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Ask the birds: Galliformes preferences for common beddings and litter management practices

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Title: Ask the birds: Galliformes preferences for common beddings and litter management practices
Author: Monckton, Valerie
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Harlander, Alexandra
Abstract: A wide variety of beddings are used to provide enrichment for Galliformes. Therefore, I conducted a meta-analysis of Galliformes’ preferences for different beddings. It determined that Galliformes prefer to dustbathe in and spend time on sand and peat moss over wood, other substrates and no substrate. However, many studies failed to report relevant physical and chemical properties of beddings, including the degree of soiling, which may affect Galliformes’ preference. To determine if soiling and other litter management practices affects Galliformes’ preferences, we conducted two experiments. Using two-compartment pens divided by barriers with weighted push-doors, the first experiment assessed turkeys’ motivation to access four substrate treatments compared to feed — the gold standard. The second experiment replicated the first but assessed this preference with broiler chickens using different substrate treatments and door weights. The experiments found that Galliformes preferred feed over substrate treatments, and that they preferred all substrate treatments equally.
Date: 2020-09
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Related Publications: Monckton, V.; van Staaveren, N.; Harlander-Matauschek, A. Broiler Chicks’ Motivation for Different Wood Beddings and Amounts of Soiling. Animals 2020, 10, 1039.
Embargoed Until: 2020-12-31

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