Co-Habiting: Keeping Chickens & Aviary Birds Together
By Tom Seest
At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.
Keeping chickens with aviary birds can be a rewarding hobby. It offers the opportunity to watch your chickens interact with each other, and it is also a great way to get a firsthand experience of the many unique behaviors these birds have. Despite their unique personalities, chickens are very easy to train, so you’ll soon have a flock of happy hens.
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Keeping chickens in a multi-tiered aviary system can be beneficial for both the chickens and their owners. It allows the birds to develop a variety of skills, such as jumping and perching. They also benefit from better ventilation and fewer hot spots, which are important factors in the health of poultry. Additionally, this system helps reduce labor costs.
The AV system was found to result in a higher average egg weight compared to CC and BR systems. This difference was due to the increased proportion of eggs laid outside the nest. Despite this, the quality of eggs laid outside the nest was not affected by the locomotion of the birds. The AV system, on the other hand, resulted in more cracked and broken eggs than the other two systems.
Multi-tier aviaries are designed to minimize cracking and optimize egg production. They reduce the need for frequent cleaning and allow producers to stock more birds per square foot. In addition, two-story aviaries allow producers to increase their return on investment. Multi-tier aviaries also reduce labor requirements and increase the number of grade-A eggs per bird.
The researchers found that aviary birds are more fertile than caged chickens. Furthermore, the researchers found that aviary chickens were less likely to develop egg disease. These findings indicate that the aviary system may improve the quality of egg production and decrease egg mortality. But the downside is the higher mortality rate. AV systems may also result in reduced egg fertilization and higher embryonic mortality.
If you decide to keep chickens with aviary birds, be sure to monitor the situation. If the birds are constantly pecking each other or chasing one another, this can be an indication that you need to intervene. In such cases, netting may be necessary to protect your birds.
Egg production rates were similar in the three rearing systems, but AV hens laid higher-quality eggs in phase 2 (41-59 weeks). Both phases of production showed increased egg weight and egg mass varied less in the AV hen than in the BR hen. Overall, the CC and BR systems produced eggs of similar quality. Moreover, the daily feed intake and egg mass were not significantly different in the three systems.
The AV and BR systems were used to evaluate the laying performance of brown pullets. At the start of the experiment, only 10% of male birds were included in the AV system. Both systems had welfare facilities and environmental conditions that met the guidelines of the RSPCA and the Lohmann Brown Lite management guide.
Egg quality was also different between the AV and BR systems. The AV had more cracked eggs, while the BR had better eggs. However, both egg types were generally clean. The AV eggs were significantly better than the CC eggs. In addition, AV eggs had higher yolk color. Therefore, AV eggs were more desirable for egg production. These findings are in line with previous studies examining the effect of rearing systems on egg quality.
Data are available for recent years. The pooled estimates of cumulative mortality rates in aviary birds and conventional cages are available for several years. They are based on data collected from sixteen countries. The data included all types of aviaries. The years for collecting data are listed below.
A multi-state poultry research team comprises animal welfare scientists, environmental physiologists, nutritionists, engineers, and economists. This team collaborates with industry experts to maximize the relevance and impact of research. The goal of collaborative research is to develop a robust poultry production system.
Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.