Evaluation of Free-Range broilers using the welfare quality® protocol
Sans, ECO, Federici, JF, Dahlke, F, Molento, CFM
Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic.
DATA DE PUBLICAÇÃO
Scientific information on the welfare of broilers reared in alternative systems is scarce. The objective of this study was to assess the welfare of free-range broilers using the Welfare Quality® protocol. Free-range broilers reared in ten farms were observed, and measures were made in broilers of five of these farms. The collected data were transformed into scores (0-100), with higher scores indicating better welfare, except for emotional states. Prevalence percentages were calculated for the remaining data. Median (min-max) scores were 81 (63-98) for lameness, 93 (83-99) for hock burn on the farm, 100 (95-100) for plumage cleanliness, 35 (8-70) for podermatitis on the farm, 56 (26-88) for density, 53 (20-53) for dust, 34 (14-67) for litter quality, 93 (41-100) for drinkers, and 100 (100-100) for birds panting or huddling on the farm. The following average (min-max) prevalence percentages were obtained: total mortality 2.0% (1.4-7.2%), culling 0.0% (0.0-2.2%), feed withdrawal time 875 min (715-945 min), water withdrawal time 220 min (170-275 min), dead on arrival at the processing plant 0.00% (0.00-0.01%), broken wings 0%, (0-0%), inefficient stunning 3.9% (1.3-6.7%), pre-stun shock 49.3% (26.7-56.8%), hepatitis 4.5% (1.8-11.0%), bruising 9.3% (6.7-16.7%), and ascites 0% (0-0%). The negative broiler welfare points detected were pododermatitis, litter quality, density, dust, culling, feed withdrawal time, inefficient stunning, pre-stun shock, and hepatitis. The positive points identified were the absence of birds panting or huddling on the farm; low prevalence of lameness, hock lesions, dead on arrival, broken wings, and ascites; good plumage cleanliness scores, and short water withdrawal time.
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