WATT PoultryUSA - April 2018 - 27
ENGAGEMENTS, NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS
testing, and seeking the group's feedback, as it develops new enrichments.
The natural behavior issue
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highlights from the discussion ondemand, including more information
on the role lighting plays in the house:
Many welfare programs aim to create an environment more similar to nature. This will supposedly lead to better
welfare and performance. The problem with this concept,
the panelists said, is the animal Gallus gallus domesticus is
thoroughly removed from its native environment and influenced by thousands of years of domestication and breeding
specializing in either growth for meat or egg production.
Natural, therefore, is hard to define and achieve.
Torrey said natural behavior shouldn't be the focus, due
to the long separation from nature and generations of selective breeding. Instead, scientists and farmers need to consider
the motivations specific breeds of animals to express certain
behaviors. In an experimental setting, a bird's desire to carry
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April 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
out a behavior can be tested by placing obstacles between the bird and
the area or resource that allows it to
perform the behavior. For instance,
a researcher can observer whether a
bird will hop over a short wall to get
Jim Shepard, Wayne
to a dustbathing substrate, or if it will Farms. Austin Alonzo
hop up on a platform to perch.
If a bird wants to be active by way of perching, pecking, dustbathing or flapping, for example, and it is denied
the opportunity, then that's an animal welfare issue. When