EIP Agri project – Maintaining Feather Cover


The LWHF is trialling on 29 flocks innovative ways of maintaining feather cover in laying hens. The need to reduce the levels of injurious pecking is clear, for high levels can be associated with increased mortality and feed use, and reduced hen welfare.

The LHWF consists of the following Operational Group:

Andrew Joret (Chairman) – BEIC

Mark Williams – BEIC

Stonegate Farmers representative

Claire Weeks – University of Bristol

David Brass – The Lakes Free Range Egg Company

Gary Ford – NFU

Robert Gooch – BFREPA

RSPCA representative

Stephen Lister – Poultry Veterinary Surgeon

Defra representative

AHPA representative

Latest information

News topics

Latest News

Further drop in antibiotic use and resistance

The latest government VARSS report for antibiotic use during 2018 for farm animals shows a continuing downward trend – half the use of 2014. The pig and poultry sectors are at the forefront of the UK’s success in reducing antibiotic use in farm producing species. The poultry sector has led the way, decreasing use by 80% since 2012. BEIC collects data regarding antibiotic use in layers.

Posted on: 08 December 2019

Latest Blog post

Yorkshire Egg Producers discuss feather cover

General challenges in egg production and ways of maintaining feather cover were discussed at the January meeting at a workshop run by the Laying Hen Welfare Forum. Key concerns were disease challenges, litter quality and ventilation. Providing enrichments, including pecking blocks, was found to be useful by many producers to maintain feather cover.

Posted on: 14 February 2020


Part funded by

The work of the Laying Hen Welfare Forum is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development