Egg Industry - December 2017 - 8
8 ❙ EggIndustry
Auditor training is crucial
With outcome-based welfare
measures, the auditors/assessors need
to be well trained. The outcomebased standards need to be validated
and practical to measure. With meat
birds, Mench pointed out that many
of the bird measurements can actually be taken at the slaughter plant.
Things like foot pad scores, breast
blisters and bruising, and broken
bones can all be evaluated on the
shackle lines. In fact, some companies already participate in grade
improvement programs where many
of the measurements are taken from
each flock and benchmarked against
other participating operations.
Feather coverage of hens is an indicator of bird behavior and/or nutrition,
and can be used as an outcome-based measure of welfare. | Richard Blatchford
The negatives of outcome-based
measures are that they can be time consuming to make, the birds may have
to be handled to be evaluated, and the
evaluators have to be well-trained.
Mench said auditing or evaluat-
ing for some outcome-based welfare
schemes can take several hours per
house to accomplish. The AssureWel
scheme only uses seven measurements for laying hens - feather
loss, bird dirtiness, beak trimming,
Dr. Bill Dozier.
Professor, Poultry Science Department
Dr. Hans H. Stein
Professor of Nutrition
University of Illinois
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