Aspect of broiler chicken welfare on industrial farms in southern Brazil

Juliana Freitas Federici, Roselien Vanderhasselt, Elaine Cristina de Oliveira Sans, Frank Tuyttens, Carla Forte Maiolino Molento

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingC1: Articles in proceedingspeer-review


    Scientific literature on broiler chicken welfare in Brazilian industrial systems is
    scarce. The objective of this study was to assess broiler welfare on eleven industrial farms in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, using the Welfare Quality® assessment protocol for poultry. Results are presented as single measures and the scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better welfare. The median (min/max) scores were 100 (67/100) for litter quality, 99 (99/99) for breast blister, 99 (69/100) for avoidance distance test, 88 (57/97) for emaciation, 87 (82/100) for drinker space, 78 (53/78) for dust sheet test, 59 (39/70) for plumage cleanliness, 53 (47/64) for stocking density, 37 (25/48) for hock burns, 26 (7/30) for footpad dermatitis, 29 (19/100) for panting/huddling, 19 (15/23) for lameness, and 18 (2/71) for qualitative behavior assessment. These results suggest that in order to improve broiler chicken welfare in industrial farms in Southern Brazil priority should be given to alleviate hock burns, footpad dermatitis, panting/huddling, plumage cleanliness, lameness and qualitative behavior assessment. Scores obtained for the measures litter quality, breast blister, avoidance distance test, emaciation and drinker space are considerably higher, and may thus be considered not to present major welfare limitations. The findings regarding hock burns, footpad dermatitis and lameness are coherent with international literature regarding critical welfare problems of industrial broiler chicken farms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWorld's Poultry Science Journal Proceedings of the XXIV World's Poultry Congress
    Number of pages4
    Volume68 supplement 1
    Place of PublicationBahia
    Publication date6-Aug-2012
    Publication statusPublished - 6-Aug-2012
    Event24th World’s Poultry Congress (2012) - Bahia, Brazil
    Duration: 5-Aug-20129-Aug-2012


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