The impact of alternative farming systems on the health and productivity of laying hens

Stéphane Godbout

Researcher, P.Eng., agr., Ph.D.

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Description

This project aims to measure the impact of new breeding systems that meet new animal welfare standards regarding air quality and the health and productivity of laying hens. A total of 12 conventional chicken houses and 12 alternative houses outfitted with enriched cages will be selected. Eggs, litter, and feces will be sampled weekly. Necropsies will be performed on a sampling of animals each month and air quality samples will be examined periodically.

Objective(s)

  • Quantify and qualify the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the environment (air and litter) in conventional chicken houses and in alternative houses outfitted with enriched cages.
  • Measure the concentrations of gas in both types of housing.
  • Develop a simplified method for assessing air exchange rates in both types of housing while sampling.
  • Compare animal health, productivity, and the quality of the environment in both types of housing.

From 2019 to 2021

Project duration

Livestock production

Activity areas

Air quality, Animal welfare

Services

Animal welfare practices may affect the air quality in poultry breeding facilities and lead to significant economic impacts.

Partner

Université de Montréal - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

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