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Welfare Inspection Of Laying Hens- Caged & Alternative

  • Jarlath O’ Connor VI

  • Animal Health And Welfare Division



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Main players

Monaghan (37%)

Cavan (14%)

Rest (49%)

Where in Ireland?


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System Distribution?

  • Main players

    • Monaghan (66%)

    • Cavan (1%)?


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Main players

Cavan (21%)

Monaghan (20%)

Rest (39%)

System Distribution?


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Alternative Systems

  • S.I. 98/2002

    • All built/rebuilt/re-instated > 01/01/2002

    • For all > 01/01/2007

  • Facilities

    • Nests

      • One nest/ 7 hens

      • Group nests- 1m2/120 hens


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Alternative Systems

  • Perches

    • No sharp edges

    • Not above litter

    • 15 cm/hen

    • 30 cm horiz. b/t perches

    • 20 cm horiz. b/t perch and wall

  • Levels

    • No more than 4 levels

    • < 54 cm headroom b/t levels

    • Equal food and water access

    • Droppings


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Cage Systems

  • Un-enriched (conventional) Cages

    • From 01/01/2003 but not > 01/01/2012 hens may be kept in un-enriched cages

      • 550 cm2/hen unrestricted

      • Height >40 cm over 65% of cage or not < 35 cm at any point


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Cage Systems

  • Un-enriched (conventional) Cages

    • From 01/01/2003 on:

      • Floor support forward facing claws

      • Slope of floor not > 14% or 8 degrees


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CAGE SLOPE

Cage depth (R) 50 cm

Cage Height at back (P) 33 cm

Cage height at front (S) 40 cm

Floor slope (80) 7.9 0

(To Calculate: Tan x0 = Q/R)

(Therefore slope = x0 = Tan-1[(S-P) / R] )

Cage Systems

P

S

Q

R


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Cage Systems

  • Un-enriched (conventional) Cages

    • From 01/01/2003 on:

      • Cage fitted with suitable claw shortener


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Cage Systems

  • Enriched Cages

    • From 01/01/2003 on:

      • Total area of > 2000 cm2

      • 750 cm2/hen (at least 600 cm2 usuable/ hen)

      • Height > 20 cm at every point


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Cage Systems

  • Enriched Cages

    • From 01/01/2003 on:

      • Nest

      • Litter

      • 15 cm perch/hen/cage

      • Claw shortener


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Is ventilation satisfactory?

  • Ventilation

    • Keep temp., gas, dust and rel. humidity within healthy limits

    • Maximum Vent. Rate

    • Minimum Vent. Rate

    • Air circulation

      • Uniform

      • Draught-free


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Is ventilation satisfactory?

  • Noxious gas build-up?

    • Poor Ventilation

      • Low ambient temp.

    • Waste removal

    • Wet litter

  • Ammonia

    • 5-15: Detectable by smell

    • 10-20: Adverse effects on humans

    • 25-50: Increased risk of resp. dis.

    • 50+: Direct effect on layers R.R/eyes


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Is ventilation satisfactory?

  • What to look for?

    • Thermometers

    • Automated thermostats

    • Air quality in shed

    • Litter quality

    • Faeces disposal


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Lighting

Darkness is deprivation

S.I. 98/2002

Light sufficient to allow hens see eachother, be seen, to investigate and act normally

24 hr cycle with twilight and 8 hours uninterrupted darkness

35-65 lux

Stage of cycle

Lower tiers of cages

Aggression

Localised bunching

Forced moulting

How long is rest period where artificial light is used?


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Litter adequacy/condition?

  • S.I. 98/2002

    • Materials

      • Health

        • Mites

        • Worms

      • Behaviour

        • Foraging

        • Scratching

    • Enriched cages?

      • Adequate litter to allow pecking/scratching/hen


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Equipment Maintenance

  • Questions?

    • How regularly is automated equipment checked?

      • > once/day

    • What alternatives are present should feeding or environmental equipment breakdown?

      • Action plan

    • Is there a functioning alarm system and generator?

      • Must be present


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Are the hens provided with adequate feed and water?

  • Feeders

    • S.I. 98/2002

      • Alternative

        • Unrestricted access

        • 10 cm linear feeder/hen

        • 4 cm circular feeder/hen

      • Un-enriched

        • 10 cm feeder/hen

      • Enriched

        • 12 cm feeder/hen


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Are the hens provided with adequate feed and water?

  • Water supply

    • S.I. 98/2002

      • Alternative

        • Unrestricted access

        • 2.5 cm/hen continous drinkers

        • 1 cm/hen circular trough

        • One nipple-drinker or cup/ 10 hens

        • Plumbed drinking points – 2 nipple-drinkers or cups within reach of each hen


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Are the hens provided with adequate feed and water?

  • Water supply

    • S.I. 98/2002

      • Un-enriched

        • Unrestricted access

        • 10 cm linear trough/hen

        • Plumbed drinking points – 2 nipple-drinkers or cups/cage

      • Enriched

        • Unrestricted access

        • Plumbed drinking points – 2 nipple-drinkers or cups/hen/cage



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