77,505 research outputs found

    Workshop and desk study to appraise technical difficulties associated with organic pullet rearing

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    Background To date, Regulation (EC) 1804/1999 and UKROFS Standards allow conventionally reared pullets up to 18 weeks of age to be brought into systems of organic egg production. Pullets must be reared according to the rules laid down in Regulation (EC) 1804/1999 and according to UKROFS Standards for at least six weeks, before the eggs may be sold as organic eggs. The derogation for pullet rearing has been agreed for a transitional period expiring on 31 December 2003. If pullets are to be reared from day old in an organic system in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1804/1999 and UKROFS Standards this may potentially create a number of technical problems, which may disadvantage UK producers considering organic egg production. A series of workshops and a literature review were commissioned by MAFF to provide possible solutions to these technical problems. Objectives 1. To organise a workshop involving key members of the egg sector of the poultry industry, representatives of organic sector bodies and of MAFF to consider technical problems that may occur when rearing pullets organically, and to identify possible solutions. 2. To address some of the perceived technical problems by reviewing the available literature on conventional pullet rearing and assessing the extent to which published results can be applied to organic systems. 3. To reconvene workshop members to discuss findings from the literature review, to identify research priorities and to consider mechanisms for technology transfer. Methodology There were three separate but related stages to the project. Stage one comprised a workshop involving representatives of the egg sector of the poultry industry, of the Soil Association, of ADAS and of MAFF, and attendees were specifically invited to comment on the likely difficulties that might be experienced when attempting to rear pullets in an organic production system. Stage two was a desk study in the form of a literature review. Literature searches of the major international abstracting databases were done using key words related to the technical problems highlighted by workshop one attendees. Stage three was a second workshop where attendees discussed the findings from the literature, identified research priorities and considered mechanisms for technology transfer. Results The outcome of workshop one was that several likely difficulties associated with rearing pullets in an organic production system were identified and these included; 1) the application of light programmes in pullets receiving natural light when the maximum daily light period is 16 hours; 2) nutrition; 3) housing and pasture management, and; 4) food safety risks. Implications of findings, future work and policy relevance The implications of the findings are that with current scientific information there will be technical difficulties associated with rearing pullets in an organic system. The most important technical difficulties are to do with photoperiodism, nutrition, pasture management and rotation, and methods of controlling injurious feather pecking. Also a maximum permissible daylength of 16 hours for rearing organic pullets would mean that producers in Northern European countries may be disadvantaged. The project addressed MAFF’s policy of supporting the development of organic livestock production within the UK. The project has provided information to MAFF and the egg sector of the poultry industry about the key technical problems associated with organic pullet rearing, possible solutions to these problems and, where scientific information is missing, future research needs have been identified

    Workshop and desk study to appraise technical difficulties associated with organic breeder flocks and organic hatching

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    BACKGROUND To date, Regulation (EC) 1804/1999 and UKROFS Standards allow conventionally produced day old chicks up to three days of age to be brought into systems of organic table chicken production. Chicks must be reared according to the rules laid down in Regulation (EC) 1804/1999 and according to UKROFS Standards for at least 70 days before the birds may be sold as being organic. The derogation for organic breeder flocks was agreed for a transitional period expiring on 31st December 2003. An extension to the derogation is being discussed at EU level (Article 14 Committee) but, as an interim measure, a new end date has not yet been published in the Official Journal. If chicks are to be produced from breeder flocks in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1804/1999 this may potentially create a number of scientific and technical problems. A series of workshops and a literature review were commissioned by Defra to provide possible solutions to these problems. OBJECTIVES 1. To organise a workshop involving key representatives of Defra, Soil Association, the poultry industry (organic and conventional), feed trade and scientific community and poultry veterinary practitioners in order to identify the important technical problems and limiting factors, and to identify possible solutions. 2. To address some of the perceived technical and scientific problems by means of a review of the scientific literature. 3. To convene a second workshop to review progress and to discuss the findings of the literature review. The second workshop also considered future research needs and mechanisms for technology transfer. The initial workshop identified factors likely to limit the success of organic breeder production, and therefore of organic table chicken production. The priority issues were: the energy balance of breeders on range; supplying protein and amino acids; the future needs for 100% organic feed ingredients, including difficulties in meeting energy and protein requirements from organic sources; assessing the impact of diet on manure nutrient content; and health and disease. IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS, FUTURE WORK AND POLICY RELEVANCE The project addressed Defra’s policy of supporting the development of organic poultry production in the UK. The work identified specific difficulties associated with organic breeding and hatching. Although information collected through consultation and literature review, provide some insight into the technical issues, significant information gaps remain. Requirements for further research were considered by workshop participants, and their recommendations include; 1. Bioenergetics Research into the energy balance of female birds, in particular the effects of feather cover and locomotion, and the time spent outdoors, has a high priority. The provision of outdoor shelter is also worthy of calorimetric investigation. 2. Nutrition Choice feeding may offer an approach address the problems of energy and protein balance, as related to the thermal environment. 3. Monitoring disease status The effects of rearing according to the organic requirements requires monitoring both for bird welfare and public health. 4. Nutrient budgets The monitoring of inputs and outputs in order to calculate plant nutrient budgets is required both on an individual farm and local co-operative basis. This requires data on manure nutrient content. 5. Sex ratios Outdoor systems may require different male:female ratios. 6. Management of slow growing breeder hybrids This has not yet been assessed in UK outdoor systems. Factors to be investigated include target body weights and variations in body weight. Flock performances, labour costs, and optimal flock life are factors requiring further investigation before sound advice, including guideline costings, can be offered to producers

    Validation of the HEN model for organic laying hens and assessment of nutrition in organic poultry (CTE0202)

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    Introduction Regulation EC1804/1999 sets out the minimum standards for organic livestock production and UK organic poultry producers have to adhere to for organic poultry. There are several aspects of Regulation EC1804/1999 which are technically and practicably challenging with regards to organic poultry production and most of these relate to feeding organic poultry. The greatest problems relate to the need to feed mainly organic ingredients, there is a future requirement to feed 100% organic ingredients, and the banning of synthetic amino acids in feeds for organic poultry. The issues raised by the introduction of Regulation EC1804/1999 are: 1) how do we match the supply of energy and nutrients to the bird’s needs for health, welfare and performance in a UK organic poultry production system? 2) Do we fully understand the bird’s amino acid needs for metabolic processes and can we meet them when feeding 80% or more organic ingredients? 3) Do UK-grown organic ingredients have lower crude protein and amino acid contents than their non-organic counterparts? If so, this will exacerbate any difficulties in amino acid supply to the birds. 4) What are the implications of Regulation EC1804/1999 in terms of ingredient supply for organic poultry production? These issues were addressed in this project. Firstly by measuring on-farm the hen’s feed metabolisable energy intake responses to temperature in outdoor production systems and examining whether a model (the ADAS HEN model) of inputs (feed metabolisable energy, protein and amino acids) and outputs (egg numbers and weight) could be validated for use in organic egg production systems. If so, this would provide a user-friendly approach for practical decision making at farm level. Secondly, by examining the published literature on recommended nutrient requirements for non-organic poultry and assessing the applicability of the findings to organic poultry. Thirdly, by sampling organically grown crops (wheat, peas and beans) and determining their contents of crude protein and amino acids. Fourthly, by estimating the size of the UK organic poultry flocks and their requirements for organic ingredients. Objectives 1. To validate the HEN model for organic egg production so that the feed energy value relative to protein content may be better matched with feed intake, and energy and nutrient requirements in differing outdoor temperatures. 2. To scope the technical issues relating to the nutrition of organic pullets, laying hens, table birds and breeder flocks. 3. To review the essential amino acid requirements for maintenance, growth, immune system development, behaviour, laying performance, sexual maturity and the risk of prolapse and interpret the relevance of published conventional data to organic poultry production. 4. To examine whether or not there are differences in the contents of crude protein content, lysine, methionine and threonine of organic and non-organic wheat, peas and beans (by analysis). 5. To examine the implications of changes in Regulation EC1804/1999 and Standards (e.g. organic pullet rearing and organic breeder flocks) on the volumes of organic feed ingredients needed for sustained UK organic poultry production (chickens) based on the current sector size. Implication of findings and future work 1. There is an inability to optimise the dietary ratio of metabolisable energy to protein for hens in outdoor production systems, as the hen’s feed metabolisable energy intake responses to low fluctuating outdoor temperatures have not been defined. The implications of this are tempered with respect to organic egg production as the priority when formulating diets is to meet, as far as possible with the limited range of ingredients available, the organic hen’s methionine and lysine requirements, which in practice is resulting in too much crude protein being fed. 2. Feeding excess crude protein will increase the rate of nitrogen excretion from organic poultry, and there will be an increased risk of nitrogen pollution to the air and water environments. 3. Without additional organic methionine-rich protein sources, methionine deficiencies will become more pronounced and more widespread in organic poultry production as the level of permitted non-organic proteinaceous ingredients in the diet fall. This will impact on bird health and welfare. 4. The possibility of lower methionine contents in organically produced wheat, peas and beans will exacerbate problems of methionine supply. 5. There is an urgent need to identify novel sources of organic methionine-rich protein for feeding organic poultry. This is being addressed in Defra-funded project OF0357 ‘Organic egg production – A desk study on sustainable and innovative methods for meeting the hen’s protein requirements’. The project addressed Defra’s policy of supporting the sustainable development of organic poultry production in the UK. The project has provided both Defra and the industry with information about the key scientific and technical problems, and some possible solutions to these problems. Where there are gaps in knowledge it has highlighted future research needs. The move to 100% organic provenance for organic poultry feeds is an important issue for UK consumers

    Welding torch gas cup extension

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    The invention relates to a gas shielded electric arc welding torch having a detachable gas cup extension which may be of any desired configuration or length. The gas cup extension assembly is mounted on a standard electric welding torch gas cup to enable welding in areas with limited access. The gas cup assembly has an upper tubular insert that fits within the gas cup such that its lower portion protrudes thereform and has a lower tubular extension that is screwed into the lower portion. The extension has a rim to define the outer perimeter of the seat edge about its entrance opening so a gasket may be placed to effect an airtight seal between the gas cup and extension. The tubular extension may be made of metal or cermaic material that can be machined. The novelty lies in the use of an extension assembly for a standard gas cup of an electric arc welding torch which extension assembly is detachable permitting the use of a number of extensions which may be of different configurations and materials and yet fit the standard gas cup

    Self-clamping arc light reflector for welding torch

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    This invention is directed to a coaxial extending metal mirror reflector attached to the electrode housing or gas cup on a welding torch. An electric welding torch with an internal viewing system for robotic welding is provded with an annular arc light reflector to reflect light from the arc back onto the workpiece. The reflector has a vertical split or gap in its surrounding wall to permit the adjacent wall ends forming the split to be sprung open slightly to permit the reflector to be removed or slipped onto the torch housing or gas cup. The upper opening of the reflector is slightly smaller than the torch housing or gas cup and therefore, when placed on the torch housing or gas cup has that springiness to cause it to clamp tightly on the housing or gas cup. The split or gap also serves to permit the feed of weld wire through to the weld area

    Welding torch with arc light reflector

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    A welding torch arc light reflector is disclosed for welding torches having optical viewing systems. A schematic of a welding torch having an internal coaxial viewing system consisting of a lens which focuses the field of view of the weld scene of the workpiece onto the end of the fiberoptic bundle is provided. The transmitted image of the fiberoptic bundle is provided to a camera lens which focuses it onto a TV sensor array for transmission. To improve the parity of the image of the monitoring system, an arc light reflector is shown fitted to the end of the torch housing or gas cup. The arc light reflector has an internal conical section portion which is polished to serve as a mirror which reflects the bright arc light back onto the darker areas of the weld area and thereby provides a more detailed image for the monitoring system. The novelty of the invention lies in the use of an arc light reflector on welding torches having optical viewing systems

    Modulating Emotion to Understand Prosocial Behavior

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    Reviews the book, Prosocial motives, emotions, and behavior: The better angels of our nature edited by Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver This book serves as a well-organized primer for anyone interested in factors governing prosocial behaviors. Importantly, it also highlights why behaving prosocially is beneficial not only to the recipient but also to the provider, even when that deed is as simple as forgiveness. The broad goal of this book is to integrate what is known about prosocial behavior. The editors do a magnificent job making this edited work tell a cohesive story. In sum, this book does more than simply summarize types of prosocial motives, emotions, and behaviors. It provides a foundation for thinking about how to manage interpersonal, group, and perhaps societal (intergroup) relationships. Given our country’s military involvement abroad, it is refreshing to see work that highlights how we might attain positive social behavior. This book is relevant to a wide readership. It will appeal not only to social psychologists but also to any social scientist interested in human interactions. This includes those with interests in positive and health psychology. Experimental psychologists, who may have little background in social psychology, will also find this book enjoyable as it highlights a number of social psychological theories succinctly

    Gratitude as an Interpersonal Emotion Regulation Strategy

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    Reviews the book, The Spectrum of Gratitude Experience by John Elfers and Patty Hlava. Elfers and Hlava articulate the gratitude experience from a scientific perspective. They present key features of the lived gratitude experience in separate chapters but nicely scaffold their argument. These authors effectively unravel the complexity of this affective experience and explain its utility. The authors weave the role of gratitude in interpersonal relationships throughout the book. Principally, they define gratitude as a positive emotional experience derived from being given a benefit, typically (although not exclusively) in caring relationships. The authors present the evolutionary origin of gratitude, define types of gratitude, and discuss its development in one’s identity. Perhaps the most compelling information is on the effects of experiencing gratitude. This book is most relevant for affective scientists. The authors delicately bridge various theories of emotion (e.g., basic, cognitive, action tendencies) to provide a framework for the multifaceted nature of gratitude. You do not need to have a background in psychology to appreciate this book. It would interest anyone who is curious about the human condition
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