WP 3: Health

The overall objective of WP3 is to generate, process and compile relevant data on the health of laying hens in enriched cages and alternative housing systems.

This will be done according to the housing categories described in WP2 . WP3 will put special emphasis on:
Co-ordination and documentation of a scoring system for bird health and welfare, including the condition of the integument, to make it possible to compare trials done in different countries.
Providing data from enriched cages and alternative housing systems on:
- integument of birds, e.g. plumage condition and pecking damage on skin.
- skeletal damage and bone strength, e.g. twisted keel bones or fractures.
- autopsy and disease outbreaks
- mortality and production
- air condition in poultry houses as related to welfare

The output of WP3 is a report with an overview of the health status of laying hens in enriched cages and alternative housing systems, recommendations to improve health and a general applicable scoring system for bird health and integument. The report contains a thorough review of the literature, and also presents new research results generated in this WP.

This report also includes a description and use of a new scoring system .
The intention is that this system should be easy to use by scorers of different background e.g. scientists, administrators, welfare inspectors, breeders and producer organisations. When used to the system scoring a bird for all characters will not exceed 30 seconds for one person. It should provide a good picture of the integument and health of birds in research and in commercial production. It features a literature background, illustrations and a guideline for the use of the system. The system is published on the internet . Until now the homepage has had an average number of visitors of 10 per day. Apart from that several educational organisations and research groups have approached with questions on more information and use of the system.

Workpackage 3: Health (Final Report)Deliverables 31-33 Health.pdf