Newcastle University
Chapter 5 Data - On Farm Body Condition Comparison.sav (15.52 kB)

Comparison of Adult Neurogenesis in the Laying Hen Hippocampal Formation for Birds with Differing Physical Body Conditions On Farm

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posted on 2021-03-05, 17:36 authored by Elena ArmstrongElena Armstrong
Adult hens approaching the end of lay (65/66 weeks-of-age) were sampled from a multi-tier aviary with an outdoor range, and an enriched colony cage system, on adjacent sites of a local egg production farm. Body size, feather cover and redness of the comb were used to select 12 birds in good physical condition and 12 birds in poor condition from each system. Using immunohistochemistry, immature neurons expressing doublecortin (DCX) were quantified in serial hippocampal sections. Additionally, expression of mRNA for inflammatory cytokines was quantified in the spleen. Data regarding body mass and spleen mass was also recorded.
For practical reasons, it was not possible to compare the same strain/genotype of hen between the two housing systems. For this reason, 14-week-old laying hen pullets of each strain were also sampled directly from adjacent barns of the same rearing farm, where they had been housed in almost identical conditions. The same measures were taken from this sample, to provide a baseline for any strain differences which may have existed before the experience of differing adult housing.
This study was approved by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body at Newcastle University (Project ID #702).


Universities Federation for Animal Welfare - Research Training Scholarship



  • Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience