The broiler chicken industry is improving animal welfare in a sustainable way

One subject highlighted at the World Ag Expo was how the broiler chicken industry says that is is committed to meeting the rising demand, while using the best sustainable practices. One way is improving animal welfare.

Fresno State’s Katy Tarant shares her own research that meets consumer demand while using environmental enrichment. Those are platforms added to the environment that animals interact with.

Her research shows that there is a decrease in usage overtime, and fewer birds are on the platform at older ages.

According to Tarant, “In week one, when the birds are about a pound, we have thirty birds that are on the platform at a time. At week five, we have three birds on the platform that are five pounds a piece... but then I had an epiphany... I adjusted the way that we were interpreting our data. So, instead of looking at basic counts, I adjusted, so that we look at it as the number of birds on a platform as a ratio, with the number of birds that could possibly fit on the platform... It ultimately showed throughout all the design variations that I had that we were not decreasing in frequency of usage overtime.”

She also says that the biggest takeaway from her research is to stick to the science in terms of sustainability.