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index by sub-area 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Animal Systems
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Broiler breeder production - solving a paradox *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-01732
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,881,273 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,634,366 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Animal Systems

Abstract:
To compete more effectively, the EU poultry industry needs to improve the production system of broiler breeder hens and the quality of the resulting products. Breeder hens overeat, become fat, suffer various pathologies and have poor reproductive ability. Severe rationing improves their health and reproduction, but current rationing regimes cause undue hunger. Product quality and the hen's welfare needs may be adversely affected by rationing.

This project's objectives are:
- To improve product quality and welfare of breeder hens under feed restriction.
- To understand the interaction between reproduction, feeding, metabolism and welfare in broiler breeders.
- To find genetic potential for improving product quality and welfare of broiler breeder hens.


Objectives:
This project aims to improve production and reproduction in an existing conventional farming system - the production by breeding stock of day-old chicks for fattening as table poultry. This project will determine whether the unlimited growth requirement of broiler breeder hens can be allied with good product quality, good reproductive performance, good health and welfare, either by a feed restriction protocol which does not cause undue hunger, or by innovative genetic selection.

The two main objectives are:
1) to define, understand and improve the relationship between product quality and the genetics and nutrition of breeders; and
2) to find genetic potential for improving egg production and welfare without causing deterioration in the quality of chick production through an understanding of the interaction between reproduction, feed restriction and different genotypes of broiler breeders. To adapt feeding regimes more closely to the animals' needs, thus improving welfare.


Coordinator
Nathalie POUVREAU
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Nouzilly
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 2 47427857
Fax: +33 2 47427777
E-mail: Nathalie.Pouvreau@tours.inra.fr


Partners
  Pierre FRISCH
Centrale d'achats Auchan
Villeneuve d'Ascq
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 3 20675578
Fax: +33 3 28376139
E-mail: pfrisch@auchan.com
  Hans CLAES
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Research and Development
Leuven
BELGIUM
Tel.: +32 16326503
Fax: +32 16326515
E-mail: hans.claes@lrd.kuleuven.ac.be
  Olivier BEHAGHEL
HUBBARD-ISA
Chäteaubourg
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 4 74610220
Fax: +33 4 78953806
  Grahame BULFIELD
Department of genetics and biometry, Roslin institute (Edinburgh)
Roslin/Midlothian
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1315274200
Fax: +44 1314400434
E-mail: grahame.bulfield@bbsrc.ac.uk