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The use of ethology to benefit poultry welfare and performance

In the poultry-farming sector, the implementation of rearing conditions conducive to the expression of the animals’ natural behaviour is one of the criteria used to evaluate welfare. An inadequate environment can cause behaviours, such as pecking or nervousness, that are detrimental to both welfare and performance. The causes are not necessarily the same, depending on the poultry species and the signs observed. Meet TECHNA experts at the SPACE livestock fair (Rennes, 11-14 September) for more information on this science of animal behavior.

Zoom on ethology at the SPACE 2018

How can the negative impact of certain types of behaviour on technico-economic results be reduced? To answer this question, TECHNA FRANCE NUTRITION now incorporates ethology into its zootechnical and nutritional offer. Via the acquisition of expertise in the field of animal behaviour and the performance of field studies, the service company therefore proposes new concepts to its customers.

In Muscovy ducks, for example, in addition to being harmful to their welfare, pecking also has a significant economic impact, with downgrading, poorer feed conversion ratios and losses. In this context, the TECHNA feed expertise unit uses three levers.

Ethology, a three-step approach

The first step involves acting at an upstream stage, i.e. knowing and being able to recognise the early warning signs; this involves training and awareness-raising sessions, as well as field surveys and farm audits.

The second concerns the internal condition of the ducks: this means meeting their nutritional needs, including protein intake, taking into account ME/CP* ratios and fibre contents, limiting decreased consumption and reducing heterogeneity.

Management of the environment is the third lever in this strategy: the specific aim here is to ensure early enrichment of the environment and limitation of stimuli such as light, activity, atmosphere, density, etc.

An issue accentuated by new production methods, societal expectations and requirements related to welfare, at TECHNA this ethology-based approach is cascaded to all poultry species - be they broilers, egg-layers or breeders.

Find out more at SPACE!

TECHNA FRANCE NUTRITION at SPACE 2018: Hall 5, row A, stand 10

Information: Tel. +33 (0) -  Fax
e-mail : -

(*) Metabolisable Energy / Crude Proteins

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