Although these high-quality systems enable a high degree of expression of natural behaviour by the animals, there are still several welfare issues in organic and low-input outdoor systems that can be similar to conventional systems (e.g. beak trimming in laying hens, killing of one-day old layer male chicks, and male piglet castration) or more specific to these systems (e.g. exposure to outdoor sanitary threats, piglet survival). The main objectives of this project are to create strategies and tools to improve animal welfare and communicate these outcomes to the various actors of the food chain, from farmers to consumers.
The Adaptation Physiology (ADP) group of the Wageningen University & Research is involved in the work package about early life management stimulation to improve resilience in slow-growing broilers. The consequences of thermal manipulation of slow growing broiler chickens by high and low incubation temperatures will be studied on embryonic metabolism and physiology and chick quality at hatch, as well as resilience in later life. Dr. Henry van den Brand and Dr. Roos Molenaar are currently working on this project together with project leader Dr. Anne Collin of INRAE, and researchers of EV ILVO and the University of Utrecht.
You can find the 5th newsletter of the PPILOW project here.