Correlations among behavior, performance and environment in broiler breeders using multivariate analysis
DOAJ:Agriculture and Food Sciences
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AbstractAnimal welfare issues have received much attention not only to supply farmed animal requirements, but also to ethical and cultural public concerns. Daily collected information, as well as the systematic follow-up of production stages, produces important statistical data for production assessment and control, as well as for improvement possibilities. In this scenario, this research study analyzed behavioral, production, and environmental data using Main Component Multivariable Analysis, which correlated observed behaviors, recorded using video cameras and electronic identification, with performance parameters of female broiler breeders. The aim was to start building a system to support decision-making in broiler breeder housing, based on bird behavioral parameters. Birds were housed in an environmental chamber, with three pens with different controlled environments. Bird sensitivity to environmental conditions were indicated by their behaviors, stressing the importance of behavioral observations for modern poultry management. A strong association between performance parameters and the behavior "at the nest", suggesting that this behavior may be used to predict productivity. The behaviors of "ruffling feathers", "opening wings", "preening", and "at the drinker" were negatively correlated with environmental temperature, suggesting that the increase of in the frequency of these behaviors indicate improvement of thermal welfare.