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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R30R9M897

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Behavioural Implications of Precision Feeding Broiler Breeders Open Access

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Other title
Subject/Keyword
Broiler Breeder
Precision Feeding
Feed Restriction
Behaviour
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gilmet, Teryn Evelyn Renee McFarlane
Supervisor and department
Bench, Clover (Applied Ethology/Animal Behaviour)
Zuidhof, Martin (Poultry Systems Modelling)
Examining committee member and department
Korver, Doug (Poultry Nutrition)
Schwean-Lardner, Karen (Animal and Poultry Science)
Department
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
Specialization
Animal Science
Date accepted
2015-08-10T15:32:09Z
Graduation date
2015-11
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Broiler breeders require feed restriction to maintain high production rates of hatching eggs. However, feed restriction, conventionally managed during the rearing period through skip-a-day feeding, creates welfare concerns as broiler breeders exhibit behaviours indicative of hunger and frustration. A novel precision broiler breeder feeding system provided small individual meals to each bird multiple times throughout a day, only if their BW was less than a target BW. The primary objective of this thesis was to determine the behavioural consequences of precision feeding broiler breeders in comparison to a conventional, skip-a-day feeding schedule. As such, this thesis did not measure physiological indicators of hunger as a result of feed restriction nor did it focus on internal factors (e.g. genetics) that impact hunger motivation in broiler breeders. Instead, objectives focused on the external factors (i.e. allocation of restricted feed) related to broiler breeder hunger motivation. The behavioural indicators of hunger motivation are referred to as perception of hunger in this thesis. Two experiments were run concurrently to examine and compare measures of perceived hunger, and therefore hunger motivation, including: restlessness, dust-bathing, foraging, object pecking, feather pecking, aggression, and social order fluctuations. Behaviour observations suggest that precision feeding reduced, but did not eliminate hunger motivation and may have the potential to better satisfy foraging frustration in broiler breeders, compared to skip-a-day feeding. However, precision feeding increased aggression compared to skip-a-day feeding. Therefore, it appears that while precision feeding decreased hunger motivation of broiler breeders, it does not appear to have fully eliminated hunger-related frustration.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R30R9M897
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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