Is the embryo culture system useful for collecting primordial germ cells from endangered avian embryos?

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10030.abs The development of artificial means to conserve endangered avian species appears to be urgently needed. Procedures developed in recent years for experimental embryology with primordial germ cells (PGCs) may help prevent the extinction of endangered species. To this end, we examined the embryo culture system (ECS) for collection of PGCs using chick embryos […]

Do the stereotypies of pigs, chickens and mink reflect adaptive species differences in the control of foraging?

The food-related stereotypies of some captive species (e.g. mink) are performed most often prior to feeding, while those of others (e.g. pigs and chickens) occur at low levels before feeding and increase after food consumption. It has been suggested that these differences reflect adaptive species differences in how feeding behaviour is controlled. However, this hypothesis […]

The aversion of broiler chickens to concurrent vibrational and thermal stressors

The requirement for assessing the effects of multiple concurrent stressors in improving the welfare of broiler chickens during transport has not been widely recognised. A discrete-choice technique was used to investigate the aversion of broiler chickens to concurrent vibrational and thermal transport stressors. In experiment 1, 12 female broiler chickens, aged 42+/-3 days were studied […]

Pecking at string by individually caged, adult laying hens; color preferences and their stability

Hitherto, relatively few studies have attempted to identify the influential features of devices intended to attract and sustain the interest of captive animals and to enrich their environment. In the first of a series of experiments intended to evaluate the attractive (peck-eliciting) properties of selected classes of stimuli and of variations in their component features, […]

Pain in Birds

For the detection and assessment of pain in animals both behavioural and physiological measurements are necessary. Cutaneous receptors which responded to noxious stimulation (nociceptors) have been identified in birds and have been characterized physiologically in the chicken. Following cutaneous nociceptive stimulation the chicken showed cardiovascular and characteristic behavioural changes consistent with those seen in mammals […]

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, […]

Aversion of chickens to various lethal gas mixtures

In the event of a notifiable disease outbreak, poultry may need to be culled in situ. This should be performed swiftly and humanely to prevent further spread of the pathogen while preserving the welfare of the animals prior to death. Here, we examined the aversion of broiler chicks (Gallus domesticus) to three lethal gas mixtures […]

Assessment of hunger in growing broiler breeders in relation to a commercial restricted feeding programme

From two weeks of age female broiler breeder chickens were fed either on a commercial daily ration (R), twice that amount (2R), or ad libitum (AL). Motivation to eat in R and 2R birds was compared every third week with that of AL birds subjected to 3-72h food deprivation. AL and 2R birds grew three […]

How birds use their eyes: Opposite left-right specialization for the lateral and frontal visual hemifield in the domestic chick

Recent evidence has demonstrated that, in animals with laterally placed eyes, functional cerebral asymmetry is revealed by preferential use of either the left or right eye in a range of behaviors (birds: [[1, 2, 3]]; fish: [[4, 5]]; reptiles: [[6, 7]]). These findings pose a theoretical problem. It seems that there would be disadvantages in […]

Measuring the success of a farm animal welfare education event

Education of children about farm animal welfare could affect welfare standards, through influence on current and future purchasing of animal products, and improve general consideration for animals. Establishing success requires evaluation. Here, a farm animal educational event for 13 to 14 year-old schoolchildren, focusing on chicken biology, welfare and food labelling, was assessed. Alterations in […]