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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Welfare of chickens reared for meat production

INRA Prod. Anim., 20(1), 41-46.

C. ARNOULD, C. LETERRIER

INRA, CNRS, Université de Tours, Haras Nationaux, UMR 85 Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, F-37380 Nouzilly, France

Abstract 
Chicken farming has become more intensive over the last decades and numerous welfare problems have arisen, especially in broilers and broiler breeders. The activity level of broiler chickens is very low and they are often affected by skin lesions, leg problems or cardiovascular disease. Improvement in welfare can be achieved by better control of certain rearing factors (stocking density, ventilation, comple-xity of the environment, feeding, light) and by using genotypes that are better suited to the rearing environment. Broiler breeders are subject to severe feeding restrictions inducing hunger and frustration that can be alleviated by genetic and nutritional means. A directive laying down minimum rules for the protection of chickens kept for meat production will be published shortly. The maximum stocking density allowed could be adjusted according to rates of mortality and skin lesions (pododermatitis) measured at the slaughterhouse.

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