As we hit the midway point of ‘hen lockdown’ as a result of avian influenza, there are several things to consider and jobs to be done to keep hens happy and content, and ensure they are prepared for when pop holes can reopen.
UK egg consumption has increased in recent years, with an average UK consumer now eating 2.2 eggs per week, while free-range egg sales have doubled since 2004, now representing 67% of retail egg sales. This steady growth has made diversification into free-range egg production an attractive option. Here’s what those thinking about getting into poultry should consider.
The general concern about animal welfare, especially for laying hens, is continuously increasing in consumers and farmers. This attention leads to spending time and efforts to understand if our birds are stressed or not, through many different indicators both deriving from animal observation (behavior, performance, fearfulness) and laboratory analysis (Alm et al., 2016; Rodenburg et al., 2008).