Strategies to improve indoor conditions in aviary laying hens production systems

  • Date de publication : 2021-05-11

Mot(s) Clé(s)

Volaille Environnement Fumier


Cage-free systems (CFS) are considered the best way to allow hens to express their inborn behavior. However, these systems face several challenges and uncertainties related to their impact on indoor air quality and respiratory diseases. Four strategies (the use of a heated floor, the addition of activated biochar, the sprinkling of an acid emulsion and the decrease of litter surface) to decrease airborne dust and ammonia emissions from litter disturbance were compared versus a traditional aviary system. The comparison was carried out at an experimental farm which included twelve identical rooms of 1.2 x 2.5 x 2.4 m. Each room was conditioned to lay twelve Lohmann LSL-Lite hens (19 weeks of age in the beginning). All the rooms were arranged in accordance with the CFS housing requirements stipulated in the code of practice for the care and handling of laying hens of the National farm animal care council of Canada. The comparison was carried out in two lots of eight weeks each. The moisture, temperature, and airflow in the rooms were recorded during all the experience. The combination of the sprinkling of the acid emulsion with the addition of activated biochar, or the sprinkling with the heated floor was proven as efficient strategies to improve air quality without affecting hen’s breeding performance.