WP 4: Behaviour

The overall objective of WP4 was to generate data concerning the needs, preferences, distribution, behaviour and use of facilities and enrichment components by birds housed in various experimental and commercial enriched cages and other egg production systems across Europe.

The system categories as described in WP2 were used. Various hybrids kept at different group sizes and stocking densities were the subjects of the investigations. WP4 hasl put special emphasis on:

WP4 has lead to a report with an overview of bird needs and preferences for various enrichment components. As regarding components most of the discussion is about litter, special emphasis has been put on this aspect. Also regarding behaviour in furnished cages and other production systems feather pecking is a major issue and is therefore has been discussed in detail. In the first year, prior to the research on litter preference, a review of relevant literature was made. In the second year the review and the new research findings were combined and the report was finalised.

4.1 Literature review on bird preferences

Deliverable 41.pdf

4.2 Report on prevalence of feather pecking in various production systems

Deliverable 42.pdf

4.3a Report on substrate needs and preferences

Deliverable 43a.pdf

4.3b Substrate preferences in chickens selected for and against feather pecking behaviour

Deliverable 43b.pdf

4.4 Definitions of behavioural indicators for evaluating substrate quality

Deliverable 44.pdf

4.5 Evaluation of litter quality in various housing systems

Deliverable 45.pdf

4.6 Behavioural function of production systems for laying hens

Deliverable 46_Final.pdf

4.7 Final chapter on behaviour

Deliverable 47 Behaviour.pdf