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International Journal of Poultry Science

.: Home > International Journal of Poultry Science > 2008 > Volume 7 Number 12 > Manal A. Fouad, Abeer H. Abdel Razek and El Sayed M. Badawy

Broilers Welfare and Economics under Two Management Alternatives on Commercial Scale

Manal A. Fouad, Abeer H. Abdel Razek and El Sayed M. Badawy
Department of Veterinary Hygiene and Management, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza 12211, Egypt
Abstract :

An experiment was conducted to clarify the effect of two management systems (cages Vs floor system) on welfare status and economics of broiler chicks. Two commercial flocks each of about 12375 day old Hubbard broiler chicks of mixed sex were housed in two fully environmentally controlled pens (cage and
floor pens) from 0-6 weeks of age. Welfare was assessed through bird's performance, behavior,  fearfulness and Heterophil: lymphocyte ratio (HLR). Compared to cage reared group, floor reared broilers recorded significantly heavier final body weight, body weight gain, better feed conversion and lower mortalities throughout the whole rearing period (0-6 weeks). Behavioral data showed that, caged birds were more often standing and stereotyped drinking, however floor reared group showed more walking, feeding and pecking. Total prevalence of gait problems and (HLR) were significantly higher in cage than floor group. Economic analysis revealed that, rearing broilers on floor was more profitable than cage rearing system. Data obtained in this experiment suggested that the welfare status of broilers was compromised under cage conditions as indicated by impaired performance, increased mortalities, higher prevalence of leg problems, stereotyped behavior and higher (HLR). In conclusion, cages are not recommended as a management system for rearing broilers from both the economic and welfare points of view.

Keywords :
Broiler management, performance, behaviour, H/L ratio, economics, broiler housing system

Date Deposited : 13 Jul 2011 11:19

Last Modified : 13 Jul 2011 11:19

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Volume 7, Number 12, - 2008 , ISSN 1682-8356

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