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Effects of mixing broilers with cattle on broiler losses and behaviour

Hübner, Severin; Schanz, Lisa; Barth, Kerstin and Winkler, Christoph (2022) Effects of mixing broilers with cattle on broiler losses and behaviour. Poultry Science, NA, NA-NA. [draft]

[thumbnail of Introduction.MM.202112.docx] Microsoft Word - Draft Version - English
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[thumbnail of 2817OE009.BroilerPaper.Outline.Huebner.docx] Microsoft Word - Supplemental Material - English
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We explored the potential benefits and challenges arising from the combination of young cattle and broilers in a pasture-based production system, i.e. does keeping young cattle and broilers together affect the ranging behavior of broilers and does it lower the losses in broilers due to predators?
We used two systems in the following set-up: The first system consisted of one group of broilers (n=55-60, ISA JA 757) assigned to the same pasture as ten young cattle (German Holstein, 10-13 months of age). In the second system the same number of broilers had access to a pasture that had been grazed by ten young cattle two weeks before. Both systems were embedded in a rotational grazing system with access to a new paddock every week. After six weeks each experimental round concluded with the slaughter of the broilers. Behavioral observations were conducted twice per week in both systems parallelly. Feces of the cattle were sampled every two weeks. In total, seven replicates are going to be conducted from 2018 – 2021.
Each round showed lower losses of broilers (median; range) in the system where broilers and cattle had access to the same pasture (1; 0–3) compared to the separated grazing system (4; 2–5). Furthermore, the proportion of broilers ranging the pasture during observation periods was higher in the combined system (Mean±SD: 20.72±13.81 vs. 14.87±9.72% hour-1).

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Agrovoc keywords:
free range husbandry
broilers -> broiler chickens
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Germany
Research affiliation: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN
European Union > CORE Organic > CORE Organic Cofund > Mix-Enable
Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Animals > Tierhaltung
Deposited By: Hübner, Severin
ID Code:43011
Deposited On:16 Dec 2021 13:58
Last Modified:16 Dec 2021 13:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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