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Consumers' perspective on dual-purpose chickens as alternative to the killing of day-old chicks

The usage of dual‐purpose chicken breeds – a chicken breed which provides meat and eggs at the same time is one of the discussed alternatives to prevent cockerel chicks of laying hens from being killed for economic reasons. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse consumers’ perspective on dual‐purpose chickens. To get an insight into consumers’ perspective, we initially conducted six focus groups with German consumers focussing on their chicken meat and egg preferences, perception of chicken farming and attitudes towards dual‐purpose chicken breeds. The results show that most of the participants were aware of the killing of day‐old chicks. However, alternatives were scarcely known. After giving the participants information about dual‐purpose chickens, they were generally in favour of this chicken breed. Some participants raised concerns regarding the economic efficiency and the higher product prices. For others, ethical values predominated. All in all, the results demonstrate that the discussants have specific expectations regarding the husbandry conditions but also regarding the product characteristics and the labelling of dual‐purpose chickens.

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