Behaviour and welfare of broiler breeders fed qualitatively restricted diets during rearing: Are there viable alternatives to quantitative restriction?
This study investigated whether feeding female broiler breeders on qualitatively, rather than quantitatively, restricted diets during rearing could improve their welfare while also achieving desired growth rates. There were six treatments, each with four replicate pens of 12 birds. From 1 to 20 weeks of age, birds in a control treatment (T1) received a quantitatively […]
Impact of male–male competition and morphological traits on mating strategies and reproductive success in broiler breeders
The goal of this experiment was to determine the effect of male–male competition on broiler breeder mating strategies and reproductive success and to identify behavioral and morphological traits associated with high fertility. Males were kept in groups with no competition (one male and 10 females; 1M), or high male–male competition (three males and 10 females; […]
Behaviour of food restricted broilers during rearing and lay–effects of an alternative feeding method
Broiler breeders are subjected to quantitative food restriction in order to control their growth, and this restriction is particularly severe during rearing. While such restriction improves some welfare problems associated with ad libitum feeding, it causes others: birds routinely show abnormal oral behaviours and have elevated plasma corticosterone concentration (PCC) and changes in white blood […]
Quantifying hungry broiler breeder dietary preferences using a closed economy T-maze task
This study aimed to identify hungry broiler breeders (n = 12) preferences for quantitative (control) or qualitative dietary restriction (QDR) in a closed economy environment. The QDR option was either 3 g calcium propionate/kg total feed (n = 6) or 300 g oat hulls/kg total feed (n = 6). Quantitatively restricted or QDR portions ensured equal growth regardless of choice. Birds were separately […]
Feed-restricted broiler breeders: State-dependent learning as a novel welfare assessment tool to evaluate their hunger state?
This paper reports three experiments that aimed to validate the use of state-dependent learning (SDL) as a novel welfare assessment tool to evaluate the hunger state of feed-restricted broiler breeders. In each experiment, birds alternated every 2 days between two food rations: quantitative feed restriction (QFR) and ad libitum access to the same feed (AL). […]
Effects of different dietary protein levels during rearing and different dietary energy levels during lay on behaviour and feather cover in broiler breeder females
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of different dietary protein levels during rearing and different dietary energy levels during lay on behaviour and feather cover in broiler breeder females. A 2 × 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments was used. A total of 2880 Ross 308 14-day-old broiler breeder pullets were fed […]