Broiler Chicken Behavior and Activity Are Affected by Novel Flooring Treatments

Leonie Jacobs, Shawnna Melick, Nathan Freeman, An Garmyn, Frank A M Tuyttens

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review


The objective was to determine broiler chicken behavioral differences in response to novel flooring treatments. Broilers (n = 182) were housed in 14 pens (a random subset from a larger-scale study including 42 pens), with 13 birds/pen. One of seven flooring treatments were randomly allocated to 14 pens (2 pens per treatment). The flooring treatments (provided from day 1 {1} or day 29 {29}) included regularly replaced shavings (POS), a mat with 1% povidone-iodine solution (MAT), and the iodine mat placed on a partially slatted floor (SLAT). In addition, a negative control treatment was included with birds kept on used litter from day 1 (NEG). Behavior was recorded in weeks 1, 2, 5, and 6. In week 5, treatments affected the behavioral repertoire (p ≤ 0.035). Birds in POS-1 showed more locomoting, preening and activity overall compared to MAT and/or SLAT treatments. Birds in POS-29 showed more drinking, foraging, preening and overall activity than birds in MAT and/or SLAT treatments. In week 6, birds in the POS-1 treatment spent more time foraging compared to birds in all MAT and SLAT treatments (p ≤ 0.030). In addition, birds in the POS-1 treatment spent more time preening than birds in the MAT-1 treatment (p = 0.046). Our results indicate that access to partially slatted flooring and/or disinfectant mats does not benefit broiler chicken welfare in terms of their ability to express highly motivated behaviors. Access to clean, regularly replaced litter is beneficial for broiler chicken welfare in terms of their ability to express their normal behavioral repertoire.

Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 29-sep-2021
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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