Effects of Range Access on Behavioral-Based Welfare Indicators and Foot Health Condition of Slow- and Fast-Growing Broiler


Acta Veterinaria Eurasia, vol.49, no.2, pp.75-81, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/actavet.2023.22094
  • Journal Name: Acta Veterinaria Eurasia
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-81
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


This study was made to investigate outdoor range access on behavioral- based welfare parameters and post-mortem foot health conditions of slow- and fast-growing broilers in experimental conditions. There were four treatment groups (two genotypes as fast- and slow-growing birds × 2 indoor housing systems with or without range access) with five replicates. The behavior of 200 male chicks in the groups was observed at 8 weeks of age. The foot health condition was determined after slaughter. Fast-growing broilers spent more time with feeding, drinking, and dust bathing (p ≤ .001, p ≤ .001, and p ≤ .006). The locomotion and standing behavior were found to be greater in slow-growing broilers than fastgrowing broilers (p ≤ .001 and p ≤ .001). The birds in conventional deep litter spent more time with drinking (p ≤ .001) and lying behavior (p ≤ .046). The post-mortem incidence of the foot pad and hock joint dermatitis was found to be greater in fast-growing broilers in both housing groups (p ≤ .05). The results have shown that the broilers with outdoor access exhibited more natural behavior such as preening and slow-growing birds spent more time performing locomotion and standing. Slow-growing broilers had also less post-mortem foot pad and hock joint lesions compared to fast-growing broilers.