APRIL 16, 2018

| by Fernanda M. Tahamtani, Ida J. Pedersen, Claire Toinon, Anja B. Riber

Effects of environmental complexity on fearfulness and learning ability in fast growing broiler chickens

Abstract

Increasing environmental complexity, i.e. by providing environmental enrichment, has been suggested as a way to improve broiler chicken welfare. One issue affecting broiler welfare is the level of fearfulness of the flock. Exaggerated fear responses may cause smothering and mortality. Environmental complexity has been found to reduce fearfulness in several species. It is known to promote the development of cognitive functions, including learning and memory. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that housing environments of different complexity, due to environmental enrichment or manipulation of standard resources, have an effect on ...