Project properties

Title Early nutrition & feather pecking in laying hens
Group Behavioural Ecology
Project type thesis
Credits 24/36
Supervisor(s) Annemarie Mens, Bonne Beerda
Examiner(s) Bonne Beerda
Contact info bonne.beerda@wur.nl
Begin date 2019/09/01
End date 2020/12/31
Description Feather pecking is a big welfare problem in commercial laying hens. This project aims to study the ontogeny of feather pecking in early life and to develop nutritional strategies that can act as an intervention to prevent feather pecking in later life. Firstly, we will study the development of pecking related behaviour in young pullets to unravel a �sensitive� period during the rearing phase. Secondly, we will test different nutritional strategies in that sensitive period to prevent feather pecking in later life. In order to study the physiological mechanisms behind feather pecking, many practical measurements including behavioural observations, blood sampling and other tissue collections will be performed.
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