Effects of different housing systems on some performance traits and egg qualities of laying hens
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This research was carried out to investigate the effects of husbandry systems (deep litter, free range and cage systems) on brown layer strain of ATAK (G(x)S(x)) in terms of egg production and egg quality. In the experiment, deep litter and free range systems were replicated four times with 20 birds per replication and the cage system was replicated six times with 16 birds per replicate. Water and feed were supplied ad libitum to the birds in the experiment. In deep litter, free range and cage systems, respectively: 50% production age was 168.75, 160.00 and 158.33 days (p>0.05); feed intake (g/bird/day) was 157.21, 146.70 and 134.33 (p<0.01); bird weights at 5% egg yield were 1732.07, 1697.27 and 1775.05 g (p<0.01); hen housed egg production was 96.44, 118.08 and 111.00 eggs (p>0.05); egg shape index was 76.46, 76.05 and 77.27% (p<0.01); egg shell colour (L-a-b) was 25.28, 23.80 and 22.56 (p<0.05); egg albumen pH values were 8.79, 8.72 and 8.72 (p<0.01); cracked egg ratio was 2.66, 2.02 and 3.13% (p>0.05). The free-range system had some advantages when compared to deep litter and cage systems in terms of 5% yield age weight, hen housed egg yield, egg shape index and cracked egg ratio. However, as a result of the study, it has been determined that there were no great differences among deep litter, free-range and cage systems. More detailed studies are necessary to show the differences and advantages of the main poultry housing systems.