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Title: Welfare issues affecting free-range laying hens
Contributor(s): Campbell, Dana  (author); Lambton, Sarah L (author); Ruhnke, Isabelle  (author)orcid ; Weeks, Claire A (author)
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.19103/AS.2016.0012.25
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Abstract: Free-range laying hen production systems take a step down a different path in the progression of domestic chicken farming. They take hen groups away from intensive, environmentally controlled, indoor housing and put them back outdoors to provide flocks with more natural, minimally controlled surroundings. Consumers prefer the concept of free-range production, particularly in countries where weather allows outdoor access for most of the year (e.g. Australia, Denmark, the United Kingdom), as these systems are viewed as more natural and ethical (Schröder and McEachern, 2004). Free-range systems are thus rapidly increasing in popularity to meet consumer demand. However, highly productive modern genotypes, selected for cage production, are harder to manage in large flocks and outdoor environments with limited control of environmental conditions. Research into the behaviour, health and welfare of birds in non-cage environments has increased in recent years. Unfortunately, in some cases, a high risk of poor outcomes for hens kept in non-cage and especially free-range conditions has been identified (Fossum et al., 2009; Sherwin et al., 2010; Elson, 2015; Weeks et al., 2016). To sustainably improve free-range housing and management, we must understand how hens behave in these systems, the welfare challenges they face and what modifications will, in practice, adequately address hens' needs.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Achieving sustainable production of eggs, v.2: Animal welfare and sustainability, p. 99-123
Publisher: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited
Place of Publication: Sawston, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781786760838
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070204 Animal Nutrition
070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
070203 Animal Management
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300303 Animal nutrition
300208 Farm management, rural management and agribusiness
300302 Animal management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 830501 Eggs
839899 Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100601 Eggs
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Burleigh Dodds Series in Agricultural Science
Series Number : 17
Editor: Editor(s): Julie Roberts
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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