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Effects of Declawed Males on Laying Performances, Egg Quality Characteristics and Feather Cover of Layer Breeders in the Mating Cage

Effects of Declawed Males on Laying Performances, Egg Quality Characteristics and Feather Cover of Layer Breeders in the Mating Cage

Yan Li1, Kai Zhan1,*, Junying Li1, Wei Liu1, Ruiyu Ma1, Shengnan Liu1, Haijun Cui1 and Xin Zhang2

1Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nongkenan Road No. 40, Hefei, 230031, China
2Jiangxi Huayu Poultry Breeding Co. Ltd., Yichun, 336299, China 

*      Corresponding author: zhankai633@126.com

 

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to investigate the effects of declawed males on laying performances, egg quality characteristics and feather cover of layer breeders in the mating cage. Ninety-six 230-day-old Hy-line Brown roosters were randomly split into four groups. Group 1 chicks served as intact control. Trimming of claw of group 2 chicks was performed by the method of partial amputation of the third toe (along the distal phalanx) at day of hatch; the first and third toes were declawed in the group 3, while the second and fourth ones were trimming in group 4. They were caged with the same batch of non-declawed hens. Compared with intact control, laying rate was significantly increased in groups 3 and 4, while percentage of defective eggs was visibly decreased in group 3. Hatching experiment showed a considerable depression in egg fertility and hatchability of setting eggs in group 4. Egg quality analysis demonstrated the significant increases in shell thickness among declawed treatments and yolk color in group 2. Overall feather score of layer breeders was not a significant difference, but the neck region had the lowest feather score in all groups. Preferential trimming methods were the removal of the first and third or second and fourth toes of day-old chicks in Hy-Line strain.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 50, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2398

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