Non-debeaked laying hens
From 2018 onwards, it is forbidden to debeak laying hens in the Netherlands. For poultry farmers affiliated to the German KAT association the ban on beak trimming will be valid in 2017. Several Dutch feed companies took part of a collective research for laying hens. In this study effects were tested of dietary treatments on production performance of debeaked and non-debeaked laying hens
Although the study went without problems, it should be concluded that housing of non-debeaked laying hens without loss of performance was not succeeded. Substantial differences in production performance were observed between debeaked and non-debeaked laying hens. Particularly, feed intake was much higher in non-debeaked laying hens, and thereby feed conversion ratio. The higher feed intake seems to be related with a poorer feather condition of the non-debeaked laying hens. The cause of the poorer feather condition might be stress related, because non-debeaked laying hens seems to have more stress.