Effect of four processed animal proteins in the diet on behavior in laying hens

Krimpen, M.M. van; Veldkamp, T.; Binnendijk, G.P.; Veer, R. de


An experiment was performed to investigate the effect of animal versus vegetable protein sources in the diet on the development of behavior in laying hens. A diet containing protein sources of only vegetable origin was compared with four diets, each containing one of four processed animal proteins (PAPs). Two PAPs (Daka-58 and Sonac-60) were classified as meat meals, whereas the remaining ones (Daka-40 and Sonac-50) were classified as meat and bone meals. The impact of a control diet (without PAP) versus four PAP diets (50g/kg CP of animal origin) on behavior was determined. All diets were isocaloric (AMEn=11.8MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (dig. lysine=6.8g/kg). Hens were housed in 40 floor pens (12 hens/pen, 8 pens/treatment) from 20 to 40 weeks of age. Supplementation of PAPs did not generally reduce feather pecking behavior. Nevertheless, Daka-40 and Sonac-50 fed hens showed a delay in the development of feather damage and, simultaneously, an increase in litter condition, foraging and walking behavior, and floor pecks compared to hens fed Sonac-60. These shifts seemed to be partly related with the intake of digestible glycine, available phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and sodium