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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Welfare of ducks, geese and quail on farm

Nielsen, Søren Saxmose; Berg, Lotta; Velarde, Antonio; et al.

Abstract

This Scientific Opinion concerns the welfare of Domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus),Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata domesticus) and their hybrids (Mule ducks), Domestic geese (Anseranser f. domesticus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) in relation to the rearing of breeders, birdsfor meat, Muscovy and Mule ducks and Domestic geese for foie gras and layer Japanese quail for eggproduction. The most common husbandry systems (HSs) in the European Union are described for eachanimal species and category. The following welfare consequences are described and assessed for eachspecies: restriction of movement, injuries (bone lesions including fractures and dislocations, soft tissuelesions and integument damage and locomotory disorders including lameness), group stress, inabilityto perform comfort behaviour, inability to perform exploratory or foraging behaviour and inability toexpress maternal behaviour (related to prelaying and nesting behaviours). Animal-based measuresrelevant for the assessment of these welfare consequences were identified and described. The relevanthazards leading to the welfare consequences in the different HSs were identified. Specific factors suchas space allowance (including minimum enclosure area and height) per bird, group size,floor quality,characteristics of nesting facilities and enrichment provided (including access to water to fulfilbiological needs) were assessed in relation to the welfare consequences and, recommendations onhow to prevent the welfare consequences were provided in a quantitative or qualitative way.

Keywords

On-farm animal welfare; ducks; geese; quail; foie gras; welfare consequences; end the cage age

Published in

EFSA Journal
2023, Volume: 21, number: 5, article number: 7992

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2023.7992

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/126379