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Article published the February 2, 2023
What is Stunning? How is it Regulated?Stunning is the process of rendering broilers unconscious or insensible before slaughter and various mechanisms may be used in facilities to achieve insensibility (Humane Slaughter Association, 2015). The methods used depend on the facility's location (on-farm vs. in a slaughter plant), the number of broilers slaughtered, and company program-specific crite ...
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Article published the February 2, 2023
On-farm euthanasia is not a pleasant topic, but when raising poultry, there are often circumstances that require birds to be euthanized, such as illness, injury and disease, because it is not always possible or feasible to treat affected birds.Euthanasia refers to “good death” and is distinct from other terms such as culling and slaughter (defined below). This newsletter provides an ov ...
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Article published the February 2, 2023
As discussed in our previous newsletter, circumstances arise that require poultry to be humanely euthanized. This newsletter provides a brief overview on-farm methods for the euthanasia of small numbers of poultry. Most of these methods are different from methods used at processing and methods used for culling or depopulation during disease outbreaks and other emergencies. All methods used for pou ...
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Article published the January 9, 2023
Allowing poultry access to vegetated, woody spaces will benefit poultry welfare. One system that incorporates the production of vegetation and livestock, including poultry, is called a silvopasture system. Woody vegetation can provide a source of income for producers while providing preferred habitat for chickens.Silvopasture systems are part of an agroforestry approach, combining production of ve ...
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Article published the January 6, 2023
Laying hens are female chickens raised for egg production. The egg production system in the US is currently undergoing a transition from conventional cages to cage-free housing systems. The number of cage-free housing has increased from 4% hens in 2004 to 28% at the end of 2020 (USDA-NASS, 2021). Cage-free systems provide space and resources for laying hens to express a wide range of normal behavi ...
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Article published the January 5, 2023
A highly pathogenic strain of Avian Influenza (sometimes called bird flu) is currently spreading across the United States. The virus has been detected in six States since January 2022 (see Figure 1).Avian influenza: about the virusAvian influenza (AI) is an infection caused by Type A influenza viruses that are capable of causing at least 75% mortality in poultry.Avian influenza viruses fall under ...
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Article published the August 19, 2022
Broiler welfare assurance programs specify the standards that producers must follow to sell their broilers, receive a premium, and/or a certification label on their products. Broiler assurance programs differ in the guidelines and audit standards that producers must follow because the missions and goals of each organization influence the standards within audit criteria. This newsletter describes t ...
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Article published the August 19, 2022
Identifying individual birds that are suffering or that have compromised health and welfare is key to maintaining high standards of poultry care. Knowing your birds and when they are ill or in pain is imperative for identifying birds that need treatment or that might need to be euthanized. On-farm euthanasia is a necessary aspect of flock management; however, deciding whether to treat or euthanize ...
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Article published the August 17, 2022
Turkeys are an important American cultural icon and Thanksgiving dinner staple. In fact, it is tradition for the US president to “pardon” a turkey each year at an annual White House ceremony. The 2021 turkeys that participated in the ceremony were from Indiana.The turkey is a relatively large, terrestrial bird (wild turkeys can fly for short distances; domesticated turkeys cannot fly) ...
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Article published the August 17, 2022
This newsletter provides an overview of potential flock predators, how to identify the predator, and approaches to avoid predation in your free-range poultry flock.Predation is a common risk for poultry that are allowed to roam freely outdoors. Predator types may differ depending on the region. Therefore, this newsletter may not cover all possible predators for a specific geographical region.Preda ...
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