Welfare issues of modern laying hen farming
This review starts with a brief outline of poultry behaviour and biology and a description of the present laying hen farming situation in Italy. Moreover, it points out the situation of EU legislation currently in effect for laying hen welfare. It then reviews the main welfare issues of layer farming. The following aspects are considered: rearing system (e.g. stocking density, light intensity and photoperiod, equipment and facilities) and some health aspects. All these aspects represent important issues for farmed species, but special attention should be paid when we deal with intensively farmed species like poultry, where a lot of potential stressors may impair the welfare with consequences on health and production. The adoption of suitable housing systems and of adequate management techniques, as well as the presence of well trained stockpersons with a sound knowledge of poultry physiology and behaviour, are particularly important in guaranteeing a sufficient welfare level to poultry. Therefore, the adoption of specific codes of recommendations is highly desirable.
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24 August 2010
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