Area 3 (‘Society’): Improve on-farm practices to enhance consumer acceptability and address societal challenges associated with animal welfare, product quality and safety, biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services
We are interested in to collaborate in a multidisciplinary consortium and to contribute with our expertise and infrastructure in activities related to improving on-farm practices in relation to animal welfare, product quality and biodiversity. We are offer a wide experience in developing studies using objective and feasible measures of welfare (stress and fear) to improve husbandry systems, to stimulate natural behavior of the animals and determine genetic stock more resistant to adverse environmental conditions. We have developed studies to determine the effect of different factors and systems in egg quality. Our group also conducts studies of genotype x environment interaction in relation to welfare and product quality. In the last years we have incorporated the use of molecular markers to characterize genetic diversity, breed identification, and find regions of the genome with effects in traits of stress, fear and internal and external egg quality.
Currently we are developing a project to implement an agro-ecological and sustainable systems which are alternative to the industrial production. The aims is the implementation of a mixed poultry-agricultural production system environmentally sustainable with production of eggs safety and quality, considering the animal welfare and commercial use of the Spanish chicken breeds maintained in the conservation program and using the genetic diversity of local varieties of trees and herbs.
The National Institute for Agronomic Research (INIA) is responsible for the management, coordination and the execution of projects of agrifood research at the national level in close collaboration with the relevant socioeconomic sectors.
Our group works in the department of animal breeding. The department develops research on genetic conservation and improvement of farm animals, combining classical quantitative genetics tools with new advances in genomics and statistics. The group has broad experience in sustainable livestock production. We work in the conservation of genetic resources of local breeds of chickens and its use as a source of genetic variation for improving on-farm practices in relation to welfare, quality and biodiversity.