Effect of increased floor space on aggressive behaviour in male turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo)

Under commercial rearing conditions, domestic turkeys are often aggressive towards ‘‘pen-mates’’, and this may lead to serious injuries or even death. We hypothesized that restricted space, as a consequence of high stocking density,might prevent the attacked bird from retreating fromits opponent to avoid serious consequences from an encounter. This study examines the aggressive response in […]

Effect of crate height during short-term confinement on the welfare and behaviour of turkeys

During transport from the farm to the slaughter house birds are often confined in crates with limited space. In this study we investigated how the confinement of male turkeys in crates of 40, 55 or 90 cm height for 6 h, affected the turkeys welfare. We used both behavioural observations and physiological measures and the study was […]

Behavioural Time-budgets and Beak Related Behaviour in Floor-housed Turkeys

The behavioural time budget of 140 turkey poults housed on litter in groups of 10-11 in small pens was recorded by individual scan sampling from 1-day-old to 12-weeks-old. Over this time period some behaviour (sitting/sleeping) remained relatively constant, some (feeding) declined and remained low, some (standing/walking, drinking) declined and rose again, while some (environmental pecking, […]

Effects of Lighting on the Welfare of Domestic Poultry: A Review

Four aspects of lighting which may influence the behaviour and physiology of housed poultry are light intensity, photoperiod, light source and wavelength. These factors are frequently manipulated in an attempt to improve productivity and to facilitate management practices. This review examines the effects of such manipulation upon the welfare of the birds. The majority of […]

Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards: a welfare-labelling scheme that allows for continuous improvement

One challenge with animal welfare assessment programmes is that standards that make a meaningful difference to welfare can be difficult for a broad spectrum of producers to meet, thereby preventing many from engaging at all. Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP’s) 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating Standards are unique in that they are designed as a multi-tiered system […]

Temperamental turkeys: Reliability of behavioural responses to four tests of fear

Open field (OF), tonic immobility (TI), voluntary approach (VA) and novel object (NO) tests are used to assess fear responses, activity levels and coping styles of poultry. Fear tests are also used as part of welfare assessment programmes. Little is known about fear responses of turkeys. Specifically, it is unknown whether turkeys’ fear responses are […]