The Welfare of Backyard Chickens
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  • Release Date: 2024-02-06
  • backyard chickens
  • ex-commercial chicken care
  • pet chickens
  • Suprelorin® implant
  • chicken welfare
Video Introduction

This video is adapted from 10.3390/ani14020288

Chickens may be the third most common pet in many countries; however, little is known about their welfare status or the human–chicken relationship. Hence, using 2000+ questionnaire responses, this study collected the most comprehensive and holistic dataset to date on owners’ care-taking practices, owners’ attitudes towards chickens, the human–chicken relationship, and challenges regarding chicken welfare. The most important results included the following: variable care-taking practices; largely positive attitudes towards chickens; mid-level closeness regarding the human–chicken relationship; preventing chickens going to slaughter as a top motivator of chicken care; a majority having not heard of Suprelorin® (a hormonal implant to prevent egg laying); only a significant minority having used Suprelorin® in their hens; a higher prevalence of health conditions/higher number of deaths being found relative to the extant literature; and egg yolk peritonitis emerging as a leading health problem and cause of death. Most chicken carers still consumed chicken meat and eggs. This study and its results should help numerous stakeholders in chicken welfare, including vets, owners themselves, and rehoming charities.

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Mace, J.L.; Knight, A. The Welfare of Backyard Chickens. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 18 June 2024).
Mace JL, Knight A. The Welfare of Backyard Chickens. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 18, 2024.
Mace, Jenny L., Andrew Knight. "The Welfare of Backyard Chickens" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 18, 2024).
Mace, J.L., & Knight, A. (2024, February 06). The Welfare of Backyard Chickens. In Encyclopedia.
Mace, Jenny L. and Andrew Knight. "The Welfare of Backyard Chickens." Encyclopedia. Web. 06 February, 2024.
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