Yield Performance, Laying Behaviour Traits and Egg Quality of a Crossbred Laying Hen in Alternative Housing Systems
Zsedely, Eszter
Szalai, Klaudia
Takács, Georgina
Lencsés-Varga, Erika
Szabó-Sárvári, Loretta Csilla
Tempfli, Károly

How to Cite

Zsedely E., Szalai K., Takács G., Lencsés-Varga E., Szabó-Sárvári L.C., Tempfli K., 2023, Yield Performance, Laying Behaviour Traits and Egg Quality of a Crossbred Laying Hen in Alternative Housing Systems, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 107, 121-126.


One aim of this study was to investigate a crossbred laying hen line (400 hens) in two alternative housing systems in two replicates between 20-72 weeks of age. One rearing system was deep litter (D) with artificial light. Hens from Group R were housed in a poultry house with windows on deep litter and access to a runway without artificial light. Birds were fed ad libitum with a concentrate layer feed (18.0 % protein, 11.6 MJ). The egg production was influenced by the housing system. Lower average egg weight was observed in Group R. The feed consumption was also lower here, but the FCR was better compared to D. Floor egg did not cause any problem in the examined systems. The shell strength decreased with age in both systems. However, the rate was higher in Group D. The albumen height and HU value were higher in Group R at the end of the experiment (72nd week of age). Some differences were found in the fatty acid profile between the two housing systems. Another goal of the study was to observe the behaviour patterns of animals kept under different conditions. Behavioural traits were monitored for 100 hens in total on the two farms that applied different housing technologies (50-50 birds with or without outdoor access). Birds with outdoor access showed 0.23±0.81 aggression-related traits per hour, whereas chickens without outdoor access produced 0.15±0.76 of the same traits (p>0.05). Hens with outdoor access showed 2.30±4.65 activity-related traits, whereas, for hens without outdoor access, 0.72±1.83 observations were recorded per hour (p<0.05). Comfort behaviour was similar (p>0.05) in the two groups. In conclusion, the housing system has a complex effect on the assessed crossbred laying hen line.