Open Livestock

Open Livestock in Agriculture - Modern Poultry Farming from the Biological Perspective of the Chicken


The Open Livestock project looks at modern laying hen husbandry from an integrative perspective that aims to unite the biology of the animals, society's interest in animal welfare and the sustainability of production practices. Three focal points will be addressed: 1. which factors lead to an adaptation of the environment to the biological characteristics of the hens, 2. how the current technology can be further developed in the interests of the animals and producers and sustainably established in practice, and 3. how can factual information and communication with the public succeed - in short: what will laying hen husbandry look like in 2030?

From a biological point of view, various adjustments are being made, such as a morphologically adapted perch, which at the same time reduces the risk of cloacal cannibalism by giving the birds a direction in which to sit. Similarly, vertical structural elements in high-traffic areas such as the feeding chains are being tested and their effects on animal behaviour analysed. One of the biggest differences to humans is the visual system of chickens, which is equipped with additional UV receptors, and fewer twilight-sensitive rods, and whose focused visual areas are fixed. Seen through the eyes of the chicken, socially sensitive coop regions are innovatively illuminated to accommodate the ethology and general biology of the animals. The integrative approach goes beyond the animal level and also pays attention to occupational safety, in which new ventilation concepts are designed to direct dust-laden air onto the animal droppings. Particles and bioaerosols are physically bound on the moist surface.

The data collected objectively and quantitatively via the Welfare Quality® Assessment Protocol and the M-Tool® are used to concretise the actual needs and conducive measures and, above all, to communicate them actively and transparently in the sense of Open Science, in this case better Open Livestock.

Project partner

© Privat
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.

Project funding

Wird geladen