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Br Poult Sci. 2001 May;42(2):161-70.

Influence of environmental enrichment on injurious pecking and perching behaviour in young turkeys.

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Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Zoopĵle Beaucemaine, Ploufragan, France.


1. In order to reduce injurious pecking, the influence of environmental enrichment on pecking and perching behaviour was studied in young male and female turkeys. 2. Two different types of enrichment and a control treatment (TO) were tested: T1, metal objects and straw; T2, similar to T1 + wood perches. Birds were housed in 36 m2 pens at a light intensity of 5 lux with 4 replicates per treatment in a 2x3 factorial design. 3. Pecking at objects and perching behaviour were observed weekly. Behaviour was video recorded at weeks 5 and 10. Birds were examined daily for the occurrence of injuries. At the end of the rearing period, an ACTH challenge was performed and H/L ratio was measured. 4. Objects were regularly pecked at. Perching was more common in females, peaked at week 5 (10% to 13% of birds perched) and declined to 0% by week 10. Aggressive pecking was more frequently observed in males in T0 than in T1 or T2 at week 10. Wing (in males and females), tail and head (in males) injuries were more common in T0 than in T1 or T2. T1 and T2 were similar Response to ACTH challenge and H/L ratio were not consistently influenced by treatments. 5. It is concluded that metal objects and straw reduced injurious pecking in young female and male turkeys by redirecting, pecking activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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