Effects of stocking density and group size on the performance of white and brown Hyline layers in semi-arid conditions
Tropical Animal Health and Production
Department of Animal Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa; Department of Animal Production, Turfloop Campus, University of Limpopo, Sovenga, South Africa; Department of Animal Science, Mafikeng Campus, Northwest University, Mmabatho, South Africa
The effect of housing two Hyline strains of commercial laying hens White Hyline (W-98) and Brown Hyline (Hyline Brown) at densities of 2, 3 or 4 per cage (1100, 733 or 550 cm2/hen, respectively) was investigated over 3 months. Hyline Brown layers gained more weight, laid more but lighter eggs, utilized feed more efficiently and had a lower mortality than W-98 layers. Housing birds 2 or 3 per cage resulted in greater body weight gain, higher egg production, heavier eggs, better feed conversion ratio and a lower mortality than housing them 4 per cage. There were significant interactions between strain and stocking density for egg production, egg weight, egg output and mortality. It is suggested that for egg production in semi-arid areas Hyline Brown hens could be used and housed at a density of 733 cm2/hen. © 2006 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
animal; animal housing; animal husbandry; article; chicken; crowding; egg; egg laying; female; growth, development and aging; methodology; physiology; population density; population dynamics; Animal Husbandry; Animals; Chickens; Crowding; Eggs; Female; Housing, Animal; Oviposition; Population Density; Population Dynamics; Aves