Professor Hongwei Xin, Director of the US-based Egg Industry Center (<www.eggindustrycenter.org>), has announced his organization will be funding a study examining rearing of laying hens and consequent short/long term benefits in aviary systems. The effort, led by a team of researchers whom are all members of the Keel Bone Damage Net Action, will assess the benefit of ramps during rearing and laying phases, as well as structural similarities between the two environments. Keel bone damage will be a primary response that will be assessed in the study, as well as associated measures including: bone mineral and biomechanical properties, navigation abilities, incidence of falls, and distribution of hens throughout the aviary.
The study will be conducted at the facilities of the Research Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits in Zollikofen, Switzerland, a joint venture between Switzerland’s University of Bern and the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office. The project team includes: Dr. Ariane Stratmann, an early career investigator and current Working Group Replacement Leader; Dr. Michael Toscano, Management Committeee Chair; and Dr. Janice Siegford, Management Commitee Observer. Drs Toscano and Stratmann are both based within the University of Bern whereas Dr. Siegford is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University in the United States, hence the effort is truly an international collaboration.
For more information, please contact Dr. Ariane Stratmann (ariane.stratmann@vetsuisse.
unibe.ch) and register with the Keel Bone Damage Net Action to receive updates on the project.