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Injuries and mortality during transport of broilers in Norway

Due to an increase in transport mortality of broilers, the project “Injuries and mortality during transport of broilers in Norway” was initiated by the industry. Kathe Kittelsen (Animalia) is project leader. She is also enrolled as a PhD student at NMBU, where she is supervised by and collaborates with members of the Animal Welfare Research Group. The overall project aim is to get more knowledge about risk factors associated with injuries and mortality during catching and transport to abattoirs of broilers. Specific subprojects – reflecting the aims of the research to be included in the PhD thesis with the tentative title “Broiler welfare at the end of the production cycle- with emphasis on leg health, catching and transport” are: 1) an epidemiologic study of transport mortality with attention to risk factors; 2) a comparison of pathological findings in broilers dead-on-farm and broilers dead-on-arrival in order to investigate whether subclinical disease present on farm is a pre-disposing factor for transport mortality; 3) investigation of pathological findings associated with high-mortality transports; 4) investigation of wing fractures in broilers attributed to factors related to catching and transport and pre-slaughter handling at the abattoir; and 5) leg-health investigation by evaluation of lameness on farm, footpad lesions at the abattoir and post-mortem examination of tibia. The project is led by Animalia, and NMBU, VI, Nortura, KLF, Norsk Kylling, Norilia and Felleskjøpet Fôrutvikling are partners.


The project is financed by Norwegian Research Council (project number 207691) and the partners.


Käthe Elise Kittelsen

Randi Oppermann Moe

Erik Georg Granquist

Andrew Janczak


Animalia- The Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Centre (Käthe Kittelsen, Ola Nafstad, Guro Vasdal)

NMBU- Dept. of Production Animal Clinical Sciences (Randi O. Moe, Erik Granquist, Andrew Janczak)

Norwegian Veterinary Institute (Bruce David)

Nortura (Atle Løvland)

KLF (Benedicte Lund)

Norsk Kylling (Merete Forseth)

University in Aarhus (Jette Feveile Young, Jens Askov Jensen, Hanne Damgaard Poulsen)

Articles in English:

Kittelsen KE, Granquist EG, Kolbjørnsen Ø, Nafstad O, Moe RO. 2015. A Comparison of Post-Mortem Findings in Broilers Dead-on-Farm and Broilers Dead-on-Arrival at the Abattoir. Poultry Science 94, 2622-2629

Kittelsen KE, Granquist EG, Vasdal G, Tolo E, Moe RO. 2015. Effects of catching and transportation versus pre-slaughter handling at the abattoir on the prevalence of wing fractures in broilers. Animal Welfare, accepted

Congress presentations in English:

Kittelsen KE, Granquist EG, Bagley MF, Moe RO. 2014. A study of high-mortality broiler transportations in Norway in 2013. XIVth European Poultry Conference, Stavanger, Norway, Proceedings p. 417.

Kittelsen KE, Vasdal G, Granquist EG, Tolo E, Moe RO. 2015. Wing fractures in Norwegian broilers, observed at two different slaughterhouses. HSA International Symposium 2015: Recent Advances II, Zagreb Croatia, July 16-17, Proceedings p. 31.

Kittelsen KE, Moe RO, Granquist EG, Jensen JA, David B. 2015. Relationship between lameness scored on farm and foot pad lesions scored at the abattoir in broiler chicken flocks. 49th Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology, 14-17.9.2015, Sapporo, Japan, Proceedings p. 51.

Articles in Norwegian:

Moe RO, Kittelsen KE. 2015. Reisebrev fra ISAE-kongressen i Sapporo. Fjørfe 7, 42-43.

Kittelsen KE, Moe RO. 2015. Internasjonal interesse for norske velferdsmekanismer. Go’mørning , in press.

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