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  1. Effects of environmental enrichment on activity and lameness in commercial broiler production

    Contributor(s):: Vasdal, Guro, Vas, Judit, Newberry, Ruth C., Moe, Randi Oppermann

    The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effects of commercially applied environmental enrichments on behavior and lameness in broilers. Two consecutive flocks of broilers were observed at 16 days and 30 days of age to investigate differences between enriched (peat, bales of lucerne...

  2. Sward botanical composition and sward quality affect the foraging behaviour of free-range laying hens

    Contributor(s):: Breitsameter, Laura, Gauly, Matthias, Isselstein, Johannes

    In a two-year experiment, we investigated the influence of sward plant species composition (sward type), stocking duration and state of sward degradation on the foraging behaviour of chickens. Laying hens (ISA Warren) were pastured on 15 sward types including 14 monocultures of grassland plant...

  3. Natural incubation patterns and the effects of exposing eggs to light at various times during incubation on post-hatch fear and stress responses in broiler (meat) chickens

    Contributor(s):: Archer, Gregory S., Mench, Joy A.

    Although environmental conditions during incubation can affect poultry welfare, one factor often overlooked in the commercial incubation of eggs is light. Light stimulation during embryonic development is now known to affect the physiology and behavior of broiler (meat) chickens post-hatch, but...

  4. Comparison of the tonic immobility duration, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and fluctuating asymmetry of chicks reared with or without a broody hen, and of broody and non-broody hens

    Contributor(s):: Campo, José Luis, Dávila, Sara García, Gil, María García

    The purposes of this study were to determine whether rearing with a broody hen influenced duration of tonic immobility, heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and relative fluctuating asymmetry of chicks and to analyze the differences between broody and non-broody hens in fear and stress indicators. A...

  5. Pain issues in poultry

    Contributor(s):: Gentle, Michael J.

    This review highlights the possible pain experienced by layer and broiler poultry in modern husbandry conditions. Receptors which respond to noxous stimulation (nociceptors) have been identified and physiologically characterised in many different part of the body of the chicken including the...

  6. Neighbourhood analysis as an indicator of spatial requirements of broiler chickens

    Contributor(s):: Buijs, Stephanie, Keeling, Linda J., Vangestel, Carl, Baert, Jeroen, Tuyttens, Frank A. M.

    The appropriate stocking density for broiler chickens is a much discussed topic in animal welfare. To determine at which stocking density the level of crowding becomes aversive to 4–6-week-old broiler chickens, spatial distribution and behaviour of groups stocked at 8, 19, 29, 40, 45, 51, 61 or...

  7. Mild environmental aversion is detected by a discrete-choice preference testing method but not by a free-access method

    Contributor(s):: Browne, William J., Caplen, Gina, Statham, Poppy, Nicol, Christine J.

    Preference tests are a widely used method in animal welfare science but the influence of specific methodologies has not been widely investigated, and methods are often selected arbitrarily. In these experiments we assessed the environmental preferences of 72 individual laying hens, where...

  8. Laying hens selected for low mortality: Behaviour in tests of fearfulness, anxiety and cognition

    Contributor(s):: Nordquist, Rebecca E., Heerkens, Jasper L. T., Rodenburg, T. Bas, Boks, Sabine, Ellen, Esther D., van der Staay, F. Josef

    Feather pecking and cannibalism in chickens can lead to injury or to death of the victims, and is thus a serious welfare and economic issue in modern poultry farming. A sib selection scheme has been initiated to genetically select a low mortality line (LML), which shows decreased mortality due to...

  9. Investigating the importance of vision in poultry: Comparing the behaviour of blind and sighted chickens

    Contributor(s):: Collins, Sophie, Forkman, Björn, Kristensen, Helle H., Sandøe, Peter, Hocking, Paul M.

    Behaviour in poultry is predominately visually mediated and vision is important to the welfare of poultry. The relationship between vision, behaviour and welfare has primarily been investigated in relation to artificial lighting. Genetically blind chickens provide an alternative experimental...

  10. Associations between qualitative behaviour assessments and measures of leg health, fear and mortality in Norwegian broiler chicken flocks

    Contributor(s):: Muri, Karianne, Stubsjøen, Solveig Marie, Vasdal, Guro, Moe, Randi Oppermann, Granquist, Erik Georg

    Qualitative behavioural assessments (QBA) is an animal-based welfare measure that has been included in several on-farm welfare assessment protocols, including the Welfare Quality® (WQ) protocol for poultry. However, there is a scarcity of information about how it relates to other animal-based...

  11. Evaluation of a dustbathing substrate and straw bales as environmental enrichments in commercial broiler housing

    Contributor(s):: Baxter, Mary, Bailie, Carley L., O’Connell, Niamh E.

    The use of straw bales as an environmental enrichment is common for broiler chickens in enriched housing systems, however relatively little information exists about their effectiveness in improving welfare. There has also been no widespread introduction of a dustbathing material for broilers. The...

  12. An automated positioning system for monitoring chickens’ location: Effects of wearing a backpack on behaviour, leg health and production

    Contributor(s):: Stadig, Lisanne M., Rodenburg, T. Bas, Ampe, Bart, Reubens, Bert, Tuyttens, Frank A. M.

    Automated tracking of the location of individual chickens is becoming more common in behavioural research. This technology has several advantages including gathering large amounts of data and monitoring of individual animals as opposed to flocks. To ensure the quality of the research the...

  13. Does the anticipatory behaviour of chickens communicate reward quality?

    Contributor(s):: McGrath, Nicky, Burman, Oliver, Dwyer, Cathy, Phillips, Clive J. C.

    The anticipatory behaviour of animals has been credited with enabling scientists to more closely infer what an animal wants. From a welfare perspective, this knowledge could improve how we care for animals under our management, as information about how animals prioritise rewarding items may guide...

  14. Use of space by domestic chicks housed in complex aviaries

    Contributor(s):: Kozak, Madison, Tobalske, Bret, Martins, Candace, Bowley, Stephen, Wuerbel, Hanno, Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra

    To improve the understanding of the development of locomotor capacity in layer hens, we measured how female laying hen chicks (n=120) of four different strains (LSL-lite, Hyline Brown, Dekalb White, Lohmann Brown; 3 groups of 10 chicks per line) utilized the ground, the air, elevated horizontal...

  15. Effects of multiple daily litter applications on the dust bathing behaviour of laying hens kept in an enriched cage system

    Contributor(s):: Lee, Hye-Won, Louton, Helen, Schwarzer, Angela, Rauch, Elke, Probst, Amrei, Shao, Shuai, Schmidt, Paul, Erhard, Michael H., Bergmann, Shana

    Conventional ‘battery’ cages for laying hens without perches, nests and litter areas have been banned by law throughout the European Union since 1 January 2012. As an alternative solution, enriched cage systems were introduced. Our aim was to investigate how many applications of litter substrate...

  16. Effects of environmental complexity on fearfulness and learning ability in fast growing broiler chickens

    Contributor(s):: Tahamtani, Fernanda M., Pedersen, Ida J., Toinon, Claire, Riber, Anja B.

    Increasing environmental complexity, i.e. by providing environmental enrichment, has been suggested as a way to improve broiler chicken welfare. One issue affecting broiler welfare is the level of fearfulness of the flock. Exaggerated fear responses may cause smothering and mortality....

  17. Examining affective structure in chickens: valence, intensity, persistence and generalization measured using a Conditioned Place Preference Test

    Contributor(s):: Paul, Elizabeth S., Edgar, Joanne L., Caplen, Gina, Nicol, Christine J.

    When measuring animals' valenced behavioural responses to stimuli, e on itio ne ace test goes goes a step further than many approach-based and avoidance-based tests by establishing whether a learned preference for, or aversion to, the location in which the stimulus was encountered can be...

  18. The effect of supplementary ultraviolet wavelengths on broiler chicken welfare indicators

    Contributor(s):: James, Charlotte, Asher, Lucy, Herborn, Katherine, Wiseman, Julian

    Qualities of the light environment are important for good welfare in a number of species. In chickens, UVA light is visible and may facilitate flock interactions. UVB wavelengths promote endogenous vitamin D synthesis, which could support the rapid skeletal development of broiler chickens. The...

  19. Exploring perch provision options for commercial broiler chickens

    Contributor(s):: Bailie, Carley L., Baxter, Mary, O’Connell, Niamh E.

    Two related experiments involving broiler chickens are presented. Experiment 1 evaluated the use of six perch types: (1) an A-frame design (incorporating a platform and ramps), (2) a 'flat top' ramp, (3) a curved ramp, (4) a suspended bar, (5) a fixed bar and (6) a suspended platform. Two of each...

  20. Wild Health: Dogs and Bats and Chickens, Oh My!

    Contributor(s):: Voelker, R.

    2019Jama321181756-17570098-748410.1001/jama.2019.2026engtext