Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


Good management dictates that laying hens be confined; so, environment to a laying hen is made up of conditions within the house in which she lives. These conditions, in South Dakota, range from poultry houses that put the hen under condition of stress to houses that offer the hen many comforts. The principal question is, does money spent on improving the conditions within a house pay for itself? Payments could be in the form of lower mortality, increased production, better feed efficiency or a combination of any or all factors. Among the environmental conditions that may affect the hen’s performance are the use of artificial lights, insulation, forced ventilation, cages and management practices. The merit of artificial light has long been recognized and its use accepted; however, the merit of insulation in poultry houses is a controversial subject and many houses in South Dakota remain uninsulated. The object of insulating is to hold heat produced by the birds in the house and to prevent outdoor temperatures from seriously affecting indoor temperatures. Low temperatures can also cause a hen’s feed intake to increase. Since temperature variations do occur in a laying hen’s life, just what are their effects on production, mortality, and feed efficiency? Specifically, the objective of this paper is to present and compare information on temperature, production, mortality, feed efficiency and calculated income of laying hens in individual cages in an insulated, fan-ventilated house and in floor pens in a non-insulated, gravity-ventilated house.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Eggs -- Production


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University