By Leonie Jacobs/Poultry Extension Collaborative Blog
Tessa Grebey and colleagues researched dustbathing behavior in a range of commercial laying hen breeds, including Hy-Line Brown, Bovan Brown, DeKalb White, and Hy-Line birds.
They found that strains respond to social situations differently.
- DeKalb White and Hy-Line W36 birds dustbathe in larger groups (10-11 birds), compared to the brown breeds (3-4 birds)
- DeKalb White and Hy-Line W36 birds dustbathe longer (13-15 minutes) per dustbathing bout, compared to the brown breeds (7-9 minutes)
- DeKalb White and Hy-Line W36 birds dustbathe in closer proximity than the other breeds.
These findings are important considerations for egg producers, and support other work that show that not all breeds or strains of laying hens are the same. When designing housing, and when choosing birds, people need to consider strain differences.
Read the full paper here
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