The health and welfare of broiler chickens may improve thanks to University of Saskatchewan (USask) researcher Andrew Olkowski and colleagues.
More chickens are raised worldwide than any other livestock animal, so improving their health outcomes would have a big impact.
The broiler chickens that are raised for meat were genetically selected to grow extremely fast, but they often suffer from heart diseases. Heart pump failure is a major health and welfare issue for the broiler chicken industry worldwide. Globally, economic losses associated with heart failure problems in broiler chickens amount to more than $1 billion annually.
To understand why fast-growing broiler chickens suffer from heart problems, Olkowski and collaborators compared them with their slower-growing broiler counterparts, which have a much lower risk of heart failure, and with Leghorn chickens, which are resistant to heart failure.
Read more on the Canadian Light Source website
Image: University of Saskatchewan researcher Andrew Olkowski.