home    about    browse    search    latest    help 
Login | Create Account

Performance and reactivity in three Italian poultry breeds for organic production

Ferrante, V.; Baroli, D.; Marelli, S.P. and Cavalchini, L.G. (2005) Performance and reactivity in three Italian poultry breeds for organic production. In: Witkowski, A. (Ed.) Animal Science Papers and Reports, 23 (supple), pp. 223-229.

Full text not available from this repository.


Organic rearing systems for poultry meat production, are greatly improving due to the increasing consumers interest for healthier and more natural food. The poor adaptability of commercial hybrids selected for intensive production systems lead to develop researches dealing with breed suitability for alternative productions. The aim of this study was to compare three Italian poultry breeds under the productive and the behavioural point of view in order to evaluate birds’ characteristics to predict adaptability in typical organic system rearing conditions. 76 pullets of 3 Italian breeds (Bianca Saluzzo BS, Bionda Piemontese BP e Valdarnese Bianca VB) were reared (pen, litter floor, by breeds) from hatching to 48 days. Every 2 days individual body weight and pen feed consumption were collected in order to evaluate daily weight gain and F.C. Emergency Test and Tonic Immobility test were performed on 20 animals per breed (day 35, day 47) in order to evaluate adaptation level and fearfulness. The data were analysed using GLM procedure (production), Anova Wilcoxon Test (behaviour). Under a productive point of view some breed differences have been recorded in weekly weight gains: significant weight differences have been shown in week 1, 4, 6 of age (P < 0.01; P<0.05). VB breed has shown a significant lighter weight gain. These results may indicate that this breed is a low growing breed and slaughtering age is high as requested by organic production. The BS and BP breeds are genetically closer and their growing curve faster.
TI duration was significantly higher in VB birds (P<0.05). Breed differences may be related to a genetic effect, being every environmental variable the same for the three breeds. In particular VB seems to maintain a stronger anti-predator response. Emergency Test results seem to confirm this interpretation: VB showed a lower time in exiting the box. This result may be due to a high degree of fear of this breed that induces it to escape from a new and potentially dangerous environment. This results is confirmed by the percentage of animals went out the box: in fact VB showed a higher percentage of animals escaped by the box (47.37% VB, 6.67% BP, 20% BS).
The results of this research suggest that every studied breed is suitable for alternative system poultry meat production because they showed a low growth rate well accepted for example by the organic producers. Moreover these breeds showed typical behavioral characteristics. In particular VB maintains the ancestral anti-predator behavior that could be very important in free-range facilities typical of organic systems.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:poultry, organic production, reactivity, production
Agrovoc keywords:
organic animal production
poultry breeds
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Breeding and genetics
Research affiliation: Italy > Univ. Milano
Deposited By: Ferrante, Dr Valentina
ID Code:9907
Deposited On:27 Oct 2020 09:58
Last Modified:27 Oct 2020 09:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

Repository Staff Only: item control page