Probiotics may help in dealing with feather pecking

Beak trimming is commonly used to reduce the incidence of feather pecking but this practice is more and more under discussion and banned in several EU countries. The side effects of non-trimmed beaks is an increased feed intake, as the birds have less plumage to keep them warm. Probiotics can be part of the solution.

Laying hens provided with Bacillus subtilis showed better performance (egg weight, egg mass & FCR) in the early stages of production, and persistent larger eggs over the whole period, without negative impact on feed conversion, hen weight and egg shell quality.

See full article by Pauline Rovers-Paap, Orffa Additives in Poultry World, Feb 20 here.

Health tool

Poultry World launched a poultry health tool. It is a rather general introductory entry to main poultry health issues. The tool was created with the assistance of Dr Joseph J. Giambrone, Professor at the Poultry Science Department, Auburn University, USA Maarten de Gussem, veterinary expert, DMV, VetWorks.

The tool lists 66 diseases, organized in four categories: Skin and skeleton, Nervous system, Digestive system and Respiratory system. Unfortunately, the category ‘Skin and skeleton’ is lacking an entry on feather pecking. For this, it is better to visit the Henhub site.

From beak to tail – Meeting announcement

From beak to tail – mechanisms underlying damaging behaviour in laying hens and pigs

First Announcement
ISAE 2017 Satellite Meeting
Monday 7th August 2017,
University of Aarhus, Denmark

A one-day meeting, organized jointly by the FareWellDock – Network and the GroupHouseNet COST-action aims to bring together researchers working within the field of damaging behaviour in both pigs and poultry. By joining efforts on an interspecies level, we have the opportunity to greatly enhance the understanding of the mechanisms underlying tail biting and feather pecking. Both behaviours are challenging, from an animal welfare and from an economic point-of-view, while in several countries, as well as at the EU level, the ethical justification of tail docking and beak trimming is currently being debated.

This full-day meeting will be held at the ISAE 2017 congress venue on August 7th, 2017, starting at 9am.

The meeting will focus on the following main themes:

– Mechanisms underlying the link between health and damaging behaviour

– Predisposing factors for damaging behaviour during early development

Both themes will be introduced by invited experts, followed by short research presentations by participants, and then elaborated on in inter-species discussion groups.

In addition, the program will include a networking session, with the aim to facilitate knowledge exchange and future cooperation between researchers working on damaging behaviour in pigs and poultry.

The registration for the meeting will open by the end of February 2017, and will be open until May 15th, 2017. The meeting participation is limited to 80 persons, so make sure to register in time!

For further information, please contact anna . valros [AT] helsinki . fi.

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