Hybrids with different morphological and yield characteristics are used in the table egg production. There is no change in the cage systems according to the different hybrids in the regulation. This study aimed to investigate the effects of genotype (brown laying hybrids (BLH) and white laying hybrids (WLH)) and cage type (conventional and enriched cages) on behaviours of hens at the 90% egg production level. Behavioural data were recorded with video cameras during the 4 days. Data were analysed in 6 time periods as 05.00–08.00 am, 09.00–12.00 am, 01.00–04.00 pm, 05.00–08.00 pm, 09.00–12.00 pm and 01.00–04.00 am. Behaviour inspection each hour was divided into 4 quarters and the first 3 min of each quarter were evaluated. Behaviours were represented as the proportion of the total behaviour performed in the time period by a given hen. There was no interaction between hens’ behaviour and the genotype at the same egg production level. The frequency of feeding behaviour was found to be significantly lower (P < 0.01), but comfort behaviour was higher (P < 0.05) in hens that were reared in the enriched cages. Only preening was seen as a comfort behaviour due to the cage size. The feeding, drinking, pecking hen, comforting, walking, sitting, resting and perching behaviours changed during the day (P < 0.01). Especially, the transition from light to dark influenced the perching behaviour negatively. No interactions were detected amongst genotype, cage type and time period. Feeding behaviour decreased and the comfort behaviour increased in the hens that were reared in the enriched cages because there were materials that would exhibit different behaviours. Hens in the enriched cage could not suddenly adapt to the dark and light period. For this reason, transitions to light and dark periods in poultry houses should be provided gradually, as in natural life.
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This study was approved by Ankara University Animal Care and Use Committee (201057/285).
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Onbaşılar, E.E., Erdem, E., Kocakaya, A. et al. Effects of the genotype, cage type and time period on the behaviour of laying hybrids at the same egg production level. Trop Anim Health Prod 54, 149 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-022-03157-z
- Laying hen
- Cage type
- Time period