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Management factors affecting the use of pasture by table chickens in extensive production systems

Gordon, Susan H and Forbes, Michael J (2002) Management factors affecting the use of pasture by table chickens in extensive production systems. In: Powell, Jane and et al. (Eds.) Proceedings of the UK Organic Research 2002 Conference, Organic Centre Wales, Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth, pp. 269-272.

[thumbnail of Gordon_Forbes_management_pasture_chickens.pdf] PDF - English


Whether chickens will make proper use of pasture is a problem experienced by producers of free-range and organic chickens. The aims of this project are to identify husbandry techniques and aspects of system design that encourage good pasture use. Two studies have been conducted comprising a winter and a summer flock. The aim of the winter flock was to examine the effect of outdoor artificial shelter on pasture usage. This was done for female Ross 308 birds grown to day 56, and ISA 657 birds grown to day 81. In summer, ISA 657 birds were grown to day 81. Treatments were either standard or enriched brooding, with pasture only or enriched pasture. Standard brooding was in a controlled environment house until day 42. Enriched brooding was in naturally ventilated houses in which birds had sight of pasture from an early age and access from day 21. Enriched pasture included artificial shelter, with straw bales and a conifer “wigwam” used to provide natural shelter. Chickens may be encouraged to go outdoors by brooding in a less “controlled” environment than that used for intensive broilers, and by allowing access to pasture when young. However, mortality was higher. Conifer wigwams may offer a means for more even use of pasture and better distribution of droppings.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Colloquium of Organic Researchers, COR, table chickens, pasture, extensive production, shelter, husbandry techniques, system design
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Animal husbandry > Production systems
Research affiliation: UK
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2002
UK > Other organizations
Deposited By: Powell, Ms Jane
ID Code:8257
Deposited On:28 Apr 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:33
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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