Our cookies

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website.
You can allow or reject non essential cookies or manage them individually.

Reject allAllow all

More options  •  Cookie policy

Our cookies

Allow all

We use cookies, which are small text files, to improve your experience on our website. You can allow all or manage them individually.

You can find out more on our cookie page at any time.

EssentialThese cookies are needed for essential functions such as logging in and making payments. Standard cookies can’t be switched off and they don’t store any of your information.
AnalyticsThese cookies help us collect information such as how many people are using our site or which pages are popular to help us improve customer experience. Switching off these cookies will reduce our ability to gather information to improve the experience.
FunctionalThese cookies are related to features that make your experience better. They enable basic functions such as social media sharing. Switching off these cookies will mean that areas of our website can’t work properly.

Save preferences

pigs faceEarly-life interventions to improve laying hens welfare: impact of light during incubation and genetic background on stress responsivity of laying hens


Year: 2020

Rosa Schimmel
Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Supervisor(s): Professor Bas Rodenburg


Feather pecking in laying hens has repeatedly been reported as a welfare issue and since beak trimming has recently been banned in the Netherlands, other solutions must be found. The objective of this research was to study the effect of a green light-dark (12:12) cycle during incubation and the administration of black soldier fly (BSF) larvae in a food puzzle as enrichment on gentle and severe feather pecking (GFP, SFP) and the reaction in a novel object test (NOT) and a human approach test (HAT) in conditions comparable to organic farming. Administration of BSF larvae significantly diminished GFP given and a significantly shorter latency to approach a novel object (NO) was found in the BSF treatment group. At 5 days old, chicks incubated under a light-dark cycle were significantly later in approaching the NO than dark incubated chicks. In the HAT, significantly more “fleeing” was done in the group that received light during incubation, but no BSF larvae in comparison to the group that did receive both light during incubation and BSF larvae. In conclusion, BSF larvae enrichment and light during incubation may have welfare benefits in diminishing stress reactions and possibly feather pecking, but an extra round of research is needed for more and more significant results.