Project: Encouraging organic chickens and hens to be more outdoor

Acronym FreeBirds (Reference Number: 2062)
Duration 01/04/2018 - 01/04/2021
Project Topic The project aim is to generate insight in the relation between chickens’ free range use and health and welfare of the chickens, as well as, to the consequences for the nutrient load of the soil. Furthermore, the project aims to develop smart tools and management strategies for improvement of the free range system in organic production. The work is divided into five Work packages (WPs); WP 1 Project coordination, knowledge synthesis and dissemination; WP2 Behaviour and welfare aspects; that will compare welfare of hens with different ranging patterns will clarify the relationships between range use and specific welfare issues; WP3. Parasites and gut health; that will further explore the relation between free range and parasite infections in organic layers, as well as, the importance of gut health in broiler chickens; WP 4 Nutrient load of the soil; that aims to reduce the environmental problems and the waste of nutrients in the ranging areas and test of practical solutions to achieve an optimal use of the range area; WP 5. Suitability of different strains; in which alternative genotypes for meat and/or egg production will be evaluated regarding behaviour, health and welfare. The project will help farmers to develop more successful husbandry practices and contribute to a more sustainable organic poultry production, as well as, consolidate consumer acceptance and marketing of the organic products, in accordance with the intentions of the organic concept.
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic Cofund
Call CORE Organic Call 2016

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Coordinator Sweden
2 Department of Animal Science Partner Denmark
3 Louis Bolk Institute Partner Netherlands
4 Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding Polish Academy of Sciences Partner Poland
5 Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research Partner Belgium
6 Uludag University Partner Turkey
7 Università degli Studi Milano Partner Italy
8 Wageningen University Partner Netherlands
9 Wageningen Livestock Research Partner Netherlands