Towards a higher efficiency by sustainable extending the laying cycle

Project Details


Main research question/goal

The "Leglanger" (longer-lay) project builds on the previous "Long-lay" project. The goal is to responsibly extend the production cycle to 100 weeks without molt, where it now ends by 75- 80 weeks. The genetic potential is there, as proven by previous research. Extension of the laying cycle would improve the sustainability as well as the profitability of the sector. The first limitin factor is eggshell quality, but in this project the aim is to find out which other factors like health (FLHS, osteoporosis), welfare (feather pecking), management and nutritional (Ca- metabolism) can detract fromo or contribute to this goal.

Research approach

First, all the risk factors that contribute to an early production cycle stop are determined. Measures to address these are developed and tested. In a second phase, the nutrient metabolism and nutrient requirements of older laying hens are examined. This knowledge is nearly non-existent, while it is essential for the Longer-Lay gaol to support the hens from day 0 in extending their laying cycle. Based on these findings a calculation tool is developed to determine the optimal productive age of laying hens. All of this knowledge will be bundled on an online platform for the sector.


A longer laying cycle results in lower environmental impact: it implies more efficient use of feed and water, a reduction in waste materials, lower nitrogen emissions and ultimately improved sustainability and higher profitability for Flemish layer farms. The Longer-Lay project aspires to acquire new insights in how to responsibly obtain longer production cycles in laying hens. By assisting 5 poultry farms individually and providing an online platform combined with a calculation tool that determines the optimal productive age of laying hens, we hope to encourage poultry farmers to implement these innovations. 

Funding provider(s)

External partner(s)
Proefbedrijf Pluimveehouderij
Effective start/end date1/12/1830/11/22

Flemish Discipline list

  • Agricultural animal welfare
  • Agricultural animal nutrition
  • Agricultural animal production not elsewhere classified