Range use relationship with welfare and performance indicators in four organic broilers strains - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2023

Range use relationship with welfare and performance indicators in four organic broilers strains

Claire Bonnefous
Anne Collin
Vanessa Guesdon
  • Function : Author
Cécile Berri
Elisabeth Le Bihan-Duval


Free range allows chickens to express more behaviours such as foraging and locomotion in a different environment from the poultry house. To understand how range use is related to welfare and performances of chickens, we studied four intermediate- to slow-growing strains with the outdoor access until slaughter at 71 to 106 days of age depending on the strain. Males from JA757, S757N, White Bresse and a dual-purpose crossbreed were classified according to their range use and divided in two extreme groups of 25 high- and low-rangers. We did not observe any significant relationship between range use and welfare indicators collected at the slaughterhouse (hock burn, pododermatitis scores and struggling activity on the slaughter line) in the four studied strains. Leg health of JA757 chickens improved significantly with range use, with tibia being 4% shorter and 2% stronger in high-rangers compared to low-rangers. In both JA757 and S757N strains, range use also reduced the immune and inflammatory responses of birds. However, greater range use was negatively related to performances in all strains, including a 12%, 8% and 7% reduction in carcass weight in JA757, S757N and the White Bresse strains, respectively, and a significant 2% reduction in thigh yield in the dual-purpose strain. Overall, greater range use in slow-growing birds did not affect welfare, health and meat quality indicators, but we confirmed a negative relationship with performance. The project PPILOW has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°816172.
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Dates and versions

hal-04193907 , version 1 (01-09-2023)


Attribution - NonCommercial


  • HAL Id : hal-04193907 , version 1


Claire Bonnefous, Anne Collin, Laurence L.A. Guilloteau, Karine Germain, Sandrine Mignon-Grasteau, et al.. Range use relationship with welfare and performance indicators in four organic broilers strains. 74. Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Aug 2023, Lyon, France. ⟨hal-04193907⟩
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