The GroupHouseNet COST Action: exploiting European synergy to reduce feather pecking in laying hens
Rodenburg, T.B. ; Berk, J. ; Dimitrov, I. ; Edgar, J. ; Eijk, J.A.J. van der; Estevez, I. ; Ferrante, V. ; Haas, E.N. de; Kostal, L. ; Liaubet, L. ; Michel, V. ; Nordgreen, J. ; Ozkan, S. ; Pietta, D. ; Pichova, K. ; Riber, Anja B. ; Sossidou, E. ; Toscano, M.J. ; Valros, A. ; Zupan, M. ; Janczak, A.M. - \ 2017
In: Xth European Symposium on Poultry Welfare, 19-22 June 2017, Ploufragan - France. - World's Poultry Science Association (WPSA) - p. 41 - 46.
broiler breeders - nesting behaviour - genetics - nest design - housing - climate - feather pecking - prenatal effects - health - damaging behaviour - sensor technology
Broilers have been selected for growth related characteristics, which are negatively correlated to reproductive traits. This genetic background creates challenges in broiler breeders, as the hens do not make optimal use of the nests provided. This project aims to investigate what factors determine nesting behaviour, i.e. where a broiler breeder hen prefers to lay her eggs. Factors such as genetic background, social interactions, physical characteristics of the nest and climate might interfere with the natural nesting behaviour of the hen. Also fundamental trade-offs between different motivations, such as hunger, comfort and safety, might influence nesting behaviour. Behaviour and use of space will be measured in experimental set-ups in order to gain insight in the importance of different system components. This knowledge will be used to optimise housing conditions and develop strategies that stimulate the hen to lay her egg in the nest. The performance of this improved system will be tested in field experiments to investigate the transferability of results from experimental to field conditions.
Potential risk factors associated with contact dermatitis, lameness, negative emotional state, and fear of humans in broiler chicken flocks
Bassler, A. ; Arnould, C. ; Butterworth, A. ; Colin, L. ; Jong, I.C. de; Ferrante, V. ; Ferrari, P. ; Haslam, S.A. ; Wemelsfelder, F. ; Blokhuis, H.J. - \ 2013
Poultry Science 92 (2013)11. - ISSN 0032-5791 - p. 2811 - 2826.
qualitative behavioral-assessment - foot-pad dermatitis - environmental enrichment - stocking density - leg weakness - housing conditions - light-intensity - road transport - gallus-gallus - dairy-cattle
The objectives of this study were to 1) identify determinants of poor welfare in commercial broiler chicken flocks by studying the associations between selected resource-based measures (RBM, potential risk factors), such as litter quality and dark period, and animal-based welfare indicators (ABM), such as foot pad dermatitis and lameness, and 2) establish the breadth of effect of a risk factor by determining the range of animal welfare indicators associated with each of the risk factors (i.e., the number of ABM related to a specific RBM). Eighty-nine broiler flocks were inspected in 4 European countries (France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands) in a cross-sectional study. The ABM were contact dermatitis (measured using scores of foot-pad dermatitis and hock burn, respectively), lameness (measured as gait score), fear of humans (measured by the avoidance distance test and the touch test), and negative emotional state (measured using qualitative behavior assessment, QBA). In a first step, risk factors were identified by building a multiple linear regression model for each ABM. Litter quality was identified as a risk factor for contact dermatitis. Length of dark period at 3 wk old (DARK3) was a risk factor for the touch test result. DARK3 and flock age were risk factors for lameness, and the number of different stockmen and DARK3 were risk factors for QBA results. Next, the ABM were grouped according to risk factor and counted. Then, in a second step, associations between the ABM were investigated using common factor analysis. The breadth of a risk factor’s effect was judged by combining the number (count) of ABM related to this factor and the strength of association between these ABM. Flock age and DARK3 appeared to affect several weakly correlated ABM, thus indicating a broad range of effects. Our findings suggest that manipulation of the predominant risk factors identified in this study (DARK3, litter quality, and slaughter age) could generate improvements in the related ABM and thereby enhance the birds’ overall welfare status
The Welfare Quality® broiler welfare assessment protocol: possibilities for simplification
Jong, I.C. de; Perez Moya, T. ; Gunnink, H. ; Hindle, V.A. ; Butterworth, A. ; Ferrari, P. ; Ferrante, V. ; Vanderhasselt, R. ; Tuyttens, F. ; Reenen, C.G. van - \ 2013
In: Book of Abstracts 9th European Symposium on Poultry Welfare, Uppsala, Sweden, 17-20 June 2013. - Beekbergen : World’s Poultry Science Association - p. 153 - 153.
|Welfare risk factor analysis for commercial broiler chickens on farm
Bassler, A. ; Arnould, C. ; Butterworth, A. ; Colin, L. ; Jong, I.C. de; Ferrante, V. ; Ferrari, P. ; Haslam, S.A. ; Wemelsfelder, F. ; Blokhuis, H.J. - \ 2011
In: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level, Guelph, Ontariao, Canada, 8 - 11 August, 2011. - Guelph, Canada : Campbell centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, University of Guelph - p. 10 - 10.
|Implementation of the Welfare Quality on-farm protocol for assesing broiler welfare
Ferrari, P. ; Butterworth, A. ; Jong, I.C. de; Brown, S. ; Ferrante, V. - \ 2009
In: Proceedings of the 8th European Symposium on Poultry Welfare, Cervia, Italy, 18-22 May 2009. - - p. 45 - 45.
European consumers have been shown to be concerned about the welfare of broilers chicken for meat production; in their opinion broilers, as well as laying hens, are perceived to be raised in worse welfare conditions than pigs and cattle and other farmed animals and are considered the species for which welfare should be improved the most. A major objective of the EU project Welfare Quality (WQ) is to develop a set of European technical documents which will enable the assessment of the welfare of farmed animals on farm and at slaughter through the use of an overall assessment system which is scientifically valid and accepted by stakeholders. As welfare is multi-dimensional, the WQ assessment system is a multi-criteria evaluation process composed of four main principles and twelve criteria hierarchically organised; each principle and criteria corresponding to a set of parameters to be measured and evaluated by means of measures on animals, measures of resources and through collection of information about management. A specific assessment tool has been developed to assess welfare of broilers on farm, during transport and at slaughter and additionally, a wide range of data about the whole production cycle is collected from the hatchery, the farm and the slaughterhouse. The assessment is carried out by trained personnel who visit the farm, assess the farm records, the flock and the equipment, interview the farmer and inspect a representative sample of animals. Particular attention is paid to the assessment of mortality, health conditions and lameness of the animals. Specific tests are performed to evaluate the expression of natural and social behaviours among the animals and the relationship between animals and humans. In intensive flocks conditions of poor hygiene were found on 47% of the inspected birds while relevant lesions due to foot pad dermatitis were found on 44% of them; reactivity of birds to a novel object and to a human approach was assessed by means of specific behavioural tests: the Novel Object Test (NOT), the Touch Test Ratio (TTR) and the Avoidance Test (AT). The mean results of such measures on intensive farmed broilers were 25 birds for NOT, 0,38 for TTR and 62 cm for AT. These first results of the implementation of the WQ on-farm protocol to assess broiler welfare were collected in a sample of UK, Dutch and Italian farms.