Animal welfare in different housing systems of broiler production

This research was carried out to evaluate different housing systems for broiler chickens production, characterizing the thermal environment, physiological parameters and animal behavior. The experiment was conducted in a production cycle of 42 days, in the city of Carpina, state of Pernambuco, Brazil, at the Experimental Station for Small Animals of the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE). The survey was developed in production module divided into 15 boxes with 10 birds per box and density of the 10 birds per m², totaling 150 birds, submitted to the three housing systems: semi-confined with 3m² per broiler of paddock area (SC 3), semi-confined with 6m² per broiler of paddock area (SC 6) and total confinement (CONF). The experimental design for data general analysis was completely randomized (CRD), in split plots, being the weeks allocated in the plots and the accommodation systems (SC 3, SC 6, CONF and EXT) in the sub-plots with the averages compared through the Tukey test. The meteorological variables, comfort indexes and physiological parameters indicated the semi-confined system of accommodation SC 3 as one that allowed better natural conditioning heat to the birds, presenting the average values of 25.4ºC, 69.9 kJ kg-1, 75.7, 65.12 movements min-1 and 41.92ºC for dry bulb temperature, enthalpy, black globe humidity index, respiratory rate and cloacal temperature, respectively. The birds subjected to the semi-confined system SC 3 were those that had better opportunity to express their natural behavior and explore the external environment to the module of production, leveraging the animal welfare.

poultry production; thermal comfort; animal behavior; housing systems

Associação Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola SBEA - Associação Brasileira de Engenharia Agrícola, Departamento de Engenharia e Ciências Exatas FCAV/UNESP, Prof. Paulo Donato Castellane, km 5, 14884.900 | Jaboticabal - SP, Tel./Fax: +55 16 3209 7619 - Jaboticabal - SP - Brazil