This morning we gave a presentation about the welfare of chickens during catching and the upright method of catching at Aeres MBO school in Barneveld. Afterwards there was a positive and lively discussion with students and teachers. A representativefrom Baader company (that designs and builds poultry transport containers, among other things) was also there because the design of the containers also plays a major role and is one of the reasons for causing stress or pain to the chickens.
Later in the day we observed the practical part of their experiment, when the broiler-birds at Aeres school would be caught and sent for slaughter. Today the birds were all caught upright, placed upright in plastic containers and wheel-borrowed out to be weighed (for a different experiment about feed) and then placed one by one upright into the transport drawers. We were very pleased to see the birds always kept upright as behavioural indicators of fear or discomfort were not frequently seen (such as wing flapping and uprighting of the head). Needless to say the placing of the birds first in plastic containers with slippery floors and wheeling them like this to the scale is not standard practice in normal catching. It was an extra process in the handling which can increase stress.