broiler chicken welfare

Image credit: Bob Nichols

Broiler chickens are typically housed in relatively barren conditions at high stocking densities, contributing to low activity levels and limited expression of natural behaviours.

We conducted experimental trials and observational studies to discern the influence of rearing environment on chicken behaviour.

We found that environmental complexity and reduced stocking density can promote positive behavioural outcomes and reduce anxiety levels of individual birds.

Our results can be used to design rearing environments to improve animal welfare and develop best practices for poultry farming.

Publications and Talks

L. Evans, G. C. Brooks, M. G. Anderson, A. M. Campbell, and L. Jacobs. 2023. Environmental complexity and reduced stocking density promote positive behavioural outcomes in broiler chickens. Animals 13:2074. link

Ulans, A., G. C. Brooks, and L. Jacobs. 2023. Anxiety in broiler chickens is affected by strain, body weight, and environmental complexity. The 56th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, Tallin, Estonia.