Laying hens housed in non-cage systems frequently suffer keel bone fractures, which affects 30% to 90% of the population. These fractures are frequently sustained because birds misjudge jumps or cannot fly the required distance, resulting in a collision of keel bone with the environment. It has been shown that these fractures are painful and negatively affect egg production. We are developing a research line for which we will focus on reducing keel bone fractures by selecting robust genetic lines and by providing the developing birds with complex housing that promotes flight training. Such early-life flight training is assumed to improve flight performance and keel bone strength in later life. For this thesis, you will develop and test the CT scanning methodology for assessing keel bone fractures and bone strength, and develop the high-speed camera recording system for studying the flight pattern in laying hens. In the next phase of the project, we will use these setups to test the effect of genetic backgrounds and early-life housing (complex versus simple) on flight performance and keel bone strength in laying hens.
|Examiner:||Prof. Dr. Ir. Johan L. van Leeuwen|
|Bas Rodenburg (BHE)|
|Contact:||Florian Muijres (via contact form)|
|Credits:||24 or 36 ECTS|
|For:||MSc Animal Sciences, Biology or Forest and Nature Conservation|
|Requirements:||Completed Functional Zoology or Developmental Biology of Animals|
|Used skills:||Experimental design, data management, digital high-speed image recording and analysis, programming (Matlab), functional zoology, biomechanics|