Main research question
The goal of KIPVANG is to catch and load meat chickens and spent laying hens for transport to the slaughterhouse in a more animal-friendly way. The project develops training courses for this purpose and also provides them to the people who perform this task in the poultry sector. The advantages and disadvantages of the alternative catching and loading method are evaluated at the same time in terms of labor, production losses, animal welfare and social acceptance.
The current catching methods for broilers and layers are documented (WP1). Trainings are given to catching teams for using an alternative method allowing the chickens to remain vertically oriented instead of being held upside down by their legs (WP3). This alternative catching method is compared to the conventional method with regards to labor, production losses, animal welfare (WP4) and stakeholder acceptance (WP2). Its costs and benefits will be compared with conventional manual and mechanical catching (WP5-6).
Previous animal welfare research has shown that the current depopulation method, in which chickens are caught by their legs and held upside down, can cause significant production losses, stress and animal suffering. This project uncovers the extent to which there is a beneficial difference in costs and benefits with a catching technique that keeps the chickens upright. Recommendations around best practices in catching chickens will be made based on the findings, so that they can then be adopted in practice.