Spring Summer 2005 Poultry Press << Previous - Next >>

Help Get Chicks and Ducklings Out of University of Delaware Classroom

Students at the University of Delaware have complained about the suffering of chicks and ducklings used in repetitive nutritional deprivation experiments in the classroom. Split into teams and issued the newborn birds, students are required to feed them a variety of foods and observe the results. Last year, students reported that the legs of chicks were twisted, curled, and unusable and that helpless ducklings were being trampled by others. Crippled chicks and ducklings could not reach watering devices, increasing their debilitation and distress. Students said the classroom professor showed no interest in the birds or their suffering, and that dead birds were thrown in the trash.

Such experiments are not only cruel; they are totally outdated. Nutritional needs of chicks and ducklings have been thoroughly documented. Chicken Meat and Egg Production, edited by Bell & Weaver, has a detailed chapter on poultry nutrition, and more information can be found on CD-ROMs, videos, slides and poultry extension service websites, and in numerous books like Raising the Home Duck Flock by Dave Holderread (Storey Communications, 800-827-8673).

Urge the University of Delaware to stop using live chicks and ducklings in the classroom. Responding to criticism last year, Dean Robin Morgan said "we are examining the use of animals in this course," but so far no action has been reported. Request a written reply to your concerns. Contact:

Dr. David Roselle
Office of the President
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-2111; fax: 1297
Email: Roselle@udel.edu

Dr. Robin Morgan
Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
113 Townsend Hall
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302-831-2501; fax: 6758
Email: Morgan@udel.edu

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