Keel bone damage (KBD) is a critical issue facing the contemporary laying hen industry due to the likely pain leading to compromised welfare and reduced productivity. Recent reports suggest that KBD, while highly variable and likely dependent on a host of factors, extends to all housing systems (including traditional battery cages, furnished cages and non-cage systems), genetic lines, and management styles. Despite the extent of the problem, the research community remains uncertain as to the causes and influencing factors of KBD. To combat these issues, the current review was produced following discussions from the 1st International Keel Bone Damage Workshop held in Switzerland in April 2014. This exercise sought to assess current knowledge, foster novel collaborations, propose unique methodologies and highlight the key areas where innovative research is needed. The following paper is based on the content of those discussions and presents nine recommendations for future research efforts.
- Laying hen