Title:The Influence of the Conditions of Housing and the Subsequent Freedom to Express Natural Behaviours on the Productivity of Laying Hens
Although the impact of various housing methodologies on the overall welfare of layer hens has been established, little research has been done to date on the impact of different housing systems on the productivity of layer hens. In this study, providing hens with minimum spatial requirement negatively impacted the productivity levels and egg quality. Contrarily, accessibility to an outdoor enclosure and allocation of greater floor area per hen resulted in improved productivity and egg equality. These results demonstrate that through the enhancement of welfare standards of production animals, it is possible to maximise their production potential and consequently operate production businesses at optimum efficacy. Further research is needed in order to corroborate these findings, however the correlation between improved hen welfare and an amelioration in productivity in this study gives rise to the possibility that perhaps in the near future, the goals of animal rights proponents and egg producers may align.