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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Genetic and welfare in commercial broiler chickens and breeders

Inra Prod.Anim., 24 (2), 165-170

C. ARNOULD¹ ,²,³,⁴, V. MICHEL⁵, E. LE BIHAN-DUVAL⁶

1 INRA, UMR85 Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, F-37380 Nouzilly, France

2 CNRS, Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, F-37380 Nouzilly, France

3 Université François Rabelais de Tours, F-37041 tours France

4 IFCE, F-37380 Nouzilly, France

5 Anses, F-22440 Ploufragan, France

6 INRA, UR83 Recherches Avicoles, F-37380 Nouzilly, France

Abstract 

Conclusions from the report of the European Commission of 2000 on « the welfare of chickens kept for meat production (broilers) » and the directive 2007/43/EC led the European Commission to request the European Food Safety Authority to issue two scientific opinions, the first one on the influence of genetic parameters on the welfare and resistance to stress of commercial broilers and the second one on the welfare of grand-parent and parent stocks raised and kept for breeding purposes. The present synthesis is based on these two opinions published in the EFSA Journal in 2010 and which came after a scientific expertise conducted in 2009 / 2010. This synthesis will first state how the main welfare problems encountered in broiler chickens (leg problems, contact dermatitis, ascites, sudden death syndrome, reduced mobility, thermal discomfort…) can be exacerbated by intense selection for fast growth rate and increased feed efficiency. Second, the main welfare problems encountered in breeders will be stated focusing on those that have links with selection on fast growth rate (feed restriction, aggression, mutilations…). Then, the need for future research and main conclusions will be presented.

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