Know How / Layers / Health and welfare

From beak trimming to keel bone damage, there is a huge range of topics an egg producer must be across if they are to manage birds effectively and get the most from their flocks

Case studies

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to take free-range layers to 100 weeks

Genetics and a programme of tailored nutrition have helped two Herefordshire farmers successfully lift the laying cycle of their flock of free-range hens beyond the UK’s 72-week average. As long…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Avian influenza: One farm's robust plans to combat the threat

Chief among the threats to any poultry business in the UK is the incursion of avian influenza (AI). It is possible to reduce the risk of it finding its way…

LAYERS

Rearer's advice on getting pullets off to a good start

Modern hybrid hens are genetically sophisticated and achieving their productive potential will only be possible if the development period from chick to hen is carefully managed. Attention to detail is…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

50 years of poultry health progress – one firm’s view

It was during the 1960s that the poultry industry really began to evolve into the structure it holds today. British farmers were looking to the United States, where poultry farming…

Practical advice

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LAYERS

8 management tips to help prevent severe feather pecking

Egg producers are reporting less severe feather pecking among hens since making key management and environmental changes to housing and ranges. Farmers have been working with the Laying Hen Welfare…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How a leading pullet rearer keeps birds salmonella-free

UK producers are world leaders in keeping salmonella derived from eggs out of the human food chain, thanks to stringent control measures carried out by the entire poultry sector. At…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to dissect chickens to detect disease

Learning how to dissect a chicken can be important skill for poultry producers, particularly if there is sudden or unexplained death in the flock. Ruth Wills attended a course with…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Tips to minimise avian influenza risk on your farm

After two years of relatively low levels of avian influenza in Europe, it is back. The end of December marked the first outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain on…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

A poultry producer's guide to red mite control

Red mite are a pervasive threat to almost all poultry units; they can hinder production, harbour disease and even kill birds if they get out of control. If your poultry…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

9 ways to have disease-free poultry ranges in winter

The darker, colder months bring a range of issues for outdoor layer flock.The highest-profile of these is the risk of avian influenza, brought in by migratory birds from Asia and…

Insights

HEALTH AND WELFARE

4 scientific advances poultry farmers should watch out for

The way broilers and laying hens are reared has transformed beyond recognition over the past 70 years. First, the two sectors intensified, with birds brought indoors to protect them from…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How latest red mite treatments perform in poultry flocks

Red mite is a pervasive pest present on almost all commercial poultry farms with varying degrees of severity. Mites can drink up to 5% of a bird's blood every night, and…

POULTRY

Latest advances in science for poultry farmers

Every year, hundreds of academic papers relevant to poultry are published, with their findings often trickling down to farms in the months and years that follow. Here, Poultry World rounds…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Why vitamin D supplements are vital for good poultry health

An adequate supply of vitamins and minerals is necessary in poultry for boosting defences and allowing the bird to reach its full genetic potential, writes Ruth Fennell, poultry graduate trainee with…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Beak trimming is still a big issue for UK egg farmers

For years, the spectre of managing commercial layer units without the ability to beak trim hung over the poultry sector. Encouraged by animal rights organisations, the prospect of a ban…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How stressed parents can cause layer offspring to peck

The link between a stressed parent flock and more anxious chicks has been identified for the first time, as Jake Davies discovers on a trip to Holland Our mothers all…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

What causes vent pecking and cannibalism in layers?

Vent pecking and cannibalism are an ongoing concern for free-range egg producers. But what factors are causing them? Philip Clarke reviews a new study from Bristol University. Conventional wisdom about…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How wasps could help to control flies on organic egg farms

Poultry farms often come under fire for high levels of flies, and the challenge on organic farms is even greater. But there are alternative methods of control. Flies proliferate in…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Using falcons to protect poultry from disease - is it viable?

Free-range poultry flocks at risk from disease spread by seagulls can now turn to bird power as the ultimate deterrent. And it’s a tactic that can disperse a flock of…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Why red mites in layers are set to rise

A ban on beak trimming in layers could prove detrimental to hen welfare due to an associated increase in red mite numbers, combined with more aggressive feather pecking. Recent attempts…