Systematic Review of the Effect of Perch Height on Keel Bone Fractures, Deformation and Injuries, Bone Strength, Foot Lesions and Perching Behavior
This report provides a summary of four systematic reviews on the impact of perch height on laying hen keel bone fractures, deformation and injuries, bone strength, foot lesions and perching behavior. After conducting a scoping review and identifying outcomes of interest, the review protocols were developed. An extensive literature search was conducted in information sources such as CABI, PUBMED and relevant conference proceedings. 1518 abstracts were assessed for relevance and 9 studies reported perch use and 1 reported keel injuries. No studies reported summary effect sizes; therefore it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. In lieu of a formal meta-analysis, a descriptive analysis was conducted, which plotted reported perch height against metrics of perch use. This descriptive analysis was not able to account for lack of independence, differences in sample size and other importance sources of heterogeneity such as cage height. The descriptive analysis suggested a positive association with metrics that measured perch use and height, i.e., increased usage was associated with increased height.
This report is EFSA Supporting Publication (2015): EN-841, 53 pp. Available online: www.efsa.europa.eu/publications. Posted with permission.