Base-lining layer production in cage and alternative housing systems

The Poultry CRC has organised a meeting for early June to discuss the best ways to transfer to industry data from its work on establishing the base-line of various layer production systems.

Project 04-37: Layer production in cage and alternative housing systems compared production outcomes, including welfare, egg production, egg quality, bone strength and blood profiles to assess stress levels.

The Project addressed concerns of the Australian Egg Corporation Limited, a core partner in the CRC, that little was known about how conventional cage, controlled environment cage, barn and free range housing systems compared in Australia. Hens from one hatch of a layer breed were raised, vaccinated, fed and watered in the same way, before being divided amongst four systems at one location.

“We’ve obtained some useful information from the project,” said Lloyd Thomson, Commercial Manager for the CRC, “but we need to understand the best way to transfer the outcomes to industry without expecting farmers to read through a science-oriented final report.

“We’ve invited experienced farmers from each of the housing systems to help us structure the right approach by identifying the most important ideas and how they should be expressed.”

Printable information sheets establishing base-lines for each of the housing systems will be available at Poultry Hub after the meeting.

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