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Behaviour and meat quality of chicken under different housing systems

  • A. EL-DEEK (a1) and K. EL-SABROUT (a1)


Chicken housing systems have been an interesting subject of research for many years and remains a topic of debate. The information detailed in the literature provides opposing views on recommended housing systems (indoor or outdoor) for chickens, and thus, producers are searching for more precise information in terms of animal welfare, productive performance, chicken behaviour and meat quality. Approximately 80% of customers worldwide prefer chicken products with perceived higher quality derived from free-range (organic) systems with increased welfare standards. Based on published literature, the majority (approximately 70%) of intensive production systems that are currently used do not usually support the natural behavioural needs of poultry. However, mortality rate of broilers can reach more than 10% in outdoor production systems due to cannibalism. Suitable housing systems that focus on the animals’ well-being translate into better behavioural activities and higher productive performance. The present review provides the critical information detailed in the existing literature on different housing systems and their effect on chicken behaviour and meat quality. It can be concluded that the housing system, as a non-genetic factor, directly affects the welfare of the birds and can impact their behaviour and certain meat quality traits. Thus, the free-range production system might be considered favourable alternative housing system.


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Behaviour and meat quality of chicken under different housing systems

  • A. EL-DEEK (a1) and K. EL-SABROUT (a1)


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