Video Documentation: Growing Period of Broiler

In Germany, every German citizen consumed an average of 13.2 kg of chicken meat in 2017, with an upward trend (provisional, compare Beck 2018, pg. 56). Many people today no longer know how chicken meat is produced and what it looks like in a modern poultry house. In the research project "Transparency Intitiative in the Poultry Industry" by WING, it is a fundamental goal to represent the husbandry forms of poultry in a transparent and realistic manner.

For this reason, the following video will show how chickens are kept from the day of placement as day old chicks until the 41st day when the broilers have reached slaughter weight.

 

1. Information on the company

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Video: Growing of broiler from day 1 to 41 (length: 00:04:34, web resolution, no HD; 13.1 MB)

 

3. Facts about keeping broiler in Germany

In order to be allowed to keep broiler chickens in Germany, you must be in possession of a valid certificate from the responsible authority or the body otherwise authorised under provincial law regarding its expertise. Anyone who keeps broiler chickens must inspect all broiler chickens on the farm at least twice a day and pay attention to their well-being and health (TierSchNutztV Section 4, § 19 (2) and § 17 (1)).

In general terms, broiler husbandry is also referred to as chicken or fattening broiler husbandry, raising both male and female animals. In Germany, chickens for fattening are kept almost exclusively in conventional barns in closed stalls. They are kept on straw bedding and the animal's beaks are not clipped. The proportion of organic broilers that have a free run is very low (1.3 %). How many chickens are allowed to be kept in the barn is determined by the so-called "stocking density":

  • It is not about the number of animals. The stocking density is measured by kilograms, because the animals become significantly larger during the course of their lives and then more space is needed per animal.
  • In Germany, a maximum broiler stocking density of 39 kg/m2 is required. In the EU 42 kg/m2 are allowed.

 

95 % of German broilers are produced according to the following three main fattening methods:

  • Short fattening
  • Medium fattening
  • Long fattening

 

One possible intermediate level for medium and long fattening is the so-called "splitting method". About 5 to 8 days before the end of stabling, 20 to 30% of the animals are taken out in advance and slaughtered.

Tab. 1:
Features of the three main fattening methods in Germany (Source: Own presentation according to Berk 2018, pg. 174f.)

*The quantity of food required to produce 1 kg of chicken meat.

Literature:

Beck, M. M. (2018): Die neusten Zahlen: Der Eier- und Geflügelmarkt. In: Geflügeljahrbuch 2019. Deutschland im internationalen Vergleich. Jahrbuch des Zentralverbandes der Deutschen Geflügelwirtschaft e.V. und seiner Mitgliedsverbände. Verlag Ulmer. S. 38-56.

Berk, J. (2018): Faustzahlen zur Haltung von Mastgeflügel. In: Geflügeljahrbuch 2019. Deutschland im internationalen Vergleich. Jahrbuch des Zentralverbandes der Deutschen Geflügelwirtschaft e.V. und seiner Mitgliedsverbände. Verlag Ulmer. S. 173-194.