Assurance schemes as a tool to tackle genetic welfare problems in farm animals: broilers

Farm assurance schemes can set standards to assure compliance with specific requirements relating to animal welfare. As such, standards can be set to address genetic-related welfare problems in farm animals, such as those associated with fast growth rates in meat chickens (broilers) (Gallus gallus domesticus). Based on discussions with broiler breeding companies, broiler producers and […]

Model of Physiological Stress in Chickens 1. Response Parameters

A model was developed to study stress in chickens. Continuous administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone was employed (ACTH) using physiological mini-osmotic pumps. A validation of controls for this procedure showed that nonhandled (NHCON), sham surgical procedure for pump implantation (SMCON) and surgical implantation of a pump delivering saline (SALCON) were all acceptable controls. Continuous delivery of […]

Transcranial magnetic stunning of broilers: a preliminary trial to induce unconsciousness

This study was performed to identify whether non-focal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with an adapted coil for broilers has the potential for use as a non-invasive stunning method for broilers. Application of the TMS probe resulted in dominance of theta and delta waves and appearance of spikes in the electroencephalogram (EEG) after stimulation. Correlation dimension […]

Preferences of Growing Fowls for Different Light Intensities in Relation to Age, Strain And Behaviour

The preferences of broiler and layer strains of fowl for four different intensities of incandescent luminaire (6, 20, 60 and 200 lux; Osram, 60W, pearl) were tested at 2 and 6 weeks of age. With each strain, four replicates of 12 birds were each allowed to move freely between four compartments illuminated continuously at the […]

The Effect of a ‘Freedom Food’ Enrichment on the Behaviour of Broilers on Commercial Farms

The effect of an environmental enrichment — straw bales — on the behaviour of growing broiler chicks was investigated by comparing the behaviour of broilers kept in matched pairs of houses on commercial farms with and without bales. The birds provided with bales perched on them and clustered around them. The most striking result, however, […]

Improving the poultry shackle line

The most significant welfare problems associated with the current design of the shackle lines and water-bath stunners are the pain caused by compression of the birds’ legs in the shackles, the stress caused by being inverted and suspended by the legs, poor or inadequate stunning caused by the commercial need to minimise carcase damage, and […]

Survey of the incidence of post-stun behavioural reflexes in electrically stunned broilers in commercial conditions and the relationship of their incidence with the applied water-bath electrical parameters

Despite recent technological advances, stunning efficiency of broilers in commercial plants is still questionable and a major public concern. The aim of this survey was to assess the electric water-bath parameters used in poultry processing plants, establish practical ways for the assessment of stunning efficiency in these conditions, link their incidence to the applied current […]