to have influence on injurious pecking. Injurious pecking is a problem that has many risk factors and the networks tested a variety of innovative ideas. The off-farm networks, four in total, focussed on various aspects that are relevant for catching and transport of End-of-Lay hens.
Alongside product or technical innovation (e.g. new design of trolleys for depopulation, new type of litter material to reduce stress and encourage natural behaviour or the use of alpacas in organic systems to reduce predation), a variety of often less expected and sometimes unintended ‘soft’ innovations also emerged through these networks. These were related to protocol or process (e.g. a new way of monitoring Poultry Red Mite infestation and new relationships between production chain actors, for example the pullet rearers).
Based on the innovative ideas tested by the innovation networks 38 Practice Abstracts and an additional five technical notes were developed by the network facilitators for use in practice by end-users.
||Hennovation Practice Abstracts
||PA 1 Light in the laying hen houses
||PA 2 Feather scoring as a management tool to reduce injurious feather pecking in flocks with intact beaks.
||PA 3 Adjustments of stocking density according to outside air temperature during transport of end-of-lay hens.
||PA 4 Improving the catching and transporting of Laying hens to Slaughter at the End -of-Lay by adding value to hen meat.
||PA 5 Chick rearing conditions crucial to prevent later feather pecking.
||PA 6 How to keep laying hens with intact beaks – learning together.
||PA 7 An easy monitoring method to improve control of Poultry Red Mite in laying hen flocks
||PA 8 Critical points during catching and transport of end of lay hens
||PA 9 Selection criteria for laying hen litter
||PA 10 Litter for laying hens: rape seed straw and fibre hemp straw
||PA 11 Climate checklist to reduce injurious feather pecking in laying hens
||PA 12 Measures to suppress poultry red mite populations in henhouses
|| PA 13 Use of a spinosad to prevent red mites
|| PA 14 Unifying the dress code on farms reduces stress in laying hens
|| PA 15 Use of a cost-benefit tool to improve the business performance of egg production enterprises
|| PA 16 Evaluating innovations for on-farm use
||PA 17 Influence of crate lids on welfare of hens
||PA 18 Factors affecting dead on arrival (DOA) during hens’ transport
||PA 19 Influence of handling on injuries during hen transport
||PA 20 Glossy objects motivate the hens to redirect unwanted feather pecking behaviour.
||PA 21 Maximise range behaviour and foraging by planting cover crops
||PA 22 Positive effects of oats in the laying hen diet
||PA 23 The benefits of providing roughage to laying hens
||PA 24 Laying hens want to dust bath in peat
||PA 25 The shade created by the trees around the farm improves the microclimate.
||PA 26 Mesh on the floor helps newly placed laying hens adjust to aviary systems.
||PA 27 Reducing the risk of injury when transferring hens at the end of lay from furnished cages to transport lorries
||PA 28 Evaluating commercial innovations
||PA 29 Monitoring of poultry red mite using measuring traps: an easy, cheap and effective method.
||PA 30 Monitoring poultry red mite allows you to anticipate and optimise treatment.
||PA 31 Sand may be an easier litter material for wet conditions
||PA 32 Can sand litter maintain better feather cover?
||PA 33 Monitoring the impact of feed additives to improve the gut-health of laying hens.
||PA 34 Maximise ranging behaviour by planting trees
||PA 35 Methods to reduce predation of free ranging hens
||PA 36 Recommendations for using alpacas as guardians of free range hens
||PA 37 Comparison of different ways to measure ammonia levels in the laying hen shed
||PA 38 Risk assessment of each flock at end-of-lay reduces losses
A full version of the Hennovation Practice abstracts (i.e. end-user materials) listed above can be found here.
Recently, three new factsheets were produced in the project ‘Animal Transport Guides‘:
Preparation of vehicle, driver and loading for poultry (cf first page below)
Preparing the catching of end-of-lay hens (cf first page below)
Preparing the catching of broilers
Note: the French versions of these factsheets can be found here.
Animal Transport Guidelines Project
The European Commission, DG Sante project aims to improve animal welfare around transport. The project will develop and disseminate Guides to Good and Best Practice for animals transported within Europe and to third countries for slaughter, fattening and breeding. Guides will be developed for cattle, horses, pigs, poultry and sheep transport. The project started in May 2015 and will finish by the end of 2018.
The project is divided into 5 tasks
•Task 1: Collection
Collect and collate appropriate best practices implemented and supported by scientific evidence
•Task 2 and 3: Development
Develop practical guidelines with those that will use it
•Task 4: Dissemination
Disseminate these guidelines through the networks of the main European stakeholder groups involved
•Task 5: Verification
To verify if the new transport guidelines reached the end-users
See the project website for more information (e.g. guides, factsheets and roadshows; available in 8 languages: English, German, French, Greek, Romanian, Polish, Spanish and Italian).
You can also sign up for the newsletter of the Animal Transport Guidelines project.
Head-only stunning offers alternative to gas by Jake Davies (Editor Poultry World).
Many consider water bath or controlled atmosphere stunning to be the two best choices when choosing ways to render poultry unconscious before a more welfare-friendly kill. But one Dutch company is marketing an alternative, stunning poultry by the head individually.
Read more in Poultry World.
Report: Efficacy of the Dutch Vision high-low electrical
head-only poultry stunner. By: Gerritzen et al., 2015. Wageningen Livestock Research.
We are about to start distributing the HenHub newsletter. The plan is to send the newsletter with news items collected as published in posts on the HenHub on a monthly basis.
In addition to our collection of news items, the HenHub website contains information about the topics feather pecking and end-of-lay of laying hens.
HenHub is part of the Hennovation project, which has its own hennovelties newsletter.
You may submit potential news items for the HenHub newsletter to Marc . Bracke [At] wur.nl.