Members of the Makagon Lab study the behavior, welfare and management of poultry, including ducks, turkeys, laying hens and broilers. We focus on 3 broad topic areas: 1) understanding the influences of the physical and social environments on bird behavior, 2) evaluating the relationship between behavior and bone integrity, and 3) developing and validating practical, species-specific welfare assessment measures. A common goal of this work is to develop strategies to help minimize behavior-related poultry management issues while optimizing bird welfare and production.
Recent areas of focus include:
- Environmental enrichment for broiler chickens
- Behavioral correlates and risk factors of keel bone damage in laying hens
- Reproductive behaviors of ducks
- Thermoregulatory behavior of laying hens
- Quantitative assessment of the walking abilities of Pekin ducks
- Utility of the transect method as a tool for assessing the welfare of commercial turkeys and ducks