Assessment of Broiler Chicken Welfare in Southern Brazil

J. F. Federici, R. Vanderhasselt, E. C. O. Sans, F. A. M. Tuyttens, A. P. O. Souza, C. F. M. Molento

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    Scientific literature on broiler chicken welfare in Brazilian industrial systems is scarce. This study aimed at assessing broiler chicken welfare on industrial farms in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, using the Welfare Quality (R) assessment protocol for poultry, to provide directly applicable scientific information. Results are presented as criteria scores ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better welfare; and percentages of prevalence. The scores classified as excellent (above 80) were absence of prolonged thirst, absence of prolonged hunger, litter quality, breast blister and touch test. Enhanced scores (between 55 and 80) were comfort around resting, plumage cleanliness and dust sheet test. Acceptable scores (between 20 and 55) were thermal comfort, stocking density, absence of injuries, footpad dermatitis and hock burn; and unacceptable scores (below 20) were lameness and qualitative behavioral assessment. The median percentage of mortality and culled birds were 5.2% and 0.6%, respectively. This study provides useful information to select priorities of action on assessed farms and may contribute for setting up legal standards and guiding decisions related to animal welfare issues in Brazil.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)133-140
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Animal welfare
    • assessment
    • diagnosis
    • poultry welfare
    • Welfare Quality (R)


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