Research objectives

  • Examine the effects of environment and management on animal behavior, welfare and productivity
  • Develop animal-based indicators of welfare
  • Investigate links between animal welfare and product quality

♦ Chickens      ♦ Ducks      ♦ Turkeys

Research projects

Some recent chicken, duck and turkey behavior and welfare projects

  • What type of nesting material do laying hens prefer to lay their eggs on?
Laying hen nest study
  • How do behavior and activity levels of turkeys change in response to environmental changes and disease?
  • How do activity levels and walking ability of turkeys change with age?
Turkey study
  • What are the factors that influence whether ducks pluck their feathers and when does feather picking develop?
Duck farm

Interdisciplinary and collaborative projects


Consumer perceptions of turkey welfare and turkey product purchasing

With Dr. Nicole Widmar (Purdue Agricultural Economics) and Dr. Stacy Zuelly (Purdue Animal Sciences)

Associations between turkey behavior, welfare and meat quality

With Dr. Stacy Zuelly

Changes in turkey vocalizations in response to stress

With Dr. Jiqin Ni (Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering)

Effects of stocking density and bedding on turkey behavior

With Dr. Sally Noll (University of Minnesota), Dr. Michael Hulet (Penn State University), Dr. Darrin Karcher (Purdue Animal Sciences)


Changes in laying hen behavior and welfare due to parasite infestations

With Dr. Ameya Gondhalekar (Purdue Entomology) and Dr. Darrin Karcher

Effects of litter substrate on laying hen behavior, welfare and egg quality; and air quality

With Dr. Dana Campbell (CSIRO), Dr. Deana Jones (USDA ARS), Dr. Jiqin Ni (Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering)

Effects of probiotic supplementation on laying hen behavior and welfare

Collaborators: Dr. Heng-wei Cheng (USDA ARS) and Dr. Don Lay (USDA ARS)

Changes in broiler chicken behavior in response to heat stress

With Dr. Jay Johnson (USDA ARS)