Onbaşılar, E. E. 2022. Effect of alternative litter materials on the behaviour of male broilers. Behavioural Processes 195, 104566.
The welfare of broilers is strongly dependent on the litter material because they spend their life in contact with it. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of alternative litter materials on broiler behaviour. Two hundred eighty-eight 1-day old male broiler chicks were used. Chicks were placed in pens each having different litter material (Wood shavings (WS), paper waste sludge (PWS), sepiolite (S), the mix of 25% paper waste sludge & 75% sepiolite (25PWS+75 S), the mix of 50% paper waste sludge & 50% sepiolite (50PWS+50 S) and the mix of 75% paper waste sludge & 25% sepiolite (75PWS+25 S)). Broilers in the pens were recorded with a camera on the same day in a week during 6 weeks’ trial. When total behaviour was assessed from 1 to 41 days of age, the percentage of sitting behaviour was the highest in the WS group and the percentage of resting behaviour was the lowest in the groups of S and WS. It can be suggested that PWS, which is a waste product, does not have a negative effect on natural behaviour and welfare of broilers and it can be used alone or mixed with S as a litter material.