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Associations between welfare and ranging profile in free-range commercial and heritage meat-purpose chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

Marchewka, Joanna and Sztandarski, Patryk and Zdanowska-Sasiadek, Zaneta and Damaziak, Krzysztof and Wojciechowski, Franciszek and Riber, Anja B. and Gunnarsson, Stefan (2020). Associations between welfare and ranging profile in free-range commercial and heritage meat-purpose chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). Poultry Science. 99 , 4141-4152
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Despite consumers' belief that access to an outdoor range improves chicken welfare, still little is known about whether this is true and whether individual ranging profiles relate to the birds' welfare. The aim of the present study was to identify and compare welfare issues of the traditional broiler hybrid Sasso and the Polish heritage chicken Green-legged Partridge, having outdoor access, and examine if the birds' welfare status was associated with the ranging profile: outdoor preferring, moderate-outdoor, and indoor-preferring. In August 2018, 60 non-beak trimmed birds per genetic strain were housed in groups of 10 from weeks 5 to 10, under conditions exceeding EU requirements of organic meat chicken production. Each pen had access to an individual outdoor range that was video-recorded continuously to obtain frequencies of individual birds' use of the ranges. Plumage condition, comb pecking wounds, skin injuries, dirtiness, toe damage, eye pathologies, footpad dermatitis, hock burns, respiratory infections, diarrhea, and walking difficulties were assessed at the end of the experiment. Statistical analysis was conducted applying generalized linear mixed models, with binomial distribution and logit link using SAS software, applying breed and ranging profile as fixed factors and their interaction, with pen as random factor. A tendency for more respiratory infections was observed in Sasso birds from each ranging profile, as compared to matching ranging profiles presented by Green-legged Partridges (outdoor -preferring: P = 0.0012; moderate-outdoor: P < 0.0001; and indoor-preferring: P = 0.0247). Indoor-preferring Green legged Partridges tended to present more respiratory infections, as compared to the 2 other ranging profiles within the breed (outdoor-preferring: P = 0.0291; moderate-outdoor: P = 0.0448). Regardless of the breed, toe damages were more frequent in indoor-preferring birds, as compared to other ranging profiles (P = 0.017). It remains unknown whether the use of outdoor areas prevents development of welfare issues or if birds with a suboptimal welfare condition become indoor-preferring individuals.

Authors/Creators:Marchewka, Joanna and Sztandarski, Patryk and Zdanowska-Sasiadek, Zaneta and Damaziak, Krzysztof and Wojciechowski, Franciszek and Riber, Anja B. and Gunnarsson, Stefan
Title:Associations between welfare and ranging profile in free-range commercial and heritage meat-purpose chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:99
Page range:4141-4152
Number of Pages:12
ISSN:0032-5791
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Keywords:free range, broiler, ranging profile, animal welfare, organic
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108037
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-108037
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.psj.2020.05.044
Web of Science (WoS)000568412000005
ID Code:17796
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:13 Oct 2020 13:18
Metadata Last Modified:13 Oct 2020 13:21

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