Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Stocking density and welfare in broilers - AW0219(1)

Description
The objective of this study is to examine the effect of stocking density (at 30, 34, 38 and 40 kg/m2) on the welfare, productivity and health status of broiler chickens kept under a wide range of commercial husbandry systems. The study involves 10 major broiler producers (together constituting over 70% of the UK broiler market) that are currently implementing very different husbandry practices. The reslts will give a detailed quantitative indication of the interaction between stocking density and variations in husbandry conditions such as light regime, temperature etc. The welfare of broilers and the determination of appropriate stocking density has been identified as a major issue by FAWC and the results of this study can be used to help formulate policy on the stocking density at which broilers should be kept.
Objective
01: To document the effect of stocking density on behaviour, welfare, physical health and productivity of broilers with the range 30-46 kg/m2 by experimental manipulation of stocking density on commercial farms.
02: To document the effect of season (temperature) on stocking density by conducting the same experimental manipulation of stocking density in summer and again in winter.
03: To identify commercially relevant factors that modify the effect of stocking byconducting the same experimental manipulation on farms belonging to thirteen different commercial brolier producers at present using a wide range of manageent and husbandry systems.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £250,900
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Oxford
Keywords
Animal Welfare              
Plants and Animals              
Poultry              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare