Article published the May 11, 2022
The parents of broilers are defined as broiler breeders. In contemporary poultry industry practices, there are many selection criteria for broiler breeders. Beyond selecting for future broilers, maximizing broiler breeder characteristics (i.e. reproductive success) is also important. In essence, we are not only selecting for future broilers but future broiler breeders (grandparents, parents) as we ...
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Article published the May 10, 2022
In 2020, the poultry industry had a combined value of over $35.5 billion in the United States. Of that, $21.7 billion came from broiler chicken production (USDA-NASS, 2021). Over 9.22 billion broiler chickens were raised and brought to market though the year, making it the largest and most valuable sector of U.S. poultry production. With such a massive impact, it has become increasingly important ...
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Article published the May 9, 2022
Sickness behavior is an animal’s adaptive response to disease which aids in their recovery. When an animal is infected by a pathogen, an immune response involving immune cell and immune molecule activity is stimulated and sickness behavior results.Sick chickens are difficult to identify because they rarely show signs of illness before it becomes severe. As a prey species, chickens are stoic ...
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News published on March 28, 2022
Story by Jillian Ellison Just over one third of the United States egg laying industry currently produces in cage-free environments, while companies pledge to use more ethically sourced ingredients in their production processes. Keeping up with the increasing demand requires changing hen housing facilities. But to maintain production volumes, the hens must be comfortable and content, Darrin Karch ...
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Article published the March 18, 2022
The poultry husbandry landscape in the United States is rapidly evolving in response to public concern related to animal welfare. As the production systems become complex and the flock sizes increase, conventional welfare assessment methods can be inadequate. Technology can help us in that regard by reliably measuring behavioral and physiological indicators of welfare. In the recent years we have ...
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Article published the March 18, 2022
Northern fowl mites (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) are one of the more common ectoparasites (external parasites) that can be present in a flock. These mites live on their host throughout their life and feed on poultry blood. They are most commonly found around the vent, tail, and breast of the birds. Although these mites prefer poultry as a host, they will move onto humans and will bite if trapped (for ...
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Article published the February 9, 2022
This newsletter provides an overview of silvopasture-based poultry production, and potential benefits and challenges of adopting this system as a largescale or small-scale producer.Silvopasture is an agroforestry practice in which trees, forages, shrubs, and animals are intentionally integrated into a single land unit. These systems are managed in ways that take advantage of the beneficial interac ...
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Article published the February 9, 2022
Chickens make different sounds for a plethora of reasons. Determining the reasons behind vocalizations and understanding how chickens use them is a great way to gain insight about their behavior.Some of the most common chicken vocalizations are:A rooster's crowA hen's "food call" Alarm callsA hen's post laying "cackle" A chick's distress callA hen's gakel callChickens use sound ...
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Article published the February 9, 2022
The common bed bug (Latin name Cimex lectularius) is part of a group of blood-feeding parasites called Cimicids. The common bed bug was mostly eradicated in North America in the 1960s. Then, in the 1990s, large cities such as New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg saw a rise in bed bug infestations that spread throughout the U.S. and Canada, and worldwide. Bed bugs continue ...
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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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