Acta Veterinaria Eurasia
Original Article

Effects of Range Access on Behavioral-Based Welfare Indicators and Foot Health Condition of Slow- and Fast-Growing Broiler


Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bursa Uludağ University, Bursa, Türkiye

Acta Vet Eurasia 2023; 49: 75-81
DOI: 10.5152/actavet.2023.22094
Read: 874 Downloads: 359 Published: 01 May 2023

This study was made to investigate outdoor range access on behavio- ral-based welfare parameters and post-mortem foot health conditions of slow- and fast-growing broilers in experimental conditions. There were four treatment groups (two genotypes as fast- and slow-growing birds × 2 indoor housing systems with or without range access) with five repli- cates. The behavior of 200 male chicks in the groups was observed at 8 weeks of age. The foot health condition was determined after slaughter. Fast-growing broilers spent more time with feeding, drinking, and dust bathing (p ≤ .001, p ≤ .001, and p ≤ .006). The locomotion and standing behavior were found to be greater in slow-growing broilers than fast- growing broilers (p ≤ .001 and p ≤ .001). The birds in conventional deep litter spent more time with drinking (p ≤ .001) and lying behavior (p ≤ .046). The post-mortem incidence of the foot pad and hock joint dermatitis was found to be greater in fast-growing broilers in both housing groups (p ≤ .05). The results have shown that the broilers with outdoor access exhibi- ted more natural behavior such as preening and slow-growing birds spent more time performing locomotion and standing. Slow-growing broilers had also less post-mortem foot pad and hock joint lesions compared to fast-growing broilers.

Cite this article as: Abdourhamane, İ. M., & Petek, M. (2023). Effects of range access on behavioral-based welfare indicators and foot health condition of slow- and fast-growing broiler. Acta Veterinaria Eurasia, 49(2), 75-81.

EISSN 2619-905X