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Effects of pasture management on poultry welfare and meat quality in organic poultry production systems
- SOSSIDOU, E.N., DAL BOSCO, A., CASTELLINI, C., GRASHORN, M.A.
- World's poultry science journal 2015 v.71 no.2 pp. 375-384
- animal welfare, birds, grasses, hunger, insects, lipid content, meat, meat quality, mineral content, mortality, nutritive value, organic production, pasture management, pastures, poultry, poultry health, poultry production, predators, production technology, risk, sensory properties, weather
- Outdoor access is a defining characteristic of organic poultry that provides poultry with fresh grass, insects and worms that may lead to enhanced product quality. There is evidence that meat from pastured-based poultry may contain some additional nutritional benefits through lower fat content, as well as higher vitamin and mineral contents. At the same time, under good pasture management, bird health and welfare can be achieved. This review gives an overview on the pasture management practices that can be employed to prevent potential risks in organic poultry systems such as uncontrolled weather conditions or mortality due to predators. This paper discusses the various effects of pasture management on (a) poultry health and welfare, including physical comfort, absence of hunger and disease, possibilities to perform motivated behaviours and (b) meat quality, including both consumer and nutritional quality and sensory attributes as related to pasture synthesis and intake.