Chickens Reared for Meat are Referred to as Broilers or Broiler Chickens

Chickens reared for meat area unit referred to as broilers or broiler chickens. They originate from the gallinaceous bird of the Indian landmass. The broiler business has fully grown thanks to client demand for cheap poultry meat. Breeding for specific traits and improved nutrition are accustomed increase the burden of the breast-muscle. business broiler chickens area unit bred to be in no time growing so as to realize weight quickly.

In their natural surroundings, hens pay a lot of of their time hunt for food. this suggests that {they area unit|they’re} extremely actuated to perform species specific behaviours that are typical for chickens (natural behaviours), reminiscent of hunt, pecking, scratching and feather maintenance behaviours like preening and dust-bathing. Trees area unit used for perching at nighttime to avoid predators.
The lifetime of chickens destined for meat production consists of  distinct phases. they’re born in a very property and moved to a growing farm at one stale. they continue to be here till they’re serious enough to be slaughtered. This document offers an outline of a typical broiler’s life.

The property

The parent birds (breeder birds – cf. section at end) accustomed manufacture meat chickens have their eggs got rid of Associate in Nursingd placed in an apparatus. In here, the eggs area unit unbroken in Associate in Nursing optimum constant atmosphere and controlled temperature. At 21 days, the chicks area unit able to hatch, mistreatment their egg tooth to interrupt out of their shell (in a natural state of affairs, the mother would facilitate with this). Chicks area unit precocial, which means that directly when hatching they’re comparatively mature and might walk around. A chick classified as a ‘day-old chick’ is up to seventy two hours previous (this is once the vitellus sac within the egg runs out). At present, chicks destined for organic systems aren’t treated otherwise till they get to the growing farm.

Chicks would like further heat and high wetness throughout the primary weeks of life. fresh hatched chicks need close temperatures of 32°C to 35°C and ratio of hour to seventieth which might be tough to realize at these high temperatures.


The modern broiler reaches slaughter weight inside many weeks. This leaves very little time to develop a mature system. Therefore, broiler chicks (including organic chicks) area unit immunized against many totally different diseases. Some infectious pathogens (such as Salmonella) can even be transmitted via the egg (vertical transmission) from the stock breeder hen to the chick.

Day old chicks in a littered barn, with a controlled atmosphere for humidity and temperature control


The stock breeder hen ought to so even be immunized. the foremost common vaccines used area unit against Newcastle disease virus, infectious respiratory disease virus, craniate pneumovirus, infectious sac malady Associate in Nursingd Marek’s malady (organic systems don’t presently immunise against Marek’s malady thanks to the need to use an antibiotic on the skin when administration)2,3. Vaccines area unit delivered via spraying or via water. Spray vaccination is that the most popular and best administration technique for metastasis kind vaccines.

Transport of chicks

When broiler chicks square measure a stale, they’re transported in transport modules (or chick boxes) from the property to the rearing farm. Chicks locomote a conveyer and square measure born into modules. throughout this method the chicks square measure vaccinated with a twig vaccination. it’s presently not clear what the best conditions for transport of chicks square measure, as there’s depleted knowledge base. the talk focusses on most journey times as chicks square measure sustained by energy and water reserves from the food sac for a amount of your time once hatching.

Broiler chickens are transported twice in their lives, as day-old chicks (pictured) and as adults to the slaughterhouse.


Housing systems for broiler chickens

Intensive (industrial) farming systems


Broilers employed in intensive systems square measure of strains that are bred to be in no time growing so as to achieve weight quickly (with typical weight gains of over fifty g per day). in contrast to egg laying hens (kept for egg production) that live for a couple of year, broilers solely live for many weeks before they’re slaughtered. In the EU, the slaughter age ranges from twenty one to a hundred and seventy days (typically around five to seven weeks).

In the US – the average slaughter age is 47 days at a weight of 2.6kg
In the EU – the average slaughter age is 42 days at a weight of 2.5kg

Over the last eighty years about, the slaughter age of a customary quick growing broiler has been decreasing, and market weight has accumulated (see Figure 1). as compared, ancient meat chickens take around twelve weeks to succeed in slaughter weight.

Figure 1. Market age and weight changes since 1925

Globally, over seventieth of broilers chickens square measure raised in quite similar indoor intensive (industrial) farming systems11 and solely alittle proportion square measure reared in less intensive, higher welfare systems. Keeping broiler production inside, with none access to outside areas will facilitate with tormentor management. In temperate countries, broiler sheds square measure closed, climate-controlled (e.g. fan-ventilated) and have artificial lighting12. In hotter countries, the sheds square measure additional open in order that the chickens square measure exposed to sunlight and natural ventilation however don’t have any outside access13. the quality broiler shed in Europe is window-less, however in some countries (e.g. UK, The Netherlands), retailers or assurance schemes need windows to permit natural daylight14. In Sweden, windows to let in daylight square measure obligatory.

The sheds square measure typically barren, aside from feeding and drinking points. Broilers square measure reared on a cluttered floor (such as straw, wood shaving, peat, paper) to soak up the chickens’ excreta15. Feed is offered in any respect times and consists of a high macromolecule feed, typically delivered via an automatic feeding system. Some farms can feed ‘whole grains’, not processed cereals, as a part of the diet.
Broiler chicks ar placed within the rearing sheds at one-day recent and ar unbroken in massive, mixed-sex flocks. These flocks will comprises ten,000 to 20,000 birds, or more, in a very single house17. Broilers occupy the rearing farm till they reach slaughter age. once now comes nearer, flocks ar typically dilute (not practiced within the US). This involves the catching and removal of a little of the flock (usually the feminine birds that ar lighter) for slaughter, to permit the remaining birds a lot of area to grow on to a larger weight. The birds remaining within the house ar possible to be stressed as a results of the cutting method, creating them a lot of at risk of microorganism infections like Campylobacter, a reason for illness that poses a public health concern.

The litter in a very broiler shed is typically not clean out throughout the birds’ period (but utterly removed once every batch, and also the house clean and disinfected). the standard of the litter can influence air quality (i.e. dirt levels, air wetness and ammonia levels). Litter will become wet counting on the kind of litter material, the kind of drinkers, water spillage and diet composition (influencing the composition of the bird’s faeces)19. Wet litter could be a major risk issue for dermatitis (lesions of the breast, hocks and feet).

A typical chicken shed with tens of thousands birds. The red line provides water; the yellow circular structures are feeders.

There is associate EU Directive 2007/43/EC that specifies rules for the protection of chickens unbroken for meat production21 providing the smallest standards needed to rear broilers. It outlines stocking densities, and region conditions, planning to scale back extreme overcrowding and poor conditions. In countries inside the EU, love the united kingdom, allowable stocking density is additional restricted. In countries, love the US (federal law), there are not any laws on the stocking density limit. In highly regarded countries love Brazil, stocking density is also reduced to permit for the hotter climate.

Leave a Reply