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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 507140
Title Cost-efficiency of animal welfare in broiler production systems
Author(s) Jong, I.C. de; Gocsik, E.; Brooshooft, Suzanne; Saatkamp, H.W.
Source In: 16th International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862856 - p. 175 - 175.
Event Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862856 16th International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals, Wageningen, 2016-06-22/2016-06-23
Department(s) LR - Animal Behaviour & Welfare
Business Economics
Experimental Zoology
Publication type Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings
Publication year 2016
Abstract Broiler producers operate in a highly competitive and cost-price driven environment. In addition, in recent years the societal pressure to improve animal welfare (AW) in broiler production systems is increasing. Hence, from an economic and decision making point of view, the cost-efficiency of improvement in AW obtained from a certain production system is of great importance. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to analyze the contribution of four different production systems to overall AW and the cost-efficiency of increased AW at the farm level. Cost-efficiency was calculated as the ratio of the change in the level of animal welfare and the change in the level of production costs compared to the level of conventional system (i.e. legal minimum standards). The level of AW was measured by the Welfare Quality index score (WQ index score) calculated on the basis of data collected in 168 flocks in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Italy within the Welfare Quality® project. On the basis of systems attributes, three main segments of production systems are distinguished, i.e. conventional, middle-market and top-market systems. The middle-market and top-market systems use a slow growing breed. Stocking density ranges from 25 to 31 kg/m2 in middle-market systems and from 21 to 27.5 kg/ m2 in top-market systems. In the middle-market systems, a covered veranda is provided to the chickens, whereas in the top-market systems chickens have access to an outdoor range. Total production costs were calculated for each production system using a deterministic economic model. Results show that the middle-market systems, such as the Dutch Volwaard and Puur & Eerlijk systems, had the highest WQ index score (736), whereas the conventional system had the lowest (577). Moreover, the WQ index score of extensive outdoor (733) and organic systems (698) was below that of the middle-market systems. Three system attributes contributed most to AW in all systems, i.e. broiler type, stocking density and length of the dark period. With respect to production costs, broiler chickens kept in conventional system were produced at the lowest costs, followed by the middle-market, the extensive outdoor, and the organic systems. With regard to cost-efficiency, when shifting from conventional to an alternative system, middlemarket systems (i.e. Volwaard and Puur & Eerlijk; 8.37) outperformed the extensive outdoor (3.90) and organic systems (1.03). Overall, it can be concluded that the middle-market systems could be attractive for farmers due to their high cost-efficiency, a higher WQ index score and the flexibility to revert to the conventional system.
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