Comparison of Chinese broiler production systems in economic performance and animal welfare

Qichang Chen, Helmut W. Saatkamp, Jan Cortenbach, Weidong Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Both proper animal welfare and economic benefit are important to the broiler industry, so it is better to consider these two factors together. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between economic benefit and animal welfare in different production systems of white-feathered broilers in China. Based on the Welfare Quality Assessment (WQA) protocol for poultry, the authors compared and evaluated the results of the Welfare Quality model (WQM) and the deterministic model. The present study conducted welfare evaluations and investigations on 66 broiler chicken flocks on 52 farms in China. These flocks included three types: the net floor system (NFS), the normal cage system (NCS), and the high standard cage system (HCS). In terms of economy, the results were in line with high economic input, high output, and high profit. In terms of animal welfare assessment, the authors calculated the welfare scores per measure and the attributional WQ scores and WQ index scores of each production systems. The results showed that nine welfare measures from four welfare criteria presented different trends in the three production systems. WQ index scores were 778.24 ± 29.45, 691.09 ± 32.97, and 669.82 ± 22.79, respectively. According to Chow test results, significant differences were found between WQ index scores and total cost and profit (all p < 0.01). In conclusion, with the development of white-feathered broiler production in China, from the conventional system to the latest system, both cost and economic profit have been increased, but the welfare score has been decreased.

Original languageEnglish
Article number491
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Animal welfare
  • Broiler production system
  • Economic performance


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of Chinese broiler production systems in economic performance and animal welfare'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this