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International Journal of Poultry Science

.: Home > International Journal of Poultry Science > 2011 > Volume 10 Number 4 > D.V. Arbona, K.E. Anderson and J.B. Hoffman

A Comparison of Humoral Immune Function in Response to a Killed Newcastle’s Vaccine Challenge in Caged Vs. Free-range Hy-line Brown Layers

D.V. Arbona, K.E. Anderson and J.B. Hoffman
Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
Abstract :

The relationship between immune function and disease risk may be greatly influenced by an
organism’s response to chronic stressors including those that are environmentally induced. Measurements
of stress-induced immune alterations have previously been made in poultry species by utilizing
hematological and immunological indices. To ascertain the effects of alternative layer housing management
methods on humoral immune function, Hy-line Brown hens housed on range (n = 15) or in battery style
cages (n = 20) were inoculated with a killed Newcastle's vaccine. Blood serum samples were taken prior
to injection and for three consecutive weeks following injection to assess antibody production. Antibody
production was significantly higher in caged hens in comparison to free-range hens at pre-injection
(1.69±0.70 vs. 0.069±0.069) (p<0.0001) and post-injection week one (2.26±0.77 vs. 0.145±0.25) (p<0.0001),
week two (8.00±2.98 vs. 4.38±2.94) (p<0.001) and week 3 (9.24±2.56 vs. 6.69±3.86) (p<0.05). Additionally,
caged hens exhibited a significantly higher level (p<0.0001) of total antibody production (5.30±0.23)
throughout the immune challenge compared to free-range hens (2.82±0.26). Caged hens exhibited
significantly higher H:L ratios (2.34±0.86 vs. 1.75±0.57) (p<0.05) during post-injection week 2 which
correlated with the greatest difference in antibody production observed between the two groups of hens. This
data indicated that environmental management methods utilized in layer hen production may influence both
levels of humoral immune function and heterophil:lymphocyte ratios.

Keywords :
Layers, free-range, cage, humoral immune function

Date Deposited : 24 Jun 2011 13:45

Last Modified : 24 Jun 2011 13:45

Official URL:

Volume 10, Number 4, - 2011 , ISSN 1682-8356

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