Reducing feather pecking in free range/organic hens

Finding innovative and sustainable ways to reduce feather pecking in organic/free range laying hens.

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Field Lab Timeline

    6/6/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • 1st group meeting

    1st group meeting
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  • Achievements

    June 2018

    1st group meeting

    The meeting started with Kate Still (the group facilitator) introduction of the RISS approach and emphasis on group, farmer led approach with supply chain and expert support.

    The group reflected on the Hennovation project and outcomes of that along with the frustration of not finding the key solutions to completely resolve feather pecking issues. Variability in flocks, pullet quality, challenges of day length and lighting, also feed, nutrition imbalance and enrichment distractions were all discussed.
    As all have the same vet from St David’s practice and also same Stonegate fields person, it would be simple to bring in those external expertise as well as research input from SRUC.
    It was decided to focus on two areas:

    1. Identify best practise in organic pullet rearing via a targeted study which would enable a blue print for this best practice to be adopted by the groups rearers.
    2. Profile each of the group’s farms, looking at everything from lighting patterns, feed, enrichments, management and procedures and flock placements. Identify where they might harmonise practise across each of the farms and identify gaps where change in practise would be beneficial. Identifying a SMART action plan for each farm that would enable a blue print for best practice to be delivered and put in place procedures, staff and expertise that would enable long term delivery of this practice.

    Next meeting date to be confirmed in due course.

    Milestone: 1st group meeting

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