Development of a multi-factorial housing concept for animal-friendly husbandry of dual-purpose chickens and brother cocks from chick to food


The innovation network "Development of a Multifactorial Housing Concept for Animal-Friendly Housing of Dual-Use Chickens and Broiler Cocks from Chick to Food" (MUST2) aims at the conceptual housing development for dual-use chickens including broiler cocks, taking into account animal welfare and behaviour, animal husbandry and environmental impact, in particular energy and emissions, management and labour requirements, breeding and economics, animal health and biosecurity, consumer communication as well as economics. The starting point is the time-coupled, conventional rearing and keeping of cockerels and hens, taking into account alternative genetics and with potential for direct marketing, the organic sector and, above all, the (stable) opening for the interested society.

This bundling of interests and objectives is based on the growing interest in the entire value chain and the current endeavour to avoid the killing of male day-old chicks from laying lines and to find alternative forms of production. The consortium forming the MUST2 innovation network is made up of stakeholders who bring the know-how to develop a sustainable, transparent and animal-friendly barn that is fit for the future. Previous discussions on the topic of dual use are often at an impasse in terms of potential feasibility and seemingly insoluble conflicts of objectives standing in the way, e.g. regarding animal behaviour and housing system, as well as outdoor climate and emissions. The format should lead to strategy and innovation development, clearly define necessary framework conditions and show perspectives that enable balanced husbandry of dual-purpose chickens and brother cocks (pullets).

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