Post-hatch management for improved broiler locomotion


Leg weakness remains a considerable concern for broiler chicken welfare under commercial production conditions (Knowles et al., 2008), whether in confined sheds or under free range systems. Following the application process for project 8616 (Opportunities to improve broiler locomotory ability), we were asked to hold back some of the objectives and submit these at a later date. This application continues this as requested by RIRDC. Here we propose to evaluate post-hatch treatments and environmental enrichments (such as perches, hay bales), nutritional strategies, lighting and management practices following hatch with a view to assessing or improving broiler locomotion ability. The most promising approach will be the early nutrition objectives to improve early bone mineralisation. This will be achieved by assessing bone mineralisation at hatch and LTL at 5-6 weeks of age ameliorated by the provision of enrichments, differing photoperiod regimes and varying calcium/phosphorus supplementations in the first 3 days of life.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Sydney

Objective Summary

To evaluate if post hatch treatment and enrichment offered to broiler chicks derived from eggs incubated under differing Egg Shell Temperatures profiles can further improve locomotory ability.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Project Completion Date

Monday, July 31, 2017

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

CME-Improving Food Safety of Australian Chicken Meat