Understanding how infrared beak treatment affects the beak tissue and the healing response of brown and white feathered layer pullets

S Struthers, Ashish Gupta, Susantha Gomis, Eugenia Herwig, Karen Schwean-Lardner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Beak treatment of commercial laying hens remains an important management practice as it is one of the most effective methods of controlling and preventing cannibalism. Infrared beak treatment is the most recent beak treatment method to be utilized and the available literature shows that it has less of a negative impact on birds compared to older methods of beak treatment. Although there is considerable research evaluating the impact of infrared beak treatment on the production and welfare of laying hens, it is still not fully understood how it affects the beak tissue during the first few days post treatment. This is important to understand as it can provide insight into whether or not treated birds are experiencing pain, which has consequences for both welfare and productivity. This study examined the effect of infrared beak treatment on the histology of the beak during early life (first 21 days). Epithelial regeneration started as soon as five days post treatment. There was no evidence that infrared beak treatment resulted in the formation of neuromas or any other indication of chronic pain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number665
JournalAnimals
Volume9
Publication statusFirst published - 7 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

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