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Showing posts from October, 2021

Outdoor stocking density and free-range broiler welfare

Author: Hannah Phillips, graduate student, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) Quick facts Free-range broilers with less outdoor space may sunbathe, aggressively attack, stretch, or pant more than those with more outdoor space. Extra outdoor space may slightly improve broiler welfare, but the quality of outdoor space is likely more important than its size. Free-range broilers should have access to shade structures and an ample amount of forage cover. Outdoor access for free-range broilers Free-range broilers require outdoor access. Many believe that more outdoor space improves broiler welfare, but there is little research to support this idea. Therefore, in our study, published in the journal Animals, we evaluated if the amount of outdoor space affects broiler welfare. How we conducted the study In this study, we raised Freedom-Ranger broilers at high (5 sq. ft. per broiler) and low (27 sq. ft. per broiler) outdoor stocking densities. We evaluated behavi