1. Freedom To Express Normal Behavior
An important part of our commitments to animal welfare is understanding what a chicken wants and letting chickens act naturally. It’s also important that our flock advisors — those who work mostly closely with our birds and the farmers who raise them — better understand a chicken’s normal behaviors. That’s why we’re building a Perdue Normal Behavior Library of videos for training purposes. Our normal behavior videos illustrate such things as dustbathing, foraging, perching, preening, resting, social pecking, stretching, and playing.
As a companion to our normal behavior video library, we recognized that we also need to provide education on abnormal bird behavior. We created the first two piece of video content focus on feed management and water management quality issue, and plan to create more abnormal bird behavior content.
Pasture-raised birds exhibit different behaviors than birds raised in other production systems. To attempt to quantitate this we compared pasture-raised birds to three other systems characterized as no windows/conventional house, windows/conventional house, and slow- growing Rebro bird/enriched housing. Each system was studied at ages 10, 18, 26, 32, and 42 days. Activities we looked for included drinking, resting, walking, foraging, preening, stretching, social pecking, playing, and dustbathing. Generally, pasture-raised birds were more active. That activity was predominately in the two behaviors: preening and playing.
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