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We do research and educate with a focus on nutrition, housing and management of meat-type chickens and laying hens. We strive to find new approaches that combines improved animal welfare, high competitiveness and low environmental cost. Our research comprises both conventional and alternative production systems (e.g., organic production) for layers and meat-type chickens.  Research area contact person: Helena Wall

On-going projects

  • Changing the rearing environment for parental animals, as a potential way to improve animal welfare in the chicken meat sector

    Young chicken This project aim to investigate the effect of specific environmental inputs during rearing, which has seen to promote animal welfare long-term for laying hens in experimental farms, on farms with parental animals within the chicken meat sector. Access to more or to a variation within biologically relevant resources during the development has seen to promote laying hens’ behavioural and physiological adaptability long term.
  • Biochar in broiler feed

    Close up of small chicken with more chicks behind. Photo. Today biochar is mainly used as a soil amendment. In animal husbandry, biochar can be used as an additive in bedding to bind water and nutrients and thereby reduce emission of ammonia from the bedding. Another option is to add the biochar (already) to the animals' feed. In this project, we aim to provide scientific evidence that will help Swedish chicken farmers to determine whether it is justified to add biochar to chicken feed.
  • Reduced ammonia volatilization in poultry production by adjusted feed composition

    Close up of a white laying hen next to a feeder. Photo. The aim of the suggested project is to evaluate if ammonia volatilization from the litter in laying hen facilities can be lowered by adjusted levels of crude protein, amino acids and insoluble fibre in the feed.
  • Improved animal welfare with lower ammonia in poultry houses

    White hens indoors on a litter bed. Photo. The aim of the project is to evaluate alternative litter materials and feed compositions as strategies to reduce ammonia levels in poultry houses.
  • Feeding live insect larvae to laying hens

    Close up of soldier fly larvae. Photo. This project aims to investigate the potential use of live soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) as a novel environmental enrichment to promote food foraging behaviours and reduce feather pecking in laying hens. A secondary aim, is to utilize fly larvae, grown in Sweden using local organic blue mussel by-products, as an alternative food source for poultry to reduce reliance on imported proteins (such as soy).
  • Mother knows best; a virtual system of ‘maternal care’ to promote welfare in chickens

    This project aims to develop a virtual system of maternal care using video and audio signals to improve the naturalness of rearing conditions of newly hatched chicks and promote natural behaviours, behavioural synchronisation, reducing fearfulness and feather pecking in laying hens.
  • Adapted management and feeding strategies for improved chick quality

    Close up of small chicken with more chicks behind. Photo. Including bioactive substances from brown algae or fungi biomass in chickens first feed will be evaluated in this project. The broiler chickens will either get access to feed and water already from time of hatch, or have to wait for a period corresponding to the normal situation in commercial settings.
  • Brown algae to broiler chickens

    Close-up of Emma Ivarsson holding a long brown alga in her left hand. Photo. With an increasing world population and food consumption, poultry is predicted to be the most common meat source globally in 2020. However, to be able to meet the increasing demand in a sustainable way all parts of poultry meat production needs to be optimized. A way to accomplish this could be by the use of feed additives with bioactive substances. A bioactive substance promotes health and gives additional value to the diet. Brown algae has a higher content of bioactive substances than many other algae and plants and are therefore of interest to evaluate as feed additive to broiler chickens.
  • Why transport the newly hatched chick when it can travel safe inside the egg?

    Eggs and two newly hatched yellow chickens. Photo. The aim of this project is to study effects of different hatching concepts and feed additives on the day old chicks’ quality, gut microflora and immune system.
  • Campylobacter in broilers

    Is a reduction of campylobacter possible by feeding silage?

Finished projects

Published: 11 December 2023 - Page editor: marie.liljeholm@slu.se