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Farm openings and their impacts on the attitudes of the visitors towards intensive egg and poultry meat production

  • D. HEIJNE (a1) and H.-W. WINDHORST (a1)


The growing scepticism of the public towards intensive poultry production provided the background to a joint project of the University of Vechta and the Poultry Association of Lower Saxony in 2012. The main goal of the transparency project was to provide a realistic impression on modern, market-oriented poultry production on family farms by opening poultry houses to the public. From 2012 until 2015, 36 farms in Lower Saxony opened their doors and 9,000 visitors made use of the possibility to visit layer, broiler and turkey farms. The visitors were interviewed prior to the farm visit and after they had left the poultry houses. 2,922 questionnaires of persons older than 18 years and without a former knowledge about intensive poultry production were evaluated. The results presented in this paper show that farm openings changed the attitude of the visitors considerably and that they were less sceptical towards intensive poultry husbandry than prior to their visit. The project will be continued until 2019.


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