Effect of High and Low Stocking Density on Age of Maturity, Egg Production, Egg Size Distribution in White and Brown Layer Hens: A Meta-analysis

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Prestage Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Abstract

Data of four layers flocks (#31-34) from North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Test of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were used in the meta-analysis to find if an increase in space allowance can affect egg production traits in white and brown layers. Effects of space allowance of 310 and 413 cm2/bird on layers performance were compared in this study. The increase in space allowance resulted in a significant improvement in egg production, egg mass and daily feed intake in both white and brown layers throughout the first (approximately 490-d; P< 0.001) and second (approximately till 760-d; P< 0.05) cycles of egg production.Space allowance did not affect age of maturity and final body weight at the end of first egg production cycle in both types of layers. Increasing birds space allowance resulted in a reduction in the mortality rate of white layers (P< 0.001) in the first egg production cycle and in the first (P=0.015) and second (P=0.027) egg production cycles in brown layers. The increase in space allowance significantly improved egg weight (P< 0.001) in white layers in the first egg production cycle. A significant increase in egg weight was observed in the first (P=0.014) and second (P=0.050) egg production cycles in brown layers in response to increasing birds space allowance. Egg size distribution was significantly influenced by the space allowance during both egg production cycles in white and brown layers. Space allowance is a management tool that can be used to optimize egg production traits, mortality and egg size distribution in both white and brown layers. Space allowance of 413 cm2/bird could significantly improve egg production and egg size distribution in first and second egg production cycle compared to 310 cm2/bird.

Adams AW & Craig JV. 1985. Effect of crowding and cage shape on productivity and profitability of caged layers: A survey. PoultryScience, 64: 238-242. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0640238

Adams AW & Jackson ME. 1970. Effect of cage size and bird density on performance of six commercial strains of layers. Poultry Science, 49: 1712-1719. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0491712

Anderson K, Havenstein G & Brake J. 1995. Effects of strain and rearing dietary regimens on brown-egg pullet growth and strain, rearing dietary regimens, density, and feeder space effects on subsequent laying performance. Poultry Science, 74: 1079-1092. DOI:10.3382/ps.0741079

Anderson KE. 1996. Final Report of the 31st North Carolina Layer Performance and Management Test: Production Report. Vol. 31, No. 4. May 1996.https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech_manuals/layer_reports/31_final_report.pdf

Anderson KE. 1998. Final Report of the Thirty Second North Carolina Layer performance and Management Test: Production Report. Vol. 32, No. 4. July 1998.https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech_manuals/layer_reports/32_final_report.pdf

Anderson KE. 2000. Final Report of the Thirty Third North Carolina Layer performance and Management Test: Production Report. Vol. 33, No. 4. October 2000.https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/tech_manuals/layer_reports/33_final_report.pdf

Anderson KE. 2002. Final Report Of The Thirty Fourth North Carolina Layer Performance And Management Test: Production Report. Vol. 34, No. 4. November 2002.https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/poulsci/t

 ech_manuals/layer_reports/34_final_report.pdf

Anderson K & Havenstein G. 2007. Effects of alternative molting programs and population on layer performance: Results of the thirty-fifth North Carolina layer performance and management test. The Journal of Applied Poultry Research,16: 365-380. DOI:10.1093/japr/16.3.365

Anderson KE & Jenkins PK.2011. Effect of rearing dietary regimen, feeder space and density on egg production, quality and size distribution in two strains of brown egg layers.  Intenational Journal of Poultry Science, 10:169-175. DOI:10.3923/ijps.2011.169.175

Borenstein M, Hedges L, Higgins J & Rothstein H. 2015. Comprehensive meta-analysis version 3. Englewood, NJ: Biostat, 104.

Cook RN. 2004. Effects of cage stocking density on feeding behaviors of group-housed laying hens. Proceedings of the 2004 ASAE Annual Meeting, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Cunningham DL. 1982. Cage type and density effects on performance and economic factors of caged layers. Poultry Science, 61: 1944-1949. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0611944

Cunningham DL & Ostrander CE. 1981. An evaluation of layer performance in deep and shallow cages at different densities. Poultry Science,60: 2010-2016. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0602010D

Dorminey R & Arscott G. 1971. Effects of bird density, nutrient density and perches on the performance of caged White Leghorn layers. Poultry Science, 50: 619-626. DOI:10.3382/ps.0500619

Faridi A, Gitoee A & France J. 2015. A meta-analysis of the effects of nonphytate phosphorus on broiler performance and tibia ash concentration. Poultry Science, 94: 2753-2762. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pev280

Hedges LV & Olkin I. 2014. Statistical methods for meta-analysis: Academic press. 369 Pages.

Hester PY & Wilson EK. 1986. Performance of White Leghorn hens in response to cage density and the introduction of cage mates. Poultry Science, 65:2029-2033. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0652029

Hill A & Hunt J. 1978. Layer cage depth effects on nervousness, feathering, shell breakage, performance, and net egg returns. Poultry Science, 57: 1204-1216. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0571204

Huedo-Medina TB, Sánchez-Meca J, Marín-Martínez F & Botella J. 2006. Assessing heterogeneity in meta-analysis: Q statistic or I² index?. ‎Psychological Methods, 11: 193-206 DOI:10.1037/1082-989X.11.2.193

Jalal M, Scheideler S & Marx D. 2006. Effect of bird cage space and dietary metabolizable energy level on production parameters in laying hens. Poultry Science, 85: 306-311. DOI: 10.1093/ps/85.2.306

Keeling LJ, Estevez I, Newberry RC & Correia MG. 2003. Production-related traits of layers reared in different sized flocks: the concept of problematic intermediate group sizes. Poultry Science, 82: 1393-1396. DOI: 10.1093/ps/82.9.1393

Leeson S & Summers JD. 1984. Effects of cage density and diet energy concentration on the performance of growing Leghorn pullets subjected to early induced maturity. Poultry Science, 63: 875-882. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0630875

Mashaly MM, Webb ML, Youtz SL, Roush WB & Graves HB. 1984. Changes in serum corticosterone concentration of laying hens as a response to increased population density. Poultry Science, 63: 2271-2274. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0632271

Mench JA, Van Tienhoven A, Marsh JA, McCormick CC, Cunningham DL & Baker RC. 1986. Effects of cage and floor pen management on behavior, production, and physiological stress responses of laying hens. Poultry Science, 65: 1058-1069. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0651058

Ouart M & Adams A. 1982. Effects of cage design and bird density on layers.: 1. Productivity, feathering, and nervousness. Poultry Science, 61: 1606-1613. DOI:10.3382/ps.0611606

Patterson PH & Siegel HS. 1998. Impact of cage density on pullet performance and blood parameters of stress. Poultry Science, 77: 32-40. DOI: 10.1093/ps/77.1.32

Producers UE. 2006. Animal husbandry guidelines for US egg laying flocks. Alpharetta, GA: United Egg Producers.

Saki AA, Zamani P, RahmatiM & Mahmoudi H. 2012. The effect of cage density on laying hen performance, egg quality, and excreta minerals. Journal of Applied Poultry Reseacrh, 21: 467-475. DOI: 10.3382/japr.2010-00318