Effects of stocking density and group size on heat and moisture production of laying hens under thermoneutral and heat challenging conditions

A. R. Green, H. Xin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Current and relevant information regarding heat and moisture production (HMP) of laying hens is important for design and operation of ventilation systems for commercial layer housing. Different stocking densities are being adopted by the cage layer industry, but there is a lack of information concerning the potential impacts of these changes on environmental control. A study was conducted with 24 groups of 48 hens (39 to 46 weeks old) to compare HMP, via indirect calorimetry, for four different stocking densities (348, 387, 465, or 581 cm2/bird; 54, 60, 72, or 90 in2/bird) and two group sizes (8 or 16 birds/cage). Data were collected at thermoneutral (24°C or 76°F) and heat challenging conditions (32°C or 90°F and 35°C or 95°F). No notable differences in HMP were observed among the treatments under the experimental conditions (2.8 to 3.1, 3.5 to 3.7, and 6.4 to 6.6 W/kg 24-h time weighted mean room-level SHP, LHP or MP, and THP, respectively, under 24°C; 0.7 to 1.0, 4.9 to 5.2, and 5.6 to 6.1 W/kg under 32°C; and -1.0 to -0.4, 5.9 to 6.5, and 5.4 to 5.7 W/kg under 35°C). The results imply that for existing laying-hen houses, reducing stocking density and thus flock size may lead to difficulties maintaining desired temperatures without compromising air quality during cold weather, but may offer benefits for heat stress prevention and relief during hot weather.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLivestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium
Pages577-583
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event8th International Livestock Environment Symposium, ILES VIII - Iguassu Falls, Brazil
Duration: Aug 31 2008Sep 4 2008

Publication series

NameLivestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium

Other

Other8th International Livestock Environment Symposium, ILES VIII
CountryBrazil
CityIguassu Falls
Period8/31/089/4/08

Keywords

  • Cage-layer
  • Latent heat production (LHP)
  • Moisture production (MP)
  • Sensible heat production (SHP)
  • Total heat production (THP)
  • Ventilation, Design
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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  • Cite this

    Green, A. R., & Xin, H. (2008). Effects of stocking density and group size on heat and moisture production of laying hens under thermoneutral and heat challenging conditions. In Livestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium (pp. 577-583). (Livestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium).