Article published the December 1, 2021
This newsletter provides an overview of the anatomy of the keel bone, risk factors and welfare implications associated with keel fractures, how to assess keel bone integrity, and management strategies to mitigate keel fractures in laying hens.Keel bone fractures and resulting deformations constitute the most pressing challenge for laying hens at present. The extent of the welfare repercussions to ...
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Article published the November 3, 2021
Leg problems are among the top health concerns of poultry raised for meat. Leg problems influence poultry at all stages of production, lead to reduced productivity and contribute to mortality. Leg problems have many different causes and contributing factors, including infectious causes, growth rate and weight gain, diet, lighting program, light intensity, stocking density (space available per anim ...
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Article published the July 30, 2021
Footpad dermatitis is a common type of contact dermatitis in poultry, which means feet are inflamed and show associated corrosive lesions or ulcers on pads and/or toes. Footpad dermatitis lesions often have a black appearance, because of cell necrosis (cell death). These lesions can be superficial or deep.These lesions are an animal welfare problem because they are painful depending on the severit ...
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Article published the June 25, 2021
On-Farm Welfare Assessment: Laying HensIn this newsletter we will provide an overview of animal-based indicators that can be used to assess laying hen welfare on the farm, using measures from the Welfare Quality® Assessment protocol (2009).The laying hen husbandry landscape in the United States is rapidly evolving in response to consumer demands. Ethical concerns over egg-laying hens housed in ...
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Article published the May 13, 2021
Damaging pecking, or injurious pecking, is a major animal welfare concern. There are various forms of injurious pecking, including injurious feather pecking, feather picking, cannibalism, and aggressive pecking (see Table 1 on page 2). Not all species or breeds of birds perform the same types of injurious pecking behavior, and these behaviors do not all share the same motivations or causes.Injurio ...
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Article published the May 11, 2021
The demand for poultry products continues to rise and, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, so has the popularity of backyard poultry flocks. With the current mandates for social distancing and isolation, those who are spending a greater amount of time at home view it as an opportunity to begin keeping poultry. However, as more families raise flocks as pets or to produce their own eggs an ...
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Article published the May 10, 2021
Ensuring welfare of birds at the farm is key to maintaining a healthy supply of eggs and chicken during the pandemicThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on various industries, including the poultry and livestock sectors. Livestock prices are expected to go down by as much as 12%, causing billions of dollars in losses. Some examples of COVID-19 impacts on poultry production include di ...
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Article published the May 10, 2021
Modifications to broiler chicken housing to improve animal welfareConventional housing of broiler chickens raises concern for their welfare. High stocking densities and barren environments have the potential to contribute to lameness, skin lesions (i.e., hock burns, breast burns, footpad dermatitis*), heat stress, and increased fear that, in turn, can result in piling up and mortality.Environmenta ...
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Article published the March 8, 2021
Identifying behavioral signs is key to managing heat stress in poultryEvery year, high summer temperatures have important effects on poultry health and welfare. Heat stress occurs when poultry cannot adapt to high environmental temperatures and need to expend energy to maintain their body temperature within the ideal range.Heat stress can be a problem for any poultry and can affect birds at any ag ...
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Article published the February 22, 2021
Animal Welfare is Key to the Sustainability of the Poultry IndustryAnimal welfare is in the eye of the beholder. Some consumers are willing to pay more for products from companies with reputations that align with their beliefs. The concept of animal welfare is shaped, in-part, by the ethics of what constitutes a quality life. With a heavy animal activist influence, the consumer is the primary stak ...
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