Thursday, February 14, 2008

A recently released report written by people from the Royal Veterinary college, the University of Warwick, and the University of Bristol has found that 27.6% of chickens reared for human consumption struggle to walk, although a “considerable variation in walking ability between flocks,” was reported. The study reported that “27.6 per cent of birds represented by this survey had a gait score of three or above.”

The study also stated that the month in which broiler chickens were least likely to have severely damaged legs was March, with it being most likely in the month of September. The study also said that the chickens which were tightly packed into a small area were more likely to have difficulties walking than chickens that were given more space.

The report finished by saying that “consumers currently know little about how broiler chickens are reared but can be shocked when presented with information about current commercial practices,” and that “Since the sustainability of intensive broiler production depends on continued consumer acceptance of the farming practices involved, the broiler industry will need to work with the scientific community to develop more robust and healthier genotypes and to ensure that optimal husbandry and management practices are fully implemented.”