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Free range hen welfare: Characterisation of ‘outdoor’ and ‘indoor’ hens and physical features in the range

Free range hen welfare: Characterisation of ‘outdoor’ and ‘indoor’ hens and physical features in the range

Egg production, health and egg quality implications addressed through characterisation of the effects of the use of the outdoor range on behaviour and physiology of free-range hens.

1UM121

Because research regarding the implications of outdoor access on hen welfare is limited, this project aimed to examine the impact of accessing the outdoor range as well as the effects of environmental design on the use of the outdoor range. The project investigated outdoor range usage by laying hens in Australian commercial egg free range flocks. Firstly, it examined the impact of accessing the outdoor range on the behaviour and stress physiology of free range laying hens. Secondly, it investigated whether the performance of so-called ‘natural’ behaviours, such as accessing an outdoor range, has animal welfare implications. And thirdly, it sought to determine the effects of environmental design on the use of the outdoor range.

Research Papers

Want to see what an egg farm looks like? Take this interactive 360 degree tour to see how eggs are produced in Australia.

Free range farm with two people