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Agriculture 2018, 8(11), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8110176

Rearing Male Layer Chickens: A German Perspective

Institute for Animal Hygiene, Animal Welfare and Farm Animal Behaviour, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30173 Hanover, Germany
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Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Welfare)
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Abstract

The killing of male layer hybrids in the hatcheries, at a day-old, is common practice but it also raises strong socio-ethical concerns. In recent years, three different approaches to avoid this killing have been developed—the in ovo sex determination, the rearing of male layers for meat, and the use of dual-purpose breeds. In Germany, about one million male layers are raised each year in the organic and conventional sector. Regarding animal health and welfare, this concept seems favourable. However, the main challenge, that is, to what extent these animals can be kept in a resource-friendly and ecologically sustainable way, remains yet to be solved. Currently, for a niche, this approach contributes to the diversification of the German market. It serves as an example for reacting to societal concerns immediately, before feasible solutions are available for the entire system of modern poultry production. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; animal ethics; poultry; culling; day-old chickens; sustainability animal welfare; animal ethics; poultry; culling; day-old chickens; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Giersberg, M.F.; Kemper, N. Rearing Male Layer Chickens: A German Perspective. Agriculture 2018, 8, 176.

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