PhD student position on "Understanding laying hen mortality, its causes and implications for welfare and sustainability in loose housing systems"
Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol
The aim of this project is to use a combination of surveillance and on-farm data collection to better understand the causes of mortality in laying hens in loose housing systems. We will be monitoring hen behaviour and flock health, as well as predation. We will quantify mortality attributable to a range of causes and investigate risk factors for high mortality. We will compare mortality across cage-free systems (barn; free range; organic), and examine the implications for the welfare of birds in each system in the context of the potential welfare-sustainability trade-off.
The successful candidate will be based at the University of Bristol, as part of its large, friendly and supportive animal welfare research community. Behaviour and health data of birds will be collected through direct observation on-farm, and post mortem. Training will be provided as necessary in behavioural observation and the statistical methods required for analysis.