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Chatting with poultry experts

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Dr. Rick van Emous: Qualitative feed restriction effects on broiler breeders

During the World’s Poultry Congress in Paris, Novus International launched its book, Breeders Management, and Nutrition: Moving the industry forward. This book contains 14 chapters written by different recognized poultry experts worldwide, who developed this book as a tool for the current broiler breeder production practices and give new ideas in management, nutrition, and industry sustainability. Therefore, aviNews International was pleased to interview one of the book authors, Dr. Rick van Emous. He and Dr. Annemarie Mens wrote the chapter: The effects of qualitative feed restriction on performance, behavior, and welfare on broiler breeders, which is the topic for this interview. Dr. van Emous is a Senior Researcher in Animal Nutrition at Wageningen Livestock Research in the Netherlands. He started his career as a research assistant at COVP-DLO Centre for Poultry Research in Beekbergen (Netherlands). He joined Cobb-Europe as a Technical-Commercial Advisor before returning to COVP-DLO, where he worked intensively studying how laying hens respond to different housing systems. Additionally, he earned his doctorate from the Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences in the Netherlands in 2015, focusing on modern broiler breeders’ feeding behavior and practices. Could you please summarize what the readers will find in your chapter? Dr. Rick briefly explained that people would find in the chapter the impact of feed restriction level on health and production. Then, he highlighted a couple of welfare issues caused by feed restrictions during the rearing phase. These issues are related to the increase in the stress hormone, stereotypical tail feather licking, and pecking behavior towards equipment. Therefore, [register] the chapter describes those kinds of problems, what is known about them, the possibilities to reduce those issues, and novel management tools.
The chapter is a quited about welfare. Particularly in the Netherlands welfare is really important and you will know that everybody will restrict these breeders, otherwise, they will grow so big that it leads to issues on health and production. Also, it affects the mortality
Other topics discussed during the interview were:
  • The most common feed restriction programs
  • Applications of these programs in Europe and other countries
  • Critical effects of feed restriction on behavior, welfare, reproduction, and health
  • Differences between the effects of feed restriction in broiler and layer breeders
  • Recommendations to reduce the effects of feed restriction
  • What is coming in the research about this topic?
To watch the full interview with Dr. Rick van Emous, check out the video

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