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Effects of Stocking Density on Behavior of Broilers in Cage System

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

Citation:  Livestock Environment VIII, 31 August – 4 September 2008, Iguassu Falls, Brazil  701P0408.(doi:10.13031/2013.25553)
Authors:   F Zhao, Y Zhao, A Geng, Z Shi, B Li
Keywords:   Stocking density, Broilers, Behaviour

The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the effect of stocking density on behavior of broilers. Fifty four 21-d-old Arbor Acre (AA) broilers were randomly allocated into 3 groups, and raised in three kinds of cages with different stocking densities (17 broilers/m2, 14 broilers/m2, and 11 broiler/m2). The results showed that the stocking density had the greatest effect on the behavior of broilers at 6 weeks compared with those at 4 and 5 weeks. Stretching behavior was significantly affected by stocking density at 4 and 5 weeks. The frequency and time of stretching were significantly higher at 11 birds/m2 than that at 14 birds/m2, P<0.05). The frequency of sitting was lower at 17 birds/m2 than at 11 birds/m2 and 14 birds/m2 at 6 weeks old, but the time was significantly higher (P<0.05). The frequency and time of walking, eating, preening, shaking were significantly higher at 11 birds/m2 and 14 birds/m2 than at 17 birds/m2 (P<0.05). The result indicated that the static behaviours of broilers in high stocking density are more than those in low stocking density, and meanwhile dynamic behaviors are adverse with increasing stocking density in cage.

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