Tap to download the app
You are currently viewing the US Edition of Poultry Health Today. Click below to switch to the Global Edition or VFD News Center.

Sponsored By Zoetis



British vets question health, welfare of free-range chickens

While activists tout the happier, healthier life of free-range chickens, veterinarians in Great Britain have expressed concern about their long-term sustainability and increased likelihood of a major bird flu outbreak in free-range production, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Barry Thorp, DVM, Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, argues that these free-range chickens are more likely to suffer broken bones, higher death rates, and more disease and illness.

  • Mortality rate for free-range chickens is 8-10 percent; caged hens 2-4 percent.
  • Fractured bones are twice as likely in free-range chickens compared to caged hens.
  • Disease transmission between free-range chickens and wild ducks and birds is more likely as 10 percent of ducks in the UK carry bird flu.

Currently, free-range egg production accounts for 45% of the British egg market — compared with just 1% in 1980.



tags: ,

Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.