Scientists at the Livestock Behavior Research Unit have developed a line of hens that display less aggression than their commercial counterparts, while maintaining industry-standard egg production, according to the Agricultural Research Service.

When housed in communal cages, the new gentler line mortality losses were considerably lower than the commercial line's mortality rate. The gentler line also produced more eggs compared to the commercial line.

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One of the researchers, Heng-wei Cheng, is conducting further research to look at physiological alterations that explain the less aggressive behavior in the new line of hens.