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A research centre with 30,568 laying hens kept in enriched cages and in aviaries, had become naturally infested with poultry red mites (PRM) in 32 of its 48 animal units. Therefore, at the age of 52 weeks all hens were treated with fluralaner through the drinking water. After this treatment, PRM were no longer observed. As all birds were of the same age and since production figures were measured daily in all 48 units, this offered a unique opportunity to examine how PRM had affected performance. Statistical analyses were done to compare the evolution of production data from the pre-treatment to the posttreatment period in units that were visually free of PRM or infested with PRM to different levels. Production standards provided by the breeding organizations were used as a reference. The results demonstrated significant posttreatment increases of laying percentage, egg weight, egg mass, percentage first choice eggs, feed intake and body weight in heavily infested hens of one or both housing systems, as compared to the non-infested controls. These data confirm that PRM infestations can impact the main performance traits related to profitability of laying hen farms as well as the hens' general condition.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Avian pathology : journal of the W.V.P.A
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Food products manufactured from poultry.