Welfare of broiler chickens in Brazilian free-range versus intensive indoor production systems

Elaine Cristina de Oliveira Sans, Fabiano Dahlke, Juliana Freitas Federici, Frank Andre Maurice Tuyttens, Carla Forte Maiolino Molento

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


We compared broiler chicken welfare in free-range (FR) and intensive indoor (IN) systems using the Welfare Quality® Protocol. Ten FR and 11 IN farms in Brazil were assessed. Results are shown as either scores ranging from 0 to 100, where higher scores indicate better welfare, or prevalence, where lower prevalence indicates better welfare. In FR, the median prevalence was lower than in IN for mortality (2.0% vs. 4.7%, p = 0.0262), culling (0.0% vs. 0.6%, p = 0.0168), ascites (0.0% vs. 0.17%, p = 0.0431). Median welfare scores on FR farms were better for plumage cleanliness (100 vs. 59, p = 0.0001), panting or huddling (100 vs. 29, p = 0.0001), lameness (81 vs. 19, p = 0.0001), hock burn (93 vs. 37, p = 0.0001), footpad dermatitis (35 vs. 26, p = 0.0018). However, FR scores were worse for litter quality (34 vs. 100, p = 0.0003), dust (53 vs. 78, p = 0.0002), breast blisters (90 vs. 100, p = 0.0077), touch test (70 vs. 99, p = 0.0082). Better emotional states were observed in FR (p < 0.001). Even though there is room for welfare improvement in both systems, the number of welfare indicators with better results was superior in FR than in IN farms.

Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Pagina's (van-tot)1-13
Aantal pagina’s13
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 11-nov.-2021


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