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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034005,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14083) @2003
Authors:   K.E. Persyn, H. Xin, D. Nettleton, A. Ikeguchi, and R.S. Gates
Keywords:   Animal welfare, Ingestion, Poultry, Beak-trimming

This study quantifies feeding behavior of W-98 White Leghorn pullets (1-3 weeks old) as influenced by the management practice of beak trimming. The feeding behavior was characterized using a newly developed measurement system and computational algorithm. Beak trimmed (BT) pullets and non-trimmed (NT) pullets exhibited significantly different eating behavior over the ages of 8 to 21 days with regard to meal size and meal duration. Beak-trimmed birds tended to eat larger and longer meals, although the differences between the BT and NT birds were not constant with age (significant interaction between beak type and age, P<0.05). No significant differences across beak types or ages were detected for ingestion rate or interval between meals. The BT and NT pullets had similar amount of daily feeding time (1.1 - 1.2 hr/day). However, the number of meals per day differed, 28 meals/day for the BT pullets vs. 35 meals/day for the NT pullets. Baseline feeding behavior information of this nature may help better quantify and ensure welfare of the animals through exercising proper engineering design or management considerations.

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