Post-hatch management for improved broiler locomotion

The University of Sydney

  • Project code: PRJ-009075

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • Project completion date: Monday, July 31, 2017

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 4-Ensuring food safety of Australian chicken meat


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.